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2016 Texas Commit Season Preview


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Josh Thompson, (6’0, 185) DB, Nacogdoches, TX


Thompson leads the secondary for the Dragons, being a returning starter and one of the better athletes on the team. Last year he racked up 33 tackles, 9 PBUs, 2 INTs, so he’s equally skilled at both run support and pass coverage.

The Dragons play in District 17-5A, which includes Ennis, Corsicana, Lindale, Jacksonville and Whitehouse. Dave Campbell’s ranks Nacogdoches third in district with Ennis and Corsicana picked to be 1 and 2 respectively. But look for Nacogdoches to overtake Corsicana and give Ennis a serious challenge.

The Dragons are one of the few district teams with a returning QB, a two-year starter who threw for more than 1,600 yards last year. They also have one of the district’s better RBs and WRs and place-kickers. So the offensive weapons are in place. The defense has leadership and great athletes. There’s plenty of reason to believe Thompson and his Dragons will be playing playoff football this year.

The Dragons will scrimmage John Tyler and fellow Texas commit Damion Miller on Aug. 19 in Nacogdoches at 7 p.m. The Dragons will open the season against Kilgore at home at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 26. The pre-district schedule is tough and includes Lufkin, Tyler Lee, Hallsville and Gilmer.





Montrell Estelle (6’2, 180) DB, Hooks, TX 


When you’re playing in the class 3A ranks in East Texas and you’re good, your name tends to get around. EVERBODY in District 7-AAA (div II) knows who Montrell Estelle is. They know what he can do, how he can do it, and more importantly how well he does it. They study film, game plan, double-team him – they still won’t stop him. He’s that good.

Hooks is picked to win 7-3A this year, followed closely and perhaps challenged by Daingerfield and Paul Pewitt. However, they should cruise through the rest of the district with ease.

Estelle will benefit from having a QB who is just as dangerous running the ball as he is throwing it. There is also a very capable returning starter at RB. The Hornets should feature a balanced attack.

Defensively, Estelle will play safety and at times, be put on the end to blitz. He will give both OCs and DCs fits all season.

I’m looking for the Hornets to pull through the district unscathed and perhaps advance 3-4 rounds, especially if Estelle stays healthy.

Hooks will open their season traveling to rival New Boston, a strong Class 3A program, for a 7:30 p.m. start. Redwater and Hughes Springs also dot the pre-district schedule and are tough games. Their game with Daingerfield will likely decide the district and is scheduled for Oct. 14, in Daingerfield, at 7:30 p.m.




Kobe Boyce (6’0, 170) DB, Lake Dallas HS (Corinth, TX)


The Falcons created a great deal of excitement last year with a stunning run to the state semifinals. The program looks to continue that momentum into this year but must overcome some serious losses on offense from last year’s 12-3 team.

A new QB will be plugged in, new WR, several new OL but all will be very talented. Just unproven. So lots of question marks dot the depth chart on offense.

Defensively, Boyce will be joined by two-year starter Alex Peppard in the secondary. The DL has depth and talent and combined with the stellar secondary, should be difficult to score on this season.

Lake Dallas plays in District 14-5A, which may be a bit down this year overall. Expect a challenge from McKinney North and Prosper, but Lake Dallas should prevail given the talent on offense translates on the field.

Boyce and the Falcons will scrimmage tough Ennis in Ennis on Aug. 19. They’ll open the season a week later hosting Denton High at 7 p.m. Look to the last game of the season where the district race may get decided between the Falcons and Prosper.



Damion Miller (6’2, 170), John Tyler HS (Tyler, TX)


CUJO will feature one of its most talented team i years this year. Given the success experienced last year with a deep run in the playoffs, one might assume this year would be more of the same?

John Tyler was moved up to class 6A this year and now finds itself back in a district with heated rival Longview and always strong Rockwall. Will the talent and experience overcome the numbers? We’ll see, should be exciting to watch.

The Lions return starters at all the skill positions. They have size in the trenches and speed to burn on the outside. They’re picked third in District 11-6A nevertheless, but I look for a second place finish at worst and unseating Longview at the top at best. The talent is legit.

John Tyler doesn’t shy away from competition when they make a schedule. They’ll open hosting Plano West, then visit Ennis, then travel to Shreveport to play New Orleans Warren Easton in a rare 12 noon start. Then they get to turn around and host tough Rockwall the very next week.

Circle Oct. 21 on your calendar. That is the Longview-John Tyler rivalry game, this year played at Lobo Stadium in Longview at 7:30 p.m. It will be war.





Sam Ehlinger (6’1, 207) QB, Westlake HS (Austin, TX)


When folks talk about tough districts in 2016, the discussion will certainly have to include District 25-6A where the likes of Austin Westlake, Lake Travis, Austin Vandergrift, Cedar Park Vista Ridge, Buda Hays and Leander reside.

Ehlinger and the prolific Chaps offense will attempt to navigate that gauntlet and return to playoff glory. Offense should be no problem for the Chaps, though they’ll need to replace a couple of WRs and RB. In Todd Dodge’s system, production will happen. How much of that is placed on Ehlinger’s shoulders remains to be seen.

Defensively, the front seven looks solid but the secondary will be completely green this year. So if the Chaps can develop a solid secondary, there’s a great shot the Chaps will be contending again.

Westlake is picked second in this district behind perennial power Lake Travis. That HUGE game will be played the night before Texas-OU at Lake Travis.

Westlake will be tested early, opening the season at home against last year’s state champion Katy at 7:30 p.m.




Xavier Newman (6’4, 285) OL, DeSoto, TX


When picking District 7-6A, it’s usually either Cedar Hill or DeSoto. This year is no different. Both programs are again loaded. But the Eagles are looking to reclaim past glory after a tough season last year in coach Todd Peterman’s first year.

This year, the Eagles offense is loaded with Div. 1 talent. The trio of Newman, Hyrin White (6’7, 310) and Edward Ingram (6’4, 330) will give the offensive line a college level look. All three are FBS recruits. Combine that with Shawn Robinson at QB and speed on the outside, the Eagles offense looks as dangerous as ever.

The big game with Cedar Hill will be the district opener for both teams and will be played in DeSoto on Sept. 23. The Eagles will open against Denton Guyer on Sept. 2, the school QB Robinson played for last year. Other big games will be Oct. 21 against Duncanville and Nov. 3 against South Grand Prairie.





LaGaryonn Carson (6’5, 260) DE, Liberty-Eylau HS (Texarkana, TX)


The Leopards will against sport one of the most talented rosters in East Texas with several prospects on the roster who will play on Saturdays. Carson leads that group coming off a season where he notched 111 tackles and 10 sacks. Last year the Leopards advanced deep into the playoffs, ending the season at 12-2 Region Finalists.

The Cats will be dangerous on both offense and defense, grabbing the favorites role for the District 7-4A title again this year. Paris should provide a nice challenge, but expect the Leopards to cruise through an otherwise weak district.

The Leopards will open the season with showcase game against Gilmer, to be played in Tyler’s Rose Stadium at 7:30 on Aug. 25. They follow that with tough games against Carthage and Texarkana Texas High before hosting class 3A power Atlanta.

The district showdown is set for Oct. 7 in Paris at 7:30 p.m. Should the Leopards emerge from that game unscathed, the district title is theirs. I expect a very deep run from the Leopards this year. The talent and experience are there.

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Looking forward to see how Gilmer does this year



Might I suggest to you the following games to try to attend this year. I base this on keeping you close to home while also being a good game in all likelihood.


1. Aug. 25 – Liberty-Eylau – Tyler's Rose Stadium. Both will be state-ranked. Texas-pledge DeGaryonn Carson will be playing. Should be a DOOZIE of a game and you'll find out fast how good Gilmer is.


2. Oct. 14 – Gladewater – at Gilmer. Gladewater-Gilmer is a rivalry game and has heated up in recent years.


3. Nov. 4 – Pittsburg – at Gilmer. Senior Night. Another rivalry game and Pittsburg should be decent this year.


Otherwise, Gilmer travels to Nacogdoches which would be quite a drive for you. You would see the Bucks play against Thompson though.


Gilmer's schedule is crazy this year. In 5 straight weeks, they'll play 4 away games and 0 home games (bye week mixed in).

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If you can see Carson go do it

Plan on seeing him in 2 weeks at Tyler against Gilmer, that's right up the road from me. I'll give my thoughts on him after game.


Would like to watch Brownings team ( Kennedale ) when they come to Whitehouse but my hometown has a big rivalry game that week, tough choice.

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Plan on seeing him in 2 weeks at Tyler against Gilmer, that's right up the road from me. I'll give my thoughts on him after game.


Would like to watch Brownings team ( Kennedale ) when they come to Whitehouse but my hometown has a big rivalry game that week, tough choice.

That will be a damn good one. I've got browning on the schedule twice.

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It will be an incredibly interesting game, for sure.


Gilmer has to find a QB. They may have found one in spring drills, I don't know. But there's nothing proven there right now. And in their O, it all starts at QB. Plug and play works as long as the QB position works.


I absolutely love the recruit Kollin Hurt and also LaMarcus Morton. Both are DB/WRs who are legit D1 talents.


If L-E's talent can overcome Gilmer's system, this could be one of those early season upsets. And I expect L-E will pull it off.




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