At last, we have made it to the end of the Texas high school football season. Last week, I covered a total of eight state title games, ranging from the UIL's Class 2A to Class 6A. To say that there was a multitude of Texas targets and commits in action would be an understatement.
- Dalton Brooks: The junior athlete has an offer from Texas and spends the majority of his time on the field at safety and running back. The Shiner product is known for his speed on both sides of the ball and was able to rush for 194 yards and 3 touchdowns against Hawley. On defense, Brooks also came away with an interception. While Brooks could probably play on either side of the ball at the collegiate level, he would bring great value to a position of need, such as safety, for Texas. Although Dalton is from a small Class 2A school, his efforts on the football field have paid off for the success of his team, having now won two state titles in a row, and for his own personal success, now being ranked as the ninth-best recruit in the state of Texas's 2023 recruiting cycle.
- Douglas Brooks: Dalton's brother Douglas, a senior athlete with four scholarship offers, is routinely my favorite player to watch in the state. Douglas couples size and speed as he barrels down defenders with his 265 pound body when given carries at running back. On Wednesday, Brooks rushed for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns in Shiner's 47-12 win over Hawley. Moreover, Douglas also showcases athleticism on the defensive side of the ball at defensive tackle, where he showcased his strength by literally tossing around Hawley's skill players. While Brooks's offers come from Army, Colorado State, Houston and UTSA, I think that Douglas would be a solid fit for the Longhorns if offered a spot as a preferred walk-on.
- Nathan Jones: The senior tight end caught five passes, including a touchdown reception in Brock's 35-18 loss to Lorena. The Minnesota signee has a terrific frame, standing at 6'5" and 240 pounds, and could very well be a diamond in the rough find for the Golden Gophers.
- Malcolm Murphy: The senior running back helped to raise his recruiting stock after an impressive performance in which he finished with 280 rushing yards and 4 rushing touchdowns. Furthermore, Murphy also helped to lead Franklin on defense where he came away with two interceptions.
- Bryson Washington: Franklin's junior running back rushed for 165 yards and 3 touchdowns in Thursday's 49-35 state championship victory. Following the game, Washington received scholarship offers from UTSA, Iowa State and Texas Tech. Along with Murphy, Washington is also a star player in Franklin's secondary, and has decent size for this position at 6'0".
- Coy Eakin: The 6'3" senior wide receiver tallied 187 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns in Stephenville's 38-21 win over Austin LBJ. While the statistics will tell you that Eakin had a great game, they still cannot quantify the receiver's ability to make big plays on the football field, even displaying great football awareness when forcing an LBJ defender to fumble the ball. Following Friday's game, Eakin has already received five new scholarship offers from schools such as UNT and Texas State.
- Oscar Gordon: Despite a slow start out of the gate for Gordon and the Jaguars, thanks to a plethora of lost fumbles, Gordon had a decent day passing with 372 passing yards and 3 touchdowns to 1 interception. The lefty quarterback is committed to play for Texas Southern at the collegiate level.
- Marquise Collins: Collins once again had a big performance for the Cougars in a critical game, rushing for 192 yards and 2 touchdowns. Despite College Station's ultimate loss, it was Marquise's 71-yard rush touchdown rush in the fourth quarter which eventually sent the game to overtime. Currently, the three-star junior running back has 11 offers from schools such as Baylor and Utah.
- Traylen Suel: The senior wideout was the game's leading receiver with 11 receptions and 169 receiving yards with 1 touchdown grab. Suel had a highly productive senior season for the Cougars, tallying 92 receptions for 1,142 yards and 17 touchdowns.
- Alex Kilgore: The junior linebacker made his presence felt on Friday with seven total tackles and a fumble recovery in Paetow's 27-24 overtime victory. Kilgore possesses great size for a linebacker, listed at 6'2" and 200 pounds, and will be a prospect to keep an eye on.
South Oak Cliff:
- Abdul Muhammad: The three-star junior defensive back earned himself Defensive MVP honors with a 10 tackle performance in South Oak Cliff's 23-14 title win over Liberty Hill. Currently, Muhammad has offers from eight schools such as Arizona and TCU.
- Jamyri Cauley: Cauley, a sophomore wide receiver whose nickname is "Wildman," made a big touchdown reception in the second quarter of Saturday's contest. The 6'2" wideout currently has an offer from Texas, along with 14 other schools, and will surely in contact with Texas's new wide receivers coach once one is hired.
- Kaleb Bailey: The freshman quarterback showed great poise under the bright lights of a state title game. Despite the game being a defensive slugfest, Bailey stepped up when he needed to, throwing two touchdown passes including an absolute dime which earned North Shore a 17-10 victory. Following Saturday's performance, Bailey received an offer from UTSA, representing his first scholarship offer.
- Kristopher Ross: At defensive tackle, stats are hard to come by. However, the Texas signee certainly had an impact on the game as he contributed to creating a push in the trenches and showed hustle by chasing skill position players well down the field. Overall, Ross is one of the players that I am most excited to see in Texas's 2022 recruiting class.
- Cameron Williams: Despite it already being a well-known fact, Cameron Williams is one large human being. The Texas signee stands in at 6'7" and 360 pounds and has a world of potential under offensive line coach Kyle Flood on the Forty Acres. Additionally, while Williams possesses an incredible frame for a lineman, he also is quite nimble for a player of his size. For the first time in many years, Longhorns fans have a right to be excited about the future of Texas's offensive line.
- Omari Abor: The four-star edge rusher was sporting Longhorns gloves in Saturday's title game and looks to be a player that the Longhorns will hope to be able to add by February's National Signing Day. However, it is always worth noting that Abor, like other blue-chip recruits, has many options and is considering other schools such as Ohio State. On Saturday, the senior delivered 1.5 sacks and was a force for Duncanville's defensive line.
- Collin Simmons: Already a popular name in the recruiting world, Collin Simmons was responsible for containing North Shore's offense between the hash marks. The sophomore Texas target is a promising linebacker who already has his fair share of offers, 14 to be exact. I look forward to seeing how Simmons will lead Duncanville's defense next season, a unit that will need members to step up after losing players such as Abor and Jordan Crook to graduation.
- Jaden Greathouse: The junior Texas target broke a UIL state championship game receiving record with 236 receiving yards on the night. Additionally, Greathouse's seven receptions resulted in three touchdowns as well. Although Greathouse has been on the radar of many since his freshman season, it appears that Saturday might have opened some eyes. Having covered Greathouse since his freshman season, I can attest to the consistency of Jaden's production - having tallied at least 700 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in each of his three seasons. Furthermore, Greathouse's production has improved with every passing season, having accounted for 1,274 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns in 2021.
- Connor Robertson: The 2022 three-star offensive lineman who signed to Texas during the Early Signing Period did a stellar job of keeping Cade Klubnik's pocket clean all night. Similar to Cameron Williams, Robertson is being viewed by many as a project player that has the potential to make a big impact for the Longhorns in a couple of years. Personally, I could envision Robertson playing either guard or center at the collegiate level, especially when you consider Kyle Flood's love for SEC caliber size on the offensive line, something that the 6'4" senior certainly possesses.
- Ethan Burke: Along with Robertson, Burke also signed with the Longhorns during the Early Signing Period. The 2022 three-star defensive end has had a quick rise in his recruiting stock during the fall, flirting with Michigan prior to eventually flipping his commitment to Texas after a late push by the Longhorns coaching staff. On Saturday, the 6'7" Westlake defender came away from Westlake's 40-21 win over Guyer with two sacks. Like many of the Texas targets and commits I saw this past week, Burke is a player that I am really excited to see on the Forty Acres as he has the chance to develop into a dominant pass rusher over time.
- Colton Vasek: Paired with Burke, Vasek is an extremely dangerous defensive end for Westlake as both defenders have an incredible ability to rush the passer. In Saturday's title game, Vasek won the Defensive MVP award with an impressive three sack performance. Vasek has five scholarship offers as a junior and should see that number rise before the start of his senior season. Additionally, like Burke, Vasek also has a nice frame, standing in at 6'6" for the Chaparrals.
- Jackson Arnold: As I mentioned last week, I would not be surprised if the Longhorns throw their hat into the Jackson Arnold race at some point. Due to his appearance in the 2019 state title game against Westlake, Arnold was innately a part of the rematch's storylines in 2021. In 2019, Arnold was tasked with an impossible situation when Guyer star quarterback Eli Stowers sustained an injury and Arnold, then just a freshman quarterback, had to try to lead the Wildcats against a dominant Westlake defense. On Saturday, you could tell how far Arnold has evolved as a quarterback as he exuded an infectious confidence which helped Guyer to remain competitive with Westlake for three quarters, something that had not been done against the Chaparrals all season. Arnold combined for 278 yards of total offense and scored a total of 3 touchdowns, also leading his team in rushing.
- Peyton Bowen: After scoring two touchdowns in the state semifinals, Bowen continued to make an impression in the state title game with a team-high 60 receiving yards, despite primarily playing on defense. The 2023 four-star safety has an offer from 26 schools, including Texas, and is ranked by the 247Sports Composite as the fourth-best safety prospect in the nation's 2023 recruiting cycle.
- Eli Bowen: Peyton's younger brother, Eli, is a sophomore cornerback who was able to intercept a pass from Westlake quarterback Cade Klubnik in the first quarter. Currently, Eli has received 2 scholarship offers from Colorado and LSU, and should be on the receiving end of more before the start of next season.
- 377 (Total)