After long hours of watching film, talking to dozens of HS and college coaches, and watching more film, we deliver the final installment of the Inside Texas Top 100 for 2016. We don’t claim to be experts, but here’s what we’ve got. Today, it’s No. 51-100.
51. WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Carroll (Southlake, TX)- TEXAS: Rare combination of length and fluidity with an uncommon dose of physicality away from the ball for his body type. He’s not just physical when the ball is in the air, he’s aggressive as a blocker as well. It’s easy to see why he actually translated as a 6-foot-5 running back in high school. He won’t tote the rock in college, but you can certainly get him involved in direct snaps and just move him around in general. Expect him to be lined up all over the field and used in ways designed to get him the ball as well as create running room for others. Is he a skinny TE or a WR with a TE mindset? He’s a football player whatever he is. He’ll need to prove to have ball skills and the ability to beat defenses deep to truly maximize his potential. Probable Texas commit.
52. DB Chris Brown, Alief Elsik (Houston, TX) – TEXAS: Versatility and physicality are the name of the game for Brown. He’s a tad undersized to be a box safety but has the mindset to replace linebackers in run support. He’ll be a great clean-up hitter in the back end – possibly an intimidator – and has the fluidity to play nickel at the LOS. One of his greatest attributes, he’s a tireless worker. Guys like Chris usually make a mockery of their rankings because analysts fail to properly account for this important attribute.
53. RB Kyle Porter, Katy (Katy, TX)TEXAS: A nuanced back with good feet and eyes, and the lateral quickness to take advantage of those two traits. He’s also a patient runner until it’s time to accelerate. He’s somewhat hard to evaluate because he has wider lanes to run through than the Katy Freeway and is often untouched. Katy running backs often look special because they’re the sum of all those working parts. I’m unsure of how good of a contact runner he is and if his big-play speed will translate. Put him behind a great offensive line and he’ll look great, put him behind an average o-line and I’m afraid he’ll look the same. I do know plenty of college coaches who are higher on him than I am, so take this evaluation with caution.
54. DT Michael Williams, All Saints (Fort Worth, TX) – STANFORD: Coupled with his natural leverage (about 6-foot-2), ability to get off the ball, and his understanding to target half a man, Williams gets into the backfield with ease, but you also have to account for him playing lesser competition. I like his motor, and after he improves his body, he’ll be a productive player for many years.
55. QB Zach Smith, Grandview (Grandview, TX) – BAYLOR: Kind of silly putting a Baylor quarterback this low on principle, right? Not if you consider Jarret Stidham is in front of him and Kellen Mond is behind him. Smith is a fine quarterback whose arm would unleash Baylor’s war chest of athletes deep downfield, but because he lacks the ability to run ZR as effectively as others, I question if he’ll ever truly be the guy with such massive dual threat talents surrounding him. Smith is a classic big-pocket passer who places darts all over the field; a big kid with a good release.
56. OT Ryan McCollum, Klein Oak (Spring, TX) – TEXAS A&M: Saw him at Texas Tech camp last Summer and liked the way he moved at this size (6-foot-6, 270) so I checked his Junior film. He lacked physicality and punch, typical of a young offensive tackle prospect. He’s shown a lot of improvement in this regard and as he gets bigger he’ll become increasingly nastier. Still light on his feet and bends well, the Aggies are getting a high upside OT who just needs time to develop. He could end up being one of the steals of the class and has increased value because he’s a true LT candidate.
57. LB Marvin Terry, South Oak Cliff (Dallas, TX) – MISSOURI: Remember Deon Hollins? Hollins was a pass rushing defensive end in a linebacker’s body Texas passed on in 2013. Hollins has gone on to have a very solid career at UCLA as both a rusher and linebacker. That’s Terry; relentless in pursuit off the edge but showing the movement skills and bounce to play a more traditional linebacker role. Mizzou got a steal with Sean Weatherspoon back in the day. This could be another one that really stings if he takes to the traditional duties his body type is suited for.
58. ATH Tristen Wallace, Desoto (Desoto, TX) – OREGON: If I was rating the top 15 athletes who play football, Wallace would easily make the cut, the problem is projecting him to a specific position. He has a great combination of size, burst, and speed, but chances are he won’t play his high school position of quarterback. Is a WR or RB? He’s definitely an interesting athlete and if Oregon finds him a home and he takes to it, there’s a good chance we’ll all get a chuckle out of this rating in a few years. Guys his size don’t typically run as well as he does.
59. OL Zach Shackelford, Belton (Belton, TX) – TEXAS: Physical, nearly immovable interior lineman whose greatest value at Texas is at center because he can anchor and get push so well. He has decent enough athleticism for center but won’t be a guy you find mauling people in space and will have some trouble reach-blocking quicker defensive linemen, if asked to do so. For a program that has lacked strength up the middle, Shackelford is a welcomed sight, provided he can handle the multi-tasking duties required of a center. Athletically and physically he’ll be fine down-blocking and working combos, the two biggest requirements in the new Texas scheme. Shackelford has a lot to learn in a short time if he wants to factor in for playing time next season. Being an early enrollee will help towards that end.
60. CB Jaylon Jones, Allen (Allen, TX) – OLE MISS: A player I’ve always liked because he played safety for much of high school and showed a lot of traits you question about a corner, namely toughness and willingness to strike. The other side of that coin is you’d like to see how technical he is in coverage. He’s a plus athlete as exhibited in the return game, but he’ll probably have a bit of a growth curve as he fills out and learns to play corner with the big boys.
61. WR Kendrick Rogers, Frankston (Frankston, TX) – TEXAS A&M: Not much film exists on Rogers so I had to go the word-of-mouth route. That word is he combines obscene length (6-foot-6) with above average straight-line speed. His hands apparently check out, he’s just raw as a football player because his level of competition doesn’t require anything more. Let him redshirt, then see if he can follow in Ricky Seals-Jones’ footsteps.
62. QB Seth Green, Allen (Allen, TX) – MINNESOTA: The Minnesota native elects to return home to lead the Gophers where he’ll be an exciting prospect (also an early enrollee) as a dual threat quarterback with real size (6-foot-3, 215). Green’s upside is better as a passer but he can definitely do more than just keep defenses honest with his legs. I like his ability to throw on the run with plus+ arm strength.
63. OT Riley Anderson, Mineola (Mineola, TX) – TEXAS A&M: The networks have Riley rated behind his twin brother Austin but I have it differently because I think Riley is more likely to remain at tackle because he’s a touch bigger and more athletic. Otherwise, you see the same aggression and same flat back with each. These two come off the ball.
64. WR Jared Atkinson, Horn (Mesquite, TX) – BAYLOR: Good length and top end speed for Baylor’s vertical passing, coupled with solid quickness and strength for the screen game. As his body continues to fill out, strength will become an asset and he should excel in the red zone. He’s also nifty in the open field — light on his feet in close quarters.
65. WR Moses Reynolds, John Jay (San Antonio, TX) – TEXAS A&M: Moses is the younger brother of Aggie touchdown poacher, Josh, meaning A&M could have yet again uncovered a diamond in the rough. In fact, I think they did just that. Because of his brother, Reynolds became a known, but he’s a stud in his own right. A versatile player who passed, caught, and rushed his way through an entertaining Hudl clip, Reynolds could play inside or outside receiver equally well. His pretty gait eats up grass while his loose hips help him find open space.
66. OL Austin Anderson, Mineola (Mineola, TX) – TEXAS A&M: Listed as a tackle, I have Anderson as a guard with interesting upside. He has guard aggression and borderline tackle athleticism which will help him reach and get out in space. Anderson has a mauler’s mindset, though football-wise he’ll be a long way from Mineola. As he continues to get strong and maintains athleticism, pass pro shouldn’t be a problem. He’s already better than most high school linemen at keeping his back flat.
67. WR Tyrell Alexander, Lancaster (Lancaster, TX) – OKLAHOMA STATE: I love Alexander’s upside and think he’s nowhere near reaching his ceiling. He’s sudden with good length and a frame that has a lot of real estate to develop. I think he projects equally to offense or defense but he’s slotted for receiver at Oklahoma State where Gundy has proven to have an eye for guys like him. I don’t blame him for wanting to play offense as he has a certain urgency with the ball in his hands.
68. DT Marcel Southall, Duncanville (Duncanville, TX) – TEXAS: Looks like a jumbo sized Foreman in the face, and certainly has the upside of a Texas player, but consistency is a nagging concern of Southall. He moves well but struggles to unlock from offensive linemen. I do like his versatility as a prospect who can play from 3-tech on over to 5-tech.
69. RB D’Vaughn Pennamon, Manvel (Manvel, TX) – OLE MISS: One of the quickest to and through the hole, Pennamon will then look to put his downhill velocity to work and truck someone or bounce outside thanks to good vision and nifty feet. He’s a swivel-hipped back with power and speed, meaning nearly anything can happen on a given run. He may not be special in any one regard but he doesn’t have any weaknesses.
70. DB Chris Miller, Lone Star (Frisco, TX) – BAYLOR: This guy certainly won’t hurt Baylor’s overall team speed. Miller takes great angles to the ball from safety and gets to the carrier quickly and in a bad mood, mitigating extra yardage in the process. He shows the hips to turn and run, and he can run with just about anyone. A fantastic get for Baylor who looks like an old Akina four-corners safety with a little S&C.
71. OL Tope Imade, Bowie (Arlington, TX) – TEXAS: When I first saw Imade’s junior highlights early last spring, I had him as a possible Texas offer because of his size and raw athleticism. That offer found its way to him and in his senior year he demonstrated even higher upside as a guard who moves well at nearly 6-foot-5, 320 pounds. He shows the ability to set a good base in pass pro and locate defenders while run blocking on the move. Like most young offensive lineman, he’ll need time to further develop but there’s a lot to like here.
72. ATH Camron Williams, Skyline (Dallas, TX) – TCU: Many guys who are chiseled like statues move like them as well but that’s not the case with Williams. He has the feet and coordination to play receiver in college but his body may force a position switch to H-Back/TE or LB, where his movement skills could go a long way to making him a special player.
73. WR Reggie Hemphill, Manvel (Manvel, TX) – TEXAS: From the James Kirkendoll/Brandon Collins family of receivers, Hemphill has the look of a slot who can exploit soft zones and sneak through smaller creases. He’ll have technical ability, though the new scheme won’t necessarily ask for it. I expect him to move the chains via quick routes but question how much of a big-play threat he’ll be. He’s a slot receiver with enough speed to become a factor on switches.
74. DB Greg Eisworth, South Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie, TX) – OLE MISS: I’ve loved Eisworth’s game since the beginning of the cycle. Whether he’s playing quarterback or defensive back, he plays with reckless abandon, splitting defenses while toting the ball, or running the alley in search of the ball carrier with equal fervor. All that learning to cover nonsense will come with time. He may take some time to incubate but once he learns the nuances of coverage he could be a player. He won’t lack for physicality or want-to.
75. QB Dillon Sterling-Cole, Westfield (Houston, TX) – ARIZONA STATE: One of the biggest arms in the entire country, and he’s still nowhere near filled out in his lanky framework. DS-C can make most throws look easy, and though he’s listed as a pocket quarterback, he can run well when he needs too. There have been some questions regarding his mental maturity, something that has sunk many a quarterback, but from my interactions with him I haven’t seen that.
76. RB Rakeem Boyd, Stratford (Houston, TX) – TEXAS A&M: Broad-shouldered back that will mature to carry at least 215 pounds. He runs tough, and didn’t back down from some physical contests when I’ve seen him. A classic ‘run through or around’ back, Boyd has the ability to get tough yards between the tackles or use his burst to get the edge. When he plants his foot to get downhill, it’s a pretty thing.
77. CB Grayland Arnold, Kountze (Kountze, TX) – BAYLOR: Not quite the athlete Deon Beasley was, but better suited to defense than the former Longhorn player. Arnold’s tenacious and shows the traits to be a cover man despite not having tons of experience doing it. He could also play offense but at Baylor he’ll be needed more on defense. Arnold leaves it all on the field and relishes contact more than most 5-foot-10, 180 pound players.
78. DB Kenan Ivy, Lancaster (Lancaster, TX) – BAYLOR: Twitchy and fearless defensive back with tons of speed. He accelerates through ball carriers and covers ground like few other defensive backs. What he lacks in height he makes up for in speed and tenacity. Man coverage could be his kryptonite.
79. DE Levi Onwuzirike, Allen (Allen, TX) – BAYLOR: Functionally very powerful as he bull rushes OT’s up field, Onwuzurike is also one of the more fundamental players in state as he rarely loses contain (a pet peeve of mine) and uses his hands well. He runs well, and gets off the ball quickly. Really the main knock on him is lack of length. I see him as a 4-3, hand in the ground WDE.
80. TE JC Chalk, Argyle (Argyle, TX) – CLEMSON: A versatile offensive weapon, Chalk projects to the H-Back end of the TE spectrum as a guy you motion around to create favorable numbers and blocking angles. He shows good hands and the ability to turn and get up-field, while also being an energetic blocker.
81. LB Demarco Boyd, Gilmer (Gilmer, TX) – TEXAS: From one versatile (Boyd has played DE, DT, LB, and RB) hardhat award nominee to another, Boyd has a nose for the ball on defense and knows what to do with the ball on offense. If surrounded by enough athletes on the Bedford side of the ball, he could be a tackle to tackle plugger, but I think his upside is the 2.0 of Alex De La Torre, essentially a reverse linebacker. Boyd would be a more explosive blocker and more viable offensive threat than the underrated Longhorn. Call him Tom Rathman or Daryl Johnston, if you please.
82. QB Brennen Wooten, Central (San Angelo, TX) – TCU: Wooten eats and sleeps football and has enough arm talent to make his mind’s eye come to life. He strikes me as a kid Petersen would have gone undefeated with at Boise State as the quarterback repeatedly beats defenses with his head, then just when you think he’s Johnny Gymrat, he gets you with his legs or a throw you didn’t know he had.
83. WR Denzel Mims, Daingerfield (Dangerfield, TX) – BAYLOR: He’s 6-foot-3 and ran a 21.3 200M to win state last year. Length and speed, just what Baylor needs! Mims is incredibly raw at this point but will be given time to develop. At Baylor he’s in the hole, not even on deck, so he won’t be rushed into action.
84. WR Dylan Thomas, Paschal (Fort Worth, TX) – TCU: He’ll be an inside receiver at TCU where he’ll help stretch the field horizontally on screens where he’s hard to tackle in a phone booth. Thomas has some of the best lateral ability in the class, with good size for inside receiver to boot.
85. CB Madre Harper, Lamar (Arlington, TX) – OKLAHOMA STATE: Corner build, safety temperament. He tracks the ball well and shows real athleticism when returning turnovers. Harper shows field vision when he drops a man to pick-up another. Reminds of Obi Eboh some. If he puts on weight and becomes a safety, he could be a pretty incredible player.
86. RB Trevor Speights, Memorial (McAllen, TX): STANFORD: The Valley’s Christian McCaffery, Speights made a lot of runs that wouldn’t happen if he played in other parts of the state, but that’s exactly what he’s supposed to do. He has great stop-start ability regardless of who he’s playing, coupled with good acceleration. All this in a tightly wound, compact build. Running in the valley might be unfair, but running behind the Stanford line is also an unfair advantage. I’d rate him higher but the memories of former Longhorn Tony Ellis and former Aggie Bradley Stephens still burn deep in my mind as guys who crushed the Valley in similar fashion.
87. DE Michael Johnson, Hightower (Missouri City, TX) – BAYLOR: Really all Johnson is missing is more length for the position, but he plays with so much speed/quickness/ferocity, I think he can overcome his limitations. He’s too quick for OT’s and is a terror when crashing down the line. He’ll probably be a ‘where did this guy come from’ Baylor special in a couple years.
88. WR Zarrian Holcombe, Summer Creek (Humble, TX) – ILLINOIS: The former A&M commit has as much upside as he does length (6-foot-5) but has some off the field questions. He’s fluid for his size and catches the ball away from his body, maximizing his catch radius in the process. Whether he’s a WR or TE is semantics at this point because he’s nowhere close to lining up attached.
89. DT Bravvion Roy, Spring (Spring, TX) – BAYLOR: Unique athleticism for his body type, particularly laterally. He’ll hold up at the point of attack because of his build but athletically he’s much more than a guy who occupies blockers. He lacks length so blockers getting into him will be something he has to overcome as he takes the next step.
90. QB Bowman Sells, Lovejoy (Allen, TX) – HOUSTON: Categorized as a pro-style but there’s some real duality here which you know Tom Herman will put to use. The lefty shows a real feel for the passing game and adds zip as exhibited by his throws outside the hash marks.
91. RB Mulbah Car, Reagan (Austin, TX) – HOUSTON: Watching his film you’d think you were watching footage from the late 80’s or early 90’s, all he’s missing is the lower back pad bouncing from beneath his jersey with every step. He has that old scat-back look to him and the way his legs keep churning it reminds of Ricky Watters. He shows great vision in the open field and rapid leg turnover. Fun kid to watch, you get the feeling he loves the game.
92. OL JP Urquidez, Copperas Cove (Copperas Cove, TX) – BAYLOR: Obviously I think the networks have Urquidez too high, but I’ve been saying that for a year and a half. I like his size but right off the bat I see him at guard rather than tackle, so that’s a big disconnect I have with other evaluators. I also think he’s a bit heavy-footed and he’ll require a lot of work and time to unlock his potential. That said, Baylor’s a great place for him with the Bear’s recent track record for development and Urquidez has improved noticeably every season since his sophomore year.
93. WR Brandon Benson, La Vega (Waco, TX) – SMU: One of the few talented receivers in the state actually selling routes rather than just running by people. There’s a hint of refinement to Benson’s game as he gets into his route with urgency and sells deep before breaking routes off. Keeps a good relationship between his hands and feet when it’s time to cut at the top of his stem. Quick and fast with decent size, Benson would also make a good defensive back, but he’s too dangerous on offense. Chad Morris will make this guy a known commodity, just as he’s done with a former favorite of mine, Brenham’s Courtland Sutton.
94. QB Jett Duffey, Lake Ridge (Mansfield, TX) – TEXAS TECH: Duffey’s ranking suffers because of his lack of size but like his ability for what Tech is currently running with Pat Mahomes. Duffey’s not in Mahomes’ class (I think I had Patrick at #23) as a passer, but he can hit the right receiver and improvise with his feet to either prolong plays behind the LOS or take off and run. Duffey also has those hard to measure ‘team leader’ qualities and a quick, compact delivery.
95. QB Nick Starkel, Liberty Christian (Argyle, TX): As one of the few available QB’s late in the cycle, the interest in Starkel has inflated his value some, still, for this point in the cycle he’s a fine take. Still rail thin and already with a strong arm, it’ll be interesting to see how much more zip he adds over the years. With the flick of the wrist he can the ball down field with touch. He struggled with accuracy this year with barely over a 2/1 TD/INT ratio which isn’t something you like to see, especially facing his competition. He reminds of Matthew Merrick in some regards. Starkel is considering A&M and UCLA and was formerly committed to Oklahoma State.
96. DE Bronson “Boom” Massie, Lufkin (Lufkin, TX) – KANSAS STATE: High energy, relentless player. His natural position is at rush outside linebacker or Fox defensive end, where he can attack the edges or defend the flats. At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, he has some filling out to do and he’s going to a program known for development, provided Bill Snyder sticks around.
97. WR, Kofi Boateng, Lamar (Arlington, TX) – ARKANSAS: Future Texas signal-caller Shane Buechele’s top target, Kofi was one of the top possession receivers in Texas for 2016 and helped lead Lamar deep into the 5A state playoffs. The 6-foot-1 pass-catcher will also have better quarterbacking in high school than he’ll have in Fayetteville.
98. LB Deonte Williams, Prestonwood (Plano, TX) – BAYLOR: Listed as an OLB but I think the FSU legacy is the template for a future ILB. He’s a better athlete in a straight-line than diagonally but it’s not going to be an impediment to him if he transitions inside as I suspect. He’s a knock-back tackler which also suits playing ILB.
99. LB Jordan Carmouche, Manvel (Manvel, TX): Carmouche moves like a safety for his size, but isn’t the most physical linebacker you’ll find. His fluidity in space at this size will make him intriguing but he needs to attack the ball carrier if he wants to take advantage of his natural ability putting him in position. Recently de-committed from Arkansas for some reason.
100. LB Maciah Long, North Shore (North Shore, TX) – KANSAS: The state champion quarterback projects better to linebacker. Instead of bludgeoning teams with ZR, he’ll be slowing them down. Long is a fluid runner with great change of direction for being thickly built, and projects to ILB where his natural field awareness should also shine. Kansas gets a steal.