Under Armour Camp – Houston

Brennan Eagles. (courtesy of Nike)

Brennan Eagles. (courtesy of Nike)

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Following in the footsteps of Nike, Under Armour, its main competitor in the industry is trying its hand at the high school football camp scene.

It gives us an opportunity to see some of the state’s best compete with each other while gathering notes, contacts, and tidbits for each prospect Texas deems a target. Our Joe Cook and Eric Nahlin will be at Westfield HS in Spring. Here’s who they’ll be looking for.

QUARTERBACK

Two names to know are both sophomores, Roschon Johnson (Port Neches-Groves) and Grant Gunnell (Houston St. Pius X). Johnson is currently the only signal-caller from 2019 with a Texas offer and he’s got the Horns high on his list after his Junior Day visit in late February. Gunnell, at 6-foot-6, is the more prototypical passer and one of the most coveted in his class, but within Herman’s regime, the dual-threat will usually get the nod, thus Roschon being the top target. One to Watch: Greenwood (AR) Connor Noland. The 4-star is committed to Arkansas for football and baseball, and carries a hand cannon on his shoulder.

RUNNING BACK

At a down position in-state for 2018, the best in Spring tomorrow might be Stanley Hackett (Pasadena Rayburn). The former Texas Tech pledge has been garnering interest lately, just not from UT. The Horns are all in on Carthage’s Keaontay Ingram, who will be at the UA camp in Dallas next weekend (as will we). Ones to Watch: Ashaad “Shaadie” Clayton (Warren Easton (LA), Tyreese Jackson (New Iberia LA), and Garland Lafrance (Saint Augustine (LA). Clayton is a freshman to remember. His acceleration and vision are uncanny for his age. Also, name a state that produces more tailback talent than Louisiana in the last decade. No wonder LSU is always loaded with ball-carriers.

WIDE RECEIVER

While RBs are in a down cycle, the state of Texas is producing wide receivers at an obscene rate over the last few years. From Brennan Eagles (Alief Taylor), Jaylen Waddle (Bellaire Episcopal), Al’Vonte Woodard (Houston Lamar), and Jalen Preston (Manvel), Texas is in prime pouncing position for these notable pass-catchers. Add Tommy Bush (Schertz Clemens), Miles Battle (Cypress Creek), and Arjei Henderson (FB Travis, OU commit), and you’ve got some dynamic playmakers that are easy like Sunday morning. One to Watch: Taye Barber (Cypress Springs). The 5-foot-9, 185-pound slot is on the Texas radar and for good reason. Recently visited Junior Day Weekend.

TIGHT ENDS

This is the year. I can feel it. This is the class that’ll land a top notch TE and will break the Blaine Irby curse. The two best in Texas will be at UA to showcase their skills – Mustapha Muhammad (FB Ridge Point) and Malcolm Epps (Spring DeKaney). Both visited UT’s Junior Day Weekend three weeks ago. Both are high 4-stars with untapped potential and the ability to play early, which UT will desperately need. Muhammad has Clemson pushing hard while Epps recently de-committed from Alabama. One to Watch: Cuero’s Bralen Taylor is on UT’s radar. The tall drink of water is hard to miss at 6-foot-6, but add some mass and technique and you might have a player. The Cookie special. Also check out Glenn Beal (John Curtis HS – River Ridge, LA).

Kenyon Green (Joe Cook/IT)

Kenyon Green (Joe Cook/IT)

OFFENSIVE LINE

The smattering of o-line prospects in-state are dispersed throughout Houston, Dallas, and Da Boot for that matter. Guys like Barton Clement (FB Marshall), Kardell Thomas (Southern Lab (LA) – LSU commit), and Kenyon Green (Humble Atascocita – LSU commit) will be on display Sunday. All attended UT’s Junior Day Weekend and all left with a better impression of the future of Texas football under Tom Herman. UT’s Samuel Cosmi played along side Green, who might be a 5-star by his senior year, and hopes to have some influence in his recruitment. One to Watch: Brannon Brown (SA O’Connor). The little, but larger, brother of former All-Big 12 lineman, Baylon at Tech, Brown picked up an early offer from OU and is making the Junior Day rounds. The 2019 prospect is a tackle prospect who will only garner more attention.

DEFENSIVE LINE

One of the top interior defenders in Texas for 2018, Keondre Coburn, won’t have to travel too far for this camp. The Westfield product will be on his home turf fighting for the state’s top DT distinction. Once thought to be a long shot with the Horns, his tune has changed since a “outstanding visit” to Austin in late February. Hopefully, Corby still has some Spring stroke. Marcus Stripling (Mayde Creek) could be the best DE in TX for 2019, Josh Landry (Houston Lamar) is another late bloomer. One to Watch: Victor Idusuyi, the 2020 defensive end from Clear Creek.

LINEBACKERS

Like the running back position, it’s hard to find quality linebackers from the Class of 2018 in Texas. A couple notables are Chad Bailey (FB Ridge Point) and Damone Clark (Southern Lab, LA – LSU commit). One guy that’s recruitment has really exploded is Joseph Ossai (Conroe Oak Ridge). He’s listed at DL, but he’s more of a DE/OLB hybrid tweener with elite pass-rushing skills. He’s also a take and loved his trip to Austin for Junior Day Weekend last month. One to Watch: Juan Henry (Cibolo Steele). Henry recently visited the 40 Acres and is being further evaluated by the Texas staff.

BJ Foster at UT's Junior Day. (Will Gallagher/IT)

BJ Foster at UT’s Junior Day. (Will Gallagher/IT)

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Like the wide receiver position, it’s hard not to find uber-talented corners, nickels, and safeties in state for 2018. It all starts with BJ Foster (Angleton). Potentially the best player in his class, Foster tells me he’ll be there but probably won’t participate as he continues to rehab a knee injury from his sophomore campaign. Texas continues to lead the pack here with out-of-state powers like Ohio State and LSU pushing hard. Anthony Cook (Houston Lamar), D’shawn Jamison (Houston Lamar), Leon O’Neal (Cypress Springs), Jalen Green (Houston Heights, will visit Texas soon), and Trent Gordon (Manvel) will be in attendance eager to shut down some of the camp’s top receivers. Ones to Watch: Starrland Baldwin (Cypress Falls) and Lejond Cavazos (Cibolo Steele) are becoming household names by the day. Baldwin visited UT recently as they further evaluate him and Cavazos is a 2020 safety who dropped an impressive SPARQ at The Opening Regional in Dallas two weeks ago.