It’s one of the best 7-on-7 events in the country with
128 teams competing over the span of three days with two state champions ultimately
crowned at the end of the 2010 7-on-7 State Tournament on the Texas A&M
campus in College Station. While we’ve looked at plenty of the players
competing in the tournament, it’s time to take one final look at a few final
things to know heading into the weekend.
The state tournament is up and running for the 13th year and Texas A&M is once again the host for the event. The tournament is broken up into two separate tournaments with 64 3A, 2A, 1A and private schools comprising the Division II field while 64 5A and 4A schools make up the Division I bracket.
IN IT EVERY YEAR
In terms of consistency no team in the state has been better throughout the history of the 7-on-7 State Tournament than Arlington Lamar. The Vikings have advanced to all 13 state tournaments but have never won the event.
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS
The team in the 2010 field with the most championships is Celina as the Bobcats have won three titles, including the Division II title last summer. Round Rock Stony Point (2009), Richland (2008), Georgetown (2007), Tyler Lee (2004) and Katy Cinco Ranch (2002) are all former champions competing in the year’s tournament (all of those schools are in the Division I tournament).
LONGHORNS NOT AT THE TOP OF THE RECRUITING HEAP
Clearly for Texas fans this weekend will be a good chance to get a look at 2011 Longhorn commits David Ash, Jaxon Shipley and Kendall Thompson in action. Those three are the only Longhorn commits in the field and while Texas is dominating in the national team recruiting rankings, the school with the most recruits in the field this weekend is TCU.
The Horned Frogs have five commits from their 2011 class playing in College Station including a pair of teammates in DeSoto receivers David Porter and Cameron White and Tyler John Tyler receiver David Bush and defensive back Chris Hackett.
Houston is next with four pledges in the field as the contingent of Cougar commits is led by Houston Lamar teammates Brom Kohlhausen and Earl Foster. Oklahoma also has three commits (including ESPNU 150 receiver Trey Metoyer) in the tournament while Missouri (including Tyler Lee defensive back Cortland Browning) and Oklahoma State (including Abilene running back Herschel Sims) have two commits each participating this weekend.
UT FAMILY AFFAIR
Being the younger brother of former Longhorn All-American wide receiver Jordan Shipley gives Brownwood’s Jaxon Shipley a clear family connection to the Texas football program, but he’s not the only prospect in the tournament who is a part of Longhorn lineage.
The Longhorn with the most family connections in this year’s state tournament is current cornerback Aaron Williams. Williams’ younger brothers Josh (a 2012 quarterback) and Daniel (a 2013 linebacker) will take the field for Round Rock McNeil while his cousin Stephen is the primary offensive weapon for defending Division I champion Round Rock Stony Point.
West Orange-Stark 2012 cornerback Justin Thomas is a cousin of former Longhorn All-American safety Earl Thomas while Brownwood 2012 cornerback Kevin Vaccaro is the younger brother of Texas sophomore safety Kenny Vaccaro.
Lake Travis has several connections to the Texas program with 2012 receiver Griffin Gilbert being the younger brother of Texas sophomore quarterback Garrett Gilbert. Their father Gale Gilbert is one of Lake Travis’ 7-on-7 coaches along with former Longhorn quarterback Robert Brewer, whose son Michael led Lake Travis to a third straight state title in 2009 as a junior. The younger Brewer has committed to Texas Tech.
POTENTIAL LONGHORN 2012 TARGETS
One of the best things to get to observe are the underclassmen in the tournament because several of the 2012 and 2013 prospects playing this weekend are very likely to be Longhorn targets in the near future.
On offense one running back to watch is Spring Dekaney’s Trey Williams. He’s undersized (5-8, 175) but he has elite burst and home run speed and if the Longhorns decide to target a second running back next year in addition to Aledo’s Johnathan Gray, Williams might be the next best available back.
Keep a close eye on Dallas Skyline wide receiver Thomas Johnson. Cal, Miami, UCLA, and USC have all verbally offered the 6-foot, 177-pound explosive athlete and he could be one of Texas’ top receiver targets next year along with Austin High’s Cayleb Jones.
Defensively it’s another Skyline prospect in linebacker Peter Jinkens who has already shown up on Texas’ radar after the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder clocked a 4.54 40-yard dash at a recent minicamp. Jinkens is extremely athletic and definitely looks the part of a big-time linebacker prospect.
In the secondary one name talked about for more than a year now is Carthage’s Edward Pope. The dynamic 6-foot-3, 175-pounder is a two way standout as a wiry, yet explosive playmaking split end on offense and a ball-hawking safety on defense.
Another defensive back who figures to be on Texas’ radar is Lewisville Hebron’s Kiante Griffin. The 6-foot, 190-pounder has limited experience as a cornerback but in one tournament this summer he looked like an elite, lockdown cornerback because of his fluidity, instincts and ball skills. Griffin will also play receiver for Hebron.
THE BEST OF 2013
Yes, it’s already that time when the cream of the crop is starting to rise in the class of 2013 and a few of the state’s top prospects will be on hand in College Station this weekend.
Dallas Skyline quarterback DeVante Kincade had an impressive performance at the Fort Worth Elite 11 camp in the spring and the 6-foot, 170-pound sophomore-to-be is expected to be Skyline’s opening night starter behind center.
A trio of running backs should also draw plenty of eyeballs over the next few days as Klein Collins’ Marcus Goodson, Tyler Lee’s LaQuintas Wallace and Lewisville Hebron’s Dezmond Wortham have all established themselves as the headliners is what is looking like a strong running back class for the third straight recruiting cycle.
Round Rock McNeil linebacker Daniel Williams and Dallas Skyline cornerback Will Barrow are two 2013 defensive prospects who have shown flashes this spring and summer of being potentially elite prospects down the line.
2010 STATE TOURNAMENT SUPERLATIVES
Here are just a few key teams and players to keep an eye on this weekend…
Most Talented Team: Dallas Skyline – see the above prospect lists. They are absolutely loaded.
Best Pure 7-on-7 Team: Alamo Heights – they don’t have near the athletes other schools have; they just do what they do better than most.
Biggest Sleeper Team: San Antonio Warren – the first-timers at state have solid athletes across the board, a solid quarterback and a playmaker in 2012 receiver Dennis Parks.
Team Who Could Exit Earlier than Expected: Abilene – Herschel Sims is a 7-on-7 superstar because of his versatility, but their success will depend on how well Ronnell Sims throws the ball.
Best Quarterback: Michael Brewer, Lake Travis – he’s not the best physical specimen in the field, but he knows where to put the football and doesn’t make many mistakes.
Best Running Back: Herschel Sims, Abilene – the dynamic runner can lineup as a receiver and beat coverage against any defensive back.
Best Receiver: Jaxon Shipley, Brownwood – until someone can stop him in this format, he enters every game as the best receiver on the field.
Best Linebacker: P.L. Lindley, Round Rock Stony Point – due to his coverage skills, Lindley gets the nod because he can run with anybody on the field.
Best Cornerback: Tevin Mitchel, Mansfield Legacy – I think Klein Collins’ Charles Jackson is the better prospect, but the frequent man-to-man situations are right up the Nebraska commit’s alley.
Best Safety: Edward Pope, Carthage – going away from the senior prospects, Pope has elite level range and is good for about an INT a game and plenty of drive-killing plays.
Best All-Purpose Player: Stephen Williams, Round Rock Stony Point – why not go with last year’s tournament MVP who can do it all on offense?
THE NEXT MARCUS TRICE
The former Mesquite defensive back earned a scholarship offer from Oklahoma in the summer of 2008 based almost solely on what he did at the state tournament. While we may never see that type of rise in recruiting stock again, here are a few 2011 prospects who could help themselves this weekend…
Xavier Malone, Snyder – he was injured last year but a versatile defender and an all-purpose back on offense he’ll be around the football a lot and can make big things happen on the field.
Jacob Hillyer, Somerset – I really like what Hillyer brings to the table as a potential h-back or big, inside receiver. He’ll be the top target for gunslinger Stevie Dorman.
Milton Roberts, El Paso Chapin – The El Paso area doesn’t get recruited nearly as much as other areas in the state, but the two-way star has made a lot of noise this summer and could shine on the big stage.
PICKING THE WINNERS & SLEEPERS
It’s that time – here are my picks as the winners and teams to watch this weekend…
Division I Winner: DeSoto – the Eagles have a ton of talent, advanced to the final eight last year and with that combination they are the odds-on favorite to take home the crown.
My Top Five Division I Teams: 1. DeSoto; 2. Lake Travis; 3. Round Rock Stony Point; 4. Arlington Bowie; 5. Stephenville
My Top Five Division I Sleepers: 1. San Antonio Warren; 2. West Mesquite; 3. Pearland Dawson; 4. Pflugerville; 5. Dallas Skyline
Division II Winner: Brownwood – in my opinion they have the best 7-on-7 player in the tournament in Jaxon Shipley and a second summer with coach Bob Shipley’s spread offense puts them over the top.
My Top Five Division II Teams: 1. Brownwood; 2. Celina; 3. Cameron Yoe; 4. West Orange-Stark; 5. Carthage
My Top Five Division II Sleepers: 1. Grandview; 2. Abilene Wylie; 3. Anahuac; 4. Sanger; 5. Somerset
IT ALL STARTS TODAY
Pool play in the Division II State Tournament begins on Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Texas A&M’s Penberthy Fields. Bracket play in the Division II tournament begins at 8 a.m. on Friday while the Division I field begins pool play later in the day Friday at 1 p.m.
The tournament semifinals and championships for both
divisions and both brackets are played at Texas A&M’s Kyle Field.
The Inside Texas Recruiting Podcast (7-on-7 State Tournament edition)
2011 Longhorn Commit List w/scouting reports, free video links, much more
FOR MORE IN-DEPTH 7-on-7 PREVIEW COVERAGE, INSIDE TEXAS MEMBERS SEE…
Three Longhorn Commits Looking to Shine at State Tournament
Elite RB Green among 2011 Offensive Stars in State 7-on-7 Field
Talented Secondary Headlines 2011 Defenders at State 7-on-7
Offensive Underclassmen Look to Shine at State Passing Event
Plenty of Young Defensive Playmakers in State 7-on-7 Field
Jeff Howe answers your 7-on-7 questions on the IT Members-only forum