Many times when a small school wins a state championship in football it can be the culmination of a very talented class that comes through a program once in a generation. At Daingerfield, where Texas commit Chris Jones hails from, it could just be the beginning. IT sat down with Daingerfield coach Barry Bowman to talk about his talented 2011 prospects, three of which have already visited Texas.
Despite losing some key pieces from a team that won the Class 2A, Division II state title in 2008, head coach Barry Bowman returns a talented squad that looks like it will be a serious threat to repeat. Led by 2010 Texas commit Chris Jones the Tigers’ talent pool runs deep but the best is yet to come from Daingerfield’s 2011 class. “That class, from top to bottom is extremely talented,” said Bowman. “We’ve got, potentially, four or five Division I players. They have to go out and play and prove that and some are on their way because of the year we had.”
There several talented prospects in the class but the headliner might be receiver Keyarris Garrett. A legit 6-foot-4, 185-pounder, Garrett is already starting to receive attention from schools across the country due to his combination of size and speed.
“He catches the ball every bit as good as Jones,” said Bowman. “He doesn’t have the quickness that Jones has but he has top end speed. He doesn’t get there as fast but when he gets going he just eats up ground and I expect a tremendous year from him.”
For Garrett and Jones to succeed there has to be a quarterback capable of getting them the ball and the Tigers have the luxury of returning one of the state’s top signal callers in Class 2A in junior Tyler Boyd.
Boyd was the man pulling the trigger as a 15-year-old sophomore for the Tigers finishing the state title campaign with more than 2,400 yards and 25 touchdowns through the air and another 828 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground.
Bowman said that numbers aside, the thing that separates Boyd, who at 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds figures to play another position in college, from other quarterbacks is the poise that he showed in helping lead his team to a state title.
“To be 15 years old, he can’t even drive yet, and to go throw 25 touchdown passes and six picks, only one in the playoffs and completing over 55 percent of his passes… he’s a special kid,” Bowman said. “He can play (defensive back), he can play quarterback, whatever he plays he’ll find a way to beat you and he’s not going to quit until he does.” One of the leaders of the Daingerfield defense in 2009 will be Boyd’s cousin, linebacker Steve Edmond.
Edmond saw limited action during the regular season as a sophomore backing up all-everything linebacker Carl Moore, but Bowman and his staff felt the need to get Edmond onto the field so they stuck him at defensive end. The results were immediate as the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Edmond recorded 58 tackles and 13 tackles for loss in six playoff games.
Bowman said that he will put Edmond, who along with Garrett and Boyd have all visited Texas this spring, back at linebacker but being a disruptive force off the edge is where he sees Edmond playing at in college.
“In the playoffs we put his hand on the ground and played him at defensive end,” said Bowman. “He’s got the size and he runs well. The sky is the limit for him.”
Bowman is also excited about 6-foot-4, 250-pound junior offensive lineman Shayvion Hatten’s future. “He didn’t play a whole lot during the regular season, but when we got to the playoffs he played 50 percent of the time,” said Bowman. “He showed up at 220 last year as a 15-year-old sophomore and he’s 250 now and he really doesn’t understand what lies in front of him.”
Cornerback David Mims has the bloodlines — his father of the same name played at Baylor and in the NFL — to be a success and Bowman likes what Mims brings to the table in terms of speed and ability.
“He’s probably the fastest kid, other than Jones,” said Bowman. “He’s got the bloodlines. He’s got really good feet and he’s a lockdown corner type kid.” Add lineman Donald Bryant, running back LaMarce Lafayette and defensive back Aaron Lewis to the list of potential college prospects and it is easy to see why expectations are sky high in Daingerfield to repeat as state champions.
“We know that we’re talented, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out,” said Bowman. “But at the same time the game of football is so important around here that they love playing and they compete with each other.”