FootballFootball Recruiting

IT Top 100 for 2017: 51-100

Max Cummins. (courtesy of FW All Saints Athletics)
Max Cummins. (courtesy of FW All Saints Athletics)

Try premium access at Inside Texas FREE through National Signing Day and discounted into the 2017 UT Football season TODAY!!

I’m not the biggest fan of ranking players, especially when it’s non-specific to position. Ranking a guard, next to a corner, next to a linebacker is silly, but they’re fun to discuss and also serve the function of getting an idea of what each player brings to the table. You can also get a macro perspective of which schools have recruited well and which ones haven’t.

As always, I do take into account where a player is expected to sign. Fit is important to the point it would be foolish to discount it. Also, if a prospect is going to play what I consider to be out of position, that affects the ranking too.

It’s all just one person’s opinion — and regardless of what anyone tells you — there are no experts in this line of work; just people with strong opinions to varying degrees of value.

51. DB Myles Jones, Magnolia West, 6-foot-4, 185 – TEXAS A&M: Big corner who moves well for his size, but there aren’t a lot of CB’s his size because of the importance of change-of-direction. That said, he has the quick feet and fluidity of a corner so you can’t rule him out there long term. If he moves to safety that opens up a whole new set of questions.

52. OT Carson Green, Southlake Carroll, 6-foot-5, 285 – TEXAS A&M: The Aggies raised a lot of eyebrows when they offered Green so early, but there’s no reason for alarm. Green has a lot of tools and obviously great size. He’s athletic in his kick-step and getting out on the move while keeping his shoulders square. He bends effortlessly to fight for leverage. Should be able to stick at LT with some development.

53. RB Kennedy Brooks, Mansfield, 6-foot, 200 – OKLAHOMA: Volume back with a lot of subtle nuance. Good vision/feel, follows his blockers, patient, and good top-end speed. Good cutback runner.

54. OL Grant Polley, 6-foot-4, 275, Denton (Denton, TX) – COLORADO: Tackle type of athlete but may be relegated to guard because of length. If he plays inside he’ll be a valuable puller. I can see him being someone with the ability to play all five positions before settling in at one.

55. CB Terry Petry, Ridge Point, 5-foot-11, 180 – MISSOURI: Kept a real low profile throughout the process but I’ve always been high on him. Has ‘field corner’ upside which means he’s quick, and can turn and run. He also has offensive ability when the ball is in the air.

56. WR RJ Sneed, Cy Ranch, 6-foot-2, 185 – BAYLOR: Was in a high school offense that didn’t throw nearly as much as other schools but has the tools required to become a complete receiver. I don’t see him being defined by any one route, they’ll use him in myriad ways. Good size and burst.

57. WR Gavin Holmes, Justin Northwest, 5-foot-11, 180 – BAYLOR: Explosive homerun hitter who can play inside or out. He’s also the type you want to involve on sweeps if it’s in the playbook. Possible kick and punt returner as well. If he gets good blocking, he won’t be fun in the screen game either.

58. OL Rashawn Slater, Clements, 6-foot-4.5, 280 – NORTHWESTERN: He really flew under the radar but I love his energy and athleticism. Seems to be well coordinated. His own Hudl lists him as a guard, but he’s a tackle if he has the length. I like how he gets out of his stance and on the move in space. He’ll be a good outside zone blocker or puller. Northwestern quietly had a nice year in Texas.

59. DE Max Cummins, FW All Saints, 6-foot-6, 240 – TEXAS: High ceiling player. Very good athlete with terrific size. He’ll fill out to as much as he needs to with ease. Only played one year of defense. It’s easy to project him to 4i and on out. Cummins blew up late and Texas was able to hold off other regional schools.

Xavier Newman. (Courtesy of Nike)
Xavier Newman. (Courtesy of Nike)

60. OL Xavier Newman, Desoto, 6-foot-2.5, 275 – BAYLOR: Really good athlete, especially for guard or center. Seems to have good power in his hips as I’ve seen him handle some big defensive linemen with ease in a camp setting. Can really fire out low in run blocking. Pass protection should become a strength. Needs to get bigger.

61. QB Jason Shelley, Frisco Lone Star, 6-foot, 180 – UTAH: He’s a pocket-dual. He’d prefer to pick you apart but will take off when game situation allows or demands it. Good arm to the outside. Great touch on deep throws. Has the ability to throw players open. Utah has won a lot of games with guys like him in years past.

62. DT Josh Rogers, Houston Christian, 6-foot-5, 280: Raw clay but very intriguing size and movement kills. Giant guy with giant hands that should help him guide blockers. He played horrendous competition in high school which leads to a lot of questions, but his baseline strengths will translate as long has he puts in the work and loves the game. Could be a steal. Surprised Texas didn’t pursue. His upside is much greater than this ranking, but the questions marks remain.

63. LB Devodrick Johnson, Kimball, 6-foot-1, 210 – TEXAS A&M: Really good athlete for the position — he has great coordination and runs very well, as evidenced by his tape showing offensive ability. Linebacker is a very tough position to evaluate because of the mental capacity and instincts to play the position, and those will be Johnson’s questions. He should redshirt and with good coaching he has a chance to be a very active linebacker with real upside in space.

64. WR Tariq Woolen, Arlington Heights, 6-foot-5, 205 – UTSA: Just a very rare combination of size and burst, perhaps the best in the entire state. I’ve heard he doesn’t have natural hands but he should positively light up UTSA’s competition.

65. OL Will Farrar, Travis, 6-foot-4, 290 – TEXAS TECH: Farrar was one of the early names on the 2017 radar and he’s remained a very fine player. If he was taller he’d have a chance at tackle to give you an idea of how he moves. I think he’s going to become a very fine guard. Nice haul for Tech with Farrar, Jack Anderson, and Dawson Deaton, a player who just missed making the Top 100.

66. OT Stephan Zabie, Austin Westlake, 6-foot-5, 290: About as raw as you’ll find an upper-echelon project but that could excite coaches. At least he’ll arrive with few bad habits. A natural athlete with great size, Zabie has a very high ceiling. His success will depend on how much he applies himself.

67. WR Laviska Shenault, Desoto, 6-foot-1, 200 – COLORADO: Love this guy as a pure football player. I know that sounds like John Gruden ridiculousness, but that’s Viska’s game. He reminds of Anquan Boldin in that he’s not a blazer, but he’s extremely strong with the ball in his hands. I don’t see him killing man coverage on the outside, but I think he can raise hell versus zone. He’s like a running back with the ball in his hands.

68. ATH Chris Miller, Denton, 5-foot-11, 175 – COLORADO: Very explosive athlete who could feature on either side of the ball. He’d be a slot receiver on offense but a potential island corner on defense because of his make-up speed and quickness.

69. WR Kenedy Snell, Waxahachie, 5-foot-8, 170 – TCU: When I talk about fit, this is a prime example. Snell was born to take advantage of the space created by the Air Raid. Very explosive guy who will be tough to match-up and defend, not unlike Jakeem Grant or Kavontae Turpin.

70. OL Derek Kerstetter, San Antonio Reagan, 6-foot-4, 290 – TEXAS: Tons of value as a very versatile, and intelligent player. He does a great job to fight and keep his body in front of more talented or stronger defenders, which suggests a bright future at center. Good base, good feet. Would have a chance to be a right tackle with more length.

71. TE Major Tennison, Bullard, 6-foot-6, 245 – ALABAMA: He’ll be as good as he wants to be and has the best receiving upside at tight end in the state. He runs very well for his size.

72. DE Ryder Anderson, 6-foot-6, 230 – OLE MISS: Senior film matters. I did not care for his junior film all that much, but he’s moving so much better than he did previously. That’s not a surprise as it’s often the case with taller players. They’re on a longer development curve than most. Anderson could become a very good defensive end as he continues to become stronger and more comfortable in his body. This year’s film suggests someone who is improving rapidly.

73. WR Waydale Jones, Beeville, 6-foot-4, 190 – WAKE FOREST: Great catch radius and he uses it by extending and catching away from his body. Great stride and good burst. It’ll be interesting to see how his career evolves. Tons of upside.

74. DT Deionte Watts, Plano East, 6-foot-3, 300 – NEBRASKA: Probably a nose/1-tech, he can play low and I like his lateral agility. He seems to have reshaped his body some. I just assume of all of Mike Riley’s players will maximize so Watts is going to a good place.

75. CB Devin Morris, Caldwell, 6-foot-2, 175 – TEXAS A&M: Good length, fluidity, and ball skills. Morris appears to have great coordination and flexibility. His feet need a lot of cleaning up but they’ll get him right. Some real upside here.

76. S Thabo Mwaniki, Denton Guyer, 5-foot-11, 180 – OKLAHOMA STATE: As a guided missile he’s my favorite type of player — a safety who runs downhill at 100 MPH. He reminds of Jordan Sterns quite a bit. Ok. St. has done great with players like Mwaniki, even before Sterns. I suspect we’ll be hearing more from him over the years.

77. OT Alan Ali, Timber Creek, 6-foot-5, 270 – SMU: Another early name on the OL radar, Ali committed very early to SMU and has stuck with it. I can only assume he’s had many other suitors. He’ll definitely be a tackle. Fires out quickly on seal blocks, and aggressively on drive blocks. Seems to do a good job of bringing his feet with him and not just lunging. This allows you to lock on and push guys out of the screen. Total steal for SMU.

78. WR Trestan Ebner, Henderson, 6-foot, 190 – BAYLOR: Honestly I’d probably have him higher had he stuck with TCU to play safety but props to a great kid for finding the fit he wanted. He’ll be a slot in all likelihood. Good ability in the open field and also quick in close quarters.

79. DE Ondario Robinson, Hutto, 6-foot-4, 245 – TEXAS A&M: My biggest problem with Robinson is defensive fit. He’s not really a ‘bend the corner’ defensive end like the Aggies prefer. He should be good versus the run, however, and I do think he has a good bit of quickness to him. The last thing he probably wants to hear is he might be a great 3-tech, but I can’t rule that out if he can carry the weight.

80. CB Noah Daniels, Clear Creek, 6-foot, 195 – TCU: This one is pretty simple, he has great size and runs extremely well. If you’re a believer in TCU’s ability to develop defensive backs you should be high on this take. Offensive tape displays very solid fluidity.

81. DE David Anenih, Mansfield Timberview, 6-foot-3, 220 – OKLAHOMA STATE: Love this guy. Here’s an end who can bend, dip, and get to the quarterback. His ability to get underneath offensive tackles is going to cause a lot of frustration. If was just a tad bit more explosive he’d probably be known to all. There aren’t a lot of d-ends who can run the arc in this class. I probably have him too low, to be honest.

82. OT Henry Klinge, Southlake Carroll, 6-foot-5, 295 – BAYLOR: Upside, upside, upside. Klinge was set to become a household name but missed his junior season. He bounced back very well this year. Already with great size, Klinge moves well. He’ll need to loosen up his hips a bit, but I think he’ll stick at tackle. His ability to regroup and root-out shorter defenders suggests he could be a guard as well. Baylor with the steal.

83. CB Timarcus Davis, College Station, 5-foot-11, 170 – BAYLOR: One of the most explosive athletes in the entire state, Davis’ senior year was robbed due to injury. He had very entertaining junior year film where his athleticism leaped off the screen. He also showed the willingness to hit and tackle.

Camron Horry. (Nike)
Camron Horry. (Nike)

84. TE Camron Horry, Katy Taylor, 6-foot-5, 260 – TEXAS A&M: I see his upside on either the offensive or defensive line, rather than tight end. If he adds weight, that future would likely be on the o-line, rather than d-line because of fit. If he remains at TE, he should become a very good blocker with the ability to exploit free releases in the flat but he doesn’t project to a seam stretcher.

85. WR Octavius Evans, Center, 6-foot-2, 195 – BOISE STATE: Very good all-around prospect. Kind of reminds me of John Harris with his build and ability after the catch. Evans does a great job of attacking the ball in the air. There’s a coordination to him that’s evident in everything he does. I’m a fan.

86. ATH Lamarcus Morton, Gilmer, 6-foot, 175 – OKLAHOMA STATE: Everything about Morton reminds me of a corner, though he was a very productive receiver for Gilmer. I’m thinking there’s enough Justin Gilbert here to where his upside is on the defensive side of the ball. Great build for corner.

87. DT Damion Daniels, Bishop Dunne, 6-foot-1, 315: He’ll be a run plugger with the ability to anchor and move laterally down the line. I don’t project him to being a force in the back-field, but he does have some nice quickness.

88. WR Beau Corrales, 6-foot-3.5, 205 – NORTH CAROLINA: Great size and a natural, if not overly explosive, athlete. Corrales uses his size well and has great coordination and body control. At worst, he should become a reliable chain mover but his size and ability to attack the ball should make him an interesting down-field target.

89. WR Camron Buckley, Cedar Hill, 6-foot-1, 185 – TEXAS A&M: Buckley’s a slick, underneath target with enough speed to exploit space or slip through cracks. He can create space through quickness even when pressed. Reliable hands.

90. DL Sam Miller, Stratford, 6-foot-3, 260 – NORTHWESTERN: Miller moves very well for his size and depending on where his body goes he can become a very interesting guy for Pat Fitzgerald. As of now he’d be a SDE better suited to playing the run and shooting gaps to get pressure on the passer, rather than running the arc, but I’m intrigued by what happens if he gets to 275-285. He could become a guy who slides inside on passing downs. He uses his hands well and also shows a swim move.

91. WR Roshauud Paul, Bremond, 6-foot, 170 – TEXAS A&M: Aggies are hoping the high school legend can become an approximation of another high school legend, Bralon Addison. While the comparison is fairly apt, I don’t see Paul with the same type of explosiveness. Still, he’s a winner, and intelligent player who can be trouble in space.

92. OL Brendan Jameis, Lake Travis, 6-foot-5, 260 – NEBRASKA: Jamies needs to get bigger and is a bit stiff, but he’s pretty quick and shows good ability as a run blocker on the perimeter.

93. OL Dennis Bardwell, Huffman Hargrave, 6-foot-5.5, 280 – HOUSTON: Bardwell looks like a future World’s Strongest Man competitor, but moves a lot better. I’ll be interested to see if he plays tackle or guard. I’d think guard at this point. Bardwell plays with good strength and impressed the previous Texas staff at camp.

94. RB Trelon Smith, Cy Ridge, 5-foot-8, 180 – ARIZONA STATE: An APB, pin-ball type with homerun speed. Guys like Smith need their touches in space where they can do the most damage. Good burst and long-speed.

95. OG Coy McMillon, Abilene, 6-foot-4, 270 – TCU: Looks a lot like his older brother but with better length. McMillon has very active feet that help him gain leverage in blocking and get out in space to locate defenders. He’ll need to add significant weight but his brother did so with ease. I see him as a guard long-term, yet another similarity to Jake.

96. TE Keynel McZeal, Port-Neches Groves, 6-foot-3, 230 – TEXAS A&M: Tons of athletic upside but questions over hands and how he’ll be used in the offense remain. I wonder if he doesn’t end up rushing the passer. He’s athletic enough to do so for sure.

97. RB Daniel Young, Westfield, 6-foot, 210 – TEXAS: Good downhill runner for a gap-scheme. Runs behind his pads and with good leg drive. Good quickness to the hole, and good feet, though he doesn’t have breakaway speed. If he gets the corner on the outside, he’ll be a load for defensive backs. If you start to see him do that with regularity, I missed this eval by 60 spots. Will carry more weight with ease but they don’t want him to get too big and lose quickness because he already has the power trait.

98. DT Corey Bethley, Katy, 6-foot-1, 290 – TCU: Lacks length but is fluid in his hips and has a little bounce to him. Not overly quick, or powerful, but there’s definitely some ability to work with.

99. DL/OL James Lynch, Round Rock, 6-foot-4, 285 – BAYLOR: I see him very similar to McMillon in that his upside is at guard.

100. QB Xavier Martin, Cibolo Steele, 6-foot, 180 -TEXAS TECH: Dual threat quarterback with a ton of wins under his belt. He’s a ‘slot’ level athlete with good quickness and balance as a runner. Martin has thrown well when I’ve seen him at camps, with good rotation on the ball.