Inside Texas recruiting analyst Jeff Howe gives his scouting reports from his trip this past week on a pair of players Texas is recruiting for the class of 2010, as well as a potential running back target for 2011.
With one of their top offensive weapons out with an injury and with a share of the District 25-5A championship on the line, the Bowie Bulldogs needed an offensive playmaker to step up against Pflugerville.
DeAndre Perry answered the call in a big way.
The junior receiver emerged as the Bulldogs go-to receiver down the stretch and came up with some big plays, including a critical catch on a 4th-and-10 as the Bulldogs rallied from a two touchdown deficit to top Pflugerville in stunning fashion, 30-29 at Burger Stadium in Austin on Thursday night.
“We fought hard,” Perry said. “It was a great job by my teammates that kept us in (the game) and we made a couple of big plays to keep us in the game.”
Arguably the biggest play of the night was made by Perry, one of the state’s top junior receiver prospects and a Texas target for the class of 2010. Bowie rallied to cut the Pflugerville lead to six points with less than a minute remaining and faced a fourth down near midfield. Bowie quarterback Matt Dodds fired the ball Perry’s way on slant route and the 6-3, 215 pound receiver made a leaping catch in a crowd of defenders for a first down to keep the drive alive.
Three plays later, Dodds tossed the winning touchdown to Alex Rocha with just 18 seconds left in regulation.
“I was catching cramps and I was just trying to fight through it,” Perry said. “I just wanted to help my team out so we could come out with the victory.”
Perry finished the game with a solid night hauling in six passes for 42 while also finishing with 26 yards rushing on three carries. The Bulldog coaching staff took Perry away from his split end position and played him in the slot more against the Panthers with their top all-purpose back, senior Philander Moore, out of action with a collarbone injury. Coach Jeff Ables and his staff tried a variety of ways to get the ball in Perry’s hands, sending him on out patterns and hitches well as giving him the ball on jet sweeps.
The closest comparison to Perry, from a collegiate standpoint, would be Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd. Like Floyd, Perry is a big bodied, sure handed possession receiver. He has a body that looks ready for college football, which is rare to see in a prep receiver. He is thick and his muscle definition is impressive. His size and strength allow him to make tough catches in traffic as well as absorb blows on short passes.
His hands are huge, and he made good use of them against Pflugerville. He did not record a drop and the only incomplete passes thrown his way were on passes that were either too high or too long (he had two would be touchdowns on fly patterns that were negated because of overthrown balls).
Perry’s route running is raw to say the least. He ran vanilla routes (slants, streaks and hitches) all night. His speed will not win him many foot races (his self-reported 4.7 is pretty accurate), but his acceleration is solid.
Perry was not the only Texas target on the field on Thursday however.
Pflugerville 2010 defensive tackle prospect Tyrus Thompson did an outstanding job in the trenches for the Panthers last season, but this season he has moved over to the offensive side of the ball which made his performance tough to evaluate.
The 6-5, 285 pound Thompson is a mountain of a man and just like his teammate, 2009 Texas commit Alex Okafor, looks like he still can still fill out his limbs. Thompson is also as lean as a person at 285 pounds can look.
He did show the same impressive footwork as an offensive tackle that he showed on the defensive line last season, moving just as well laterally as he does straight ahead. He shows good hip flexibility and keeps his pad level low when he fires off of the football.
His one-on-one blocking left something to be desired as he did not always latch on to his man and get his feet underneath him, but when he was in position to finish blocks he did. He has a bit of nasty streak and did not shy away from sprinting into the second and third level to look for contact.
Pflugerville is also home to a possible 2011 Texas target, sophomore running back Sammy Flowers.
Flowers showed off his blazing speed when he took a kickoff return 100 yards for a touchdown and did so without being touched by the Bowie kick coverage team. He found a crease and in the blink of an eye was gone. He almost took a second kickoff back for a touchdown, an 82-yard return in which he started to his right, looked to be gang tackled, then spun to his left and jetted down the sideline before he was knocked out of bounds deep in Bowie territory.
His body type is very similar to Vondrell McGee. Flowers right now is listed by the Pflugerville coaching staff at 6-0, 185-pounds and is solidly built. He was a non factor in the running game as the Bowie defense keyed on him when he was in the game, but Flowers has put together a solid sophomore campaign in a crowded Pflugerville backfield with four rushing touchdowns, good enough for second on the team through nine games.