COLLEGE STATION, Tex. — The busiest day of the 2010 7-on-7 State Tournament gave
everyone watching the action at Texas A&M’s Penberthy Fields plenty to talk
about with 127 teams taking the field in College Station. Texas commit Jaxon
Shipley and Brownwood won the Division II championship while the Division I
tournament got started with Longhorn commit David Ash flinging the ball all
over the field for Belton. It all made for big day during the biggest 7-on-7 day of the year in Texas.
It was only fitting that Jaxon Shipley finished off his showing at the state tournament with a title as Brownwood edged Cameron Yoe, 34-32, at Kyle Field to win the Division II tournament championship. The Lions knocked off a talented Gilmer team (45-26), Wimberley and 2012 Texas A&M commit Dennis Smith (41-32), squeaked by Somerset (39-36), and avenged last year’s tournament loss to Celina with a 39-27 victory before knocking off Yoe with Shipley leading the way.
Before the Brownwood-Yoe battle which ended with a Brownwood touchdown on the final play of the game, Graham defeated Burnet to win the consolation championship, 36-29.
While the small schools were battling things out the Division I (5A/4A) tournament got started on Friday afternoon.
David Ash guided his Belton team to a 2-1 record in pool play, which included a thrilling win over Lufkin to move the Tigers into the championship bracket on Saturday.
While Ash was the only Longhorn commit playing in the Division I field, there was still plenty going on throughout the day on Friday.
HOW THE LONGHORN COMMITS FARED
The best Longhorn commit by a long shot has been Jaxon Shipley, who coincidentally was the most dominating presence on the field in the Division II tournament.
Shipley and Brownwood started the day facing off with a talented Gilmer team, but even the Buckeyes’ talented cornerback duo of Trey Webb (2012) and Tray Washington (2013) were unable to stop Shipley. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder was physical at the line, again showed his willingness to high-point the ball in traffic and consistently got deep in what turned out to be a rout for Brownwood.
In winning the tournament, the Lions not only knocked off defending champion Celina en route to not dropping a game going a perfect 9-0 during the two day event. Last year Brownwood was in the developmental stages of learning then-new head coach Bob Shipley’s offense and Jaxon Shipley said the second year in the system is a big reason why the Lions were clicking all weekend.
“Everybody’s very comfortable with the offense now,” Shipley said. “We just run our normal stuff out here and getting to work on timing and things like that is really going to prepare us for the season.”
Despite a strong defensive effort led by Longhorn linebacker commit Kendall Thompson, Carthage bowed out in the round of 16 with a 20-18 loss to Lovejoy. Thompson continued his strong effort from Thursday as the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder looked fast and fluid in coverage.
Even though the Bulldogs fell short of their goal of winning the tournament, with Thompson looking forward to a potential matchup against Shipley and Brownwood, Thompson said the experience was positive because of the way the Bulldogs played defense from start to finish.
“We don’t do anything different during real games,” Thompson said. “We just come out and go hard every play and keep playing hard every play.”
David Ash paced Belton to wins over Lufkin and PSJA Memorial, but the Tigers were unable to get past a talented DeSoto squ ad, falling 42-20. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Ash continued his strong summer showing on Friday with his touch, velocity and ability to step into throws and let it rip on the long ball all looking impressive.
The only downside to Ash’s day were a few interceptions where he tried to drive the ball into tight windows around the goal line, but the four-star signal caller is pretty satisfied that Belton still has a chance to win a state title.
“(DeSoto has) some receivers that can really go – they’re a really good team,” Ash said. “But we can’t worry about that. We’re moving onto tomorrow and its single elimination, so we have to come out ready to play.”
Belton faces Plano at 9 a.m. Saturday.
JACKSON, JENKINS SHINE AT CORNERBACK
Two prospects who very well could have been Texas commits during the tournament but are still on the market are Klein Collins cornerback Charles Jackson and Lewisville Hebron cornerback David Jenkins.
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Jackson has greatly improved his backpedal this spring and his fluid motion really showed on Friday. Jackson’s long arms and quick feet allow him to cover a lot of ground and he had a lot of success as a safety in zone coverage, which also shows he’s becoming more of scheme-versatile cornerback.
Jackson said he understands that a potential offer from the Longhorns might not be there, but he said there is no animosity toward the Texas staff.
“It’s cool,” Jackson said. “Obviously they picked Josh Turner over me, so I wish them good luck and good luck to him.”
Jackson said he plans on committing on his birthday, which is Aug. 16.
Jenkins also put himself in the discussion of being one of the state’s top defensive backs with his play on Friday. The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder showed very fluid and quick hips, quick feet and the rare ability in young cornerbacks to be able to open up his shoulder, flip his hips and run with receivers down the field.
After camping at Texas and getting what was reported to be a verbal offer, Jenkins said the offer from Texas is still apparently on the table.
“They verbally offered me, but just recently my coach called me into the office,” Jenkins said. “He said that Texas was sending an offer and they did.”
Jenkins said that as far as he knows, based on his communication with the Texas staff, he has a written offer that is committable. Jenkins is camping at LSU on July 17-18 and even though the Longhorns appear to be in the picture, it’s looking like the Louisiana native might be heading back home with the Tigers looking like the favorite.
Jenkins said he’s planning on announcing his decision before the end of the month.
SOME BIG-TIME NO SHOWS
While there were plenty of standout 2011, 2012 and 2013 recruits showing of their talents on Friday, there were a few well-known prospects who did not make the trip to College Station.
The biggest name not in attendance was San Antonio Madison running back Aaron Green. The 5-foot-11, 186-pound four-star running back is still nursing an ankle injury that he suffered late in the spring. Cal, Florida State, Nebraska and Texas are the top four schools in the running for Green’s commitment.
Dallas Skyline, arguably the most talented team in the field, did not show up. That means Under Armour All-America linebacker Anthony Wallace; 2012 standouts Thomas Johnson, Tray Rabon and Peter Jinkins; and 2013 blue chippers DeVante Kincade and Will Barrow all stayed home. Due to the late pullout, Skyline will be ineligible to qualify for the 2011 State Tournament.
Also not in attendance at the tournament were Missouri commit Cortland Browning (CB, Tyler Lee), Utah commit Eric Rowe (CB, Klein) and 2012 Spring Dekaney running back Trey Williams.
2012 PROSPECTS PUT ON A SHOW
There were several 2012 prospects who had very good days, but here are five who really stood out to me…
Kiante Griffin, CB/WR, Lewisville Hebron – this guy continues to be one of the most impressive prospects I’ve seen this summer. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder made several big catches and showed he can explode out of a cut and get up the field, and he once again looked fluid and physical playing cornerback. There’s no doubt in my mind he’s got a top-five skill set as a prospect.
Brent Spikes, RB/S, Newton – going back to the small school ranks, I really like Spikes because he’s a quick twitch athlete with plenty of explosion. The 6-foot, 180-pounder has been clocked in the sub 4.4 range in the 40 and he won the fastest man contest at Texas’ June 13 minicamp.
Jeremiah Tshimanga, OLB, Richland – without a doubt he’s the best looking kid I’ve seen on the hoof all weekend. He’s 6-foot-3, 215-pounds and while the 7-on-7 format doesn’t really fit his skill set, he could be a guy who starts to rise quickly because of everything he brings to the table. A native of The Congo, Tshimanga is actually a cousin of Texas freshman defensive end Reggie Wilson.
Aiavion Edwards, S, Stephenville – needing someone to step up and cover Oklahoma commit Trey Metoyer in their game against Whitehouse, Edwards stepped up to the plate and didn’t back down, showing some decent cover skills in the process. The 6-foot, 200-pounder has started at Stephenville since his freshman year.
Devin Rushing, RB/ATH, DeSoto – the fact that Rushing can stand out among the bevy of playmakers in the Eagle offensive attack says a lot. The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder is a speed back with good quickness and looks like he might be able to get the job as DeSoto’s answer to replace the departed Marcus Murphy. THE BEST OF THE 2011 CLASS
There were plenty of elite 2011 prospects in the field on Friday and while there were several impressive showings, here are five guys who grabbed my attention…
Trey Metoyer, WR, Whitehouse – despite Jaxon Shipley’s all-world effort this weekend, I think it’s still a good call to put Metoyer at the top of the wide receiver list in the state in 2011. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Oklahoma commit has really developed his feet and route running over the past year and with the added speed and quickness, it makes his body control and incredible ball skills shine even more.
Brandon Durant, S, Copperas Cove – another kid who looks great getting off of the bus, the 6-foot, 190-pounder has a very unique skill set. He’s got the body of a linebacker but he has the range and playmaking ability of a safety. The UTEP commit is an ideal fit as an outside safety in a 4-2-5.
Daniel Spencer, WR/S, Grandview – the Houston commit made his presence felt in the Division II bracket with his playmaking ability. The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder made big catches on offense and used his ability to track the football and his ball skills to finish plays on defense.
Storm Woods, RB, Pflugerville – looking at Woods’ 6-foot, 200-pound frame, you wouldn’t think he would catch the ball and move as well as he does. Woods looks like an H-back running routes and with his athletic ability and bruising running style, Oregon State may very well be getting a steal.
Trevone Boykin, QB, West Mesquite – he’s really one of those guys that if he were 6-3 instead of right around 6-0 he would have gotten many more offers. Nonetheless the TCU commit has a running back body and throws a nice ball with a lot of pop and picks his spots very well. CLASS OF 2013 – ANOTHER YEAR OF THE RUNNING BACK
You can often spot good, young prospects at the state tournament, and the good news is that all three of the state’s potential elite running backs in the 2013 class look the part and made some big plays on Friday.
Lewisville Hebron’s Dezmond Wortham is the most versatile of the impressive trio as the 5-foot-11, 185-pounder catches the ball well out the backfield and prides himself on his knowledge of the spread and his ability as a blocker.
The back who looks like the best true tailback of the group is Tyler Lee’s LaQuintas Wallace. The 5-foot-10, 188-pounder is a thick-cut back who said he loves getting behind his pads and moving the chains.
Perhaps the most elite of the three is Klein Collins’ Marcus Goodson. The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder has the same body type and appears to have the same type of quickness and speed to match his older brother – former Texas A&M and current Carolina Panthers running back Mike Goodson.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN ON THE SCENE
Texas A&M, attempting to take advantage of a big weekend in College Station, had a lineman camp Friday in addition to a one-day camp on Sunday. The lineman camp drew some of the state’s best in the class of 2012 and a few of them wandered over to the 7-on-7 fields.
Edna’s Mac Long watched the first half of his team’s game against Wellington before leaving for the camp. The 6-foot-4, 275-pounder already has verbal offers from Houston and Texas Tech.
Germain Ifedi, a 6-foot-5, 305-pound offensive guard prospect from Houston Westside also made his way to the fields checking out some Division I action in the afternoon, as did Houston Westbury offensive lineman Christian Okafor. PLAY RESUMES ON SATURDAY – THE LAST DAY
The state tournament wraps up with the conclusion of the Division I tournament. The consolation bracket begins play at 8 a.m. while the championship bracket begins at 9 a.m.