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Shipley Dominates Division II Field

Texas commits Jaxon Shipley of Brownwood and Kendall Thompson of Carthage were as good as advertised, but what else went on during the 2010 Texas 7-on-7 Division II State Tournament?

We wrap things up from the small school tournament with one final evaluation of the two Longhorn commits, a list of the top five 2011 and 2012 prospects, and our own All-Tournament in one final look at the 2010 7-on-7 Division II tournament.
The dominance Jaxon Shipley showed at last weekend’s Texas 7-on-7 State Tournament was worthy of very high praise. But, Shipley will have to settle for being our pick as the MVP of the Division II tournament, which Brownwood won by beating Cameron Yoe in the title game.

Shipley and Carthage linebacker Kendall Thompson were two of the best-looking prospects on the field in the small school tournament (Class 3A and below) and both looked the part of Texas-caliber prospects to say the least. Beyond the two Texas commits there were plenty of talented players on the field, and a few of them found their way onto our All-Tournament team.

The All-Tournament team is just part of this final look at the 2010 Division II 7-on-7 State Tournament.

EVALUATING THE LONGHORN COMMITS

Jaxon Shipley, WR, Brownwood

There’s really not much to say about Shipley’s performance that hasn’t already been said. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder basically did whatever he wanted on the field throughout Brownwood’s run to the championship.

You can tell that he’s bulked up and the added muscle mass has helped his speed and explosion. He’s much more of a stick-a-foot-in-the-ground-and-go guy than he was at this point last year. He’s always had quick feet but he’s getting in and out of his breaks sharper and quicker now.

His route running was sharp as always. I really love that Shipley does a great job of selling the double move and really knows to bait defenders into biting on his initial move.

It also can’t be understated how well he attacks the football when it’s in the air. He plays like a guy who’s 6-4 because he’s got the mentality that when the ball is in the air he’s going to be the guy coming down with it.

The only reason why I like Whitehouse’s Trey Metoyer better as a prospect at this point is because Metoyer’s size he gives you more of an option as a red zone target and he can be more physical because of his size. At any rate, anyone who doesn’t think Shipley is the same league with Metoyer is nuts.

My Grade for Shipley: A+

Kendall Thompson, LB, Carthage

The first thing I noticed about Thompson is how great he looks from a physical standpoint. He’s every bit of 6-foot-3, 225 pounds and he looks leaner and much different than the way he looked at this event last summer.

His weight loss has helped his range a lot. His feet are quicker and he showed better burst to the football. His closing speed has gone from an average tool to a tool that is starting to become more prevalent in his game.

Thompson has always had quick feet and really soft hands and now that his body looks to be in better shape his athletic ability really starts to show. I had him pegged as a guy who will play on the strong side in college, but I think he’s got the range and quickness now to play the weak side and he could play in the middle depending on how he adjusts to the run fits from the middle linebacker spot.

Last year I thought Thompson played like, but didn’t look like a big-time college linebacker. I think he does now and if he can continue to work hard and develop physically he could really bring something to what should be a deep linebacker corps when he steps on campus.

My Grade for Thompson: A-

THE FIVE BEST 2011 PROSPECTS (Non-Longhorn Commits)

1. Daniel Spencer, WR/S, Grandview – COMMITTED TO HOUSTON

My Take: Spencer (6-0, 190) is a versatile playmaker who has really good hands and an ability you just can’t coach to go attack the football. He’s probably going to head to Houston as a safety and he could play either spot back there and has quick enough feet to play nickel in some spots.

2. Mark Roberts, WR, West Orange-Stark – COMMITTED TO HOUSTON

My Take: I like Roberts (6-2, 175) because of his size but he looked much better working in traffic and getting up the field after the catch than I thought he would. The only question for Houston is can they hold onto him – Roberts is considered a soft verbal and is still receiving interest from major programs.

3. Gus Johnson, RB, Gilmer – Offer from Tulsa

My Take: Johnson (5-11, 205) has had one of the best offseasons of any running back in Texas after taking home running back MVP honors at the Fort Worth Nike Camp. He showed good hands and good burst in space but his balance is really what sets him apart from other backs.

4. Alex Cooper, TE/DE, Houston Second Baptist

My Take: On the hoof Cooper (6-5, 235) was one of the best-looking prospects in the field. A converted basketball player, Cooper is a high ceiling prospect who has the athletic ability and frame to be a defensive end at the Division I level.

5. Stevie Dorman, QB, Somerset

My Take: Dorman (6-4, 200) doesn’t have any offers to date but he’s got great size, a big arm and is very well-versed in running the spread offense. The bloodlines are also present as his uncles (Ty and Koy Detmer) both played in the NFL.

THE FIVE BEST 2012 PROSPECTS

1. Dennis Smith, RB/LB/S, Wimberley

My Take: Even more than last year’s tournament, Smith’s (6-2, 205) versatility is what helps make him a big-time prospect. The Texas A&M commit has been a productive back, but I could also see him being very good at linebacker or safety.

2. Jeremiah Briscoe, QB, Houston Second Baptist

My Take: I’ve seen Briscoe (6-4, 205) play receiver with pads on and when you look at his natural athletic ability with how well he threw the ball in College Station, he’s making his way up to the upper echelon of 2012 quarterbacks in the state.

3. Justin Thomas, CB, West Orange-Stark

My Take: Thomas (5-9, 165) is a little guy, but he is such a great competitor and he isn’t afraid to use his hands and be physical. With Trey Franks and James Haynes both gone to Oklahoma, look for Thomas (whose cousin is former Longhorn star Earl Thomas) to shine this fall.

4. Brent Spikes, ATH, Newton

My Take: There weren’t too many guys in the field as naturally explosive or as fast as Spikes (6-0, 185), who won the fastest man competition at Texas’ June 13 camp. He played running back and linebacker, but I could see him being a safety because of his range at the next level.

5. Justin Albritton, CB/S, Anahuac

My Take: Ankle injuries have really slowed Albritton’s (5-11, 180) progress as a prospect, but he knows how to play the football when it’s in the air and he had 11 interceptions as a freshman. An injury-free 2010 season could have his stock back to where it was at this time last year.

INSIDE TEXAS DIVISION II ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM

Offense:

QB – Graylon Hawkins, Brownwood

RB – Gus Johnson, Gilmer

WR – Jaxon Shipley, Brownwood; Jalen Claiborne, Carthage; Trevion Sims, Cameron Yoe; Jose Romero, Celina

TE – Jacob Hillyer, Somerset

Defense:

LB – Kendall Thompson, Carthage; Derek Longoria, Brownwood

CB – Tray Webb, Gilmer; Junior Whatley, Boyd; Tre Anderson, Cameron Yoe

S – Dennis Smith, Wimberley; Daniel Spencer, Grandview

Tournament MVP: Jaxon Shipley, WR, Brownwood