Coming out of West Orange-Stark, Deon Beasley and Earl Thomas have each made an impact for Texas. Now, another star from Orange, Tex. is looking to make his mark.
Texas has had success in recent years recruiting from in the Houston area, specifically the Golden Triangle powerhouse West Orange-Stark.
Two current Longhorn starting defensive backs, cornerback Deon Beasley and safety Earl Thomas are both former Mustangs and the Texas coaching staff could possibly add another WO-S product in the next recruiting cycle.
Junior James Haynes is having a big season for Coach Dan Hooks’ ball club on both sides of the line of scrimmage and the 2010 prospect has serious interest in Texas.
“I feel like coaches come to our school to recruit because of (Beasley and Thomas),” Haynes said. “I don’t think they would necessarily look at me first if they hadn’t gone here. They both start on defense, so there must be something good over here.”
The Longhorns are recruiting Haynes (who has seen time at running back, receiver and defensive back this season) as an athlete. He has the versatility and size (6-1, 180) necessary to play a number of positions at the next level. His best clocking in the 40-yard dash is a 4.36 and he also sports a 42-inch vertical leap.
“It doesn’t really matter where I play,” Haynes said. “Just as long as I get there.”
Haynes has helped lead West Orange-Stark to a 7-0 record and a 4-0 district record along with a No. 3 ranking in the latest Class 3A Associated Press poll. The ranking however does not mean a whole lot to Haynes at this stage of the game.
“The rankings really don’t mean much, you’ve seen enough of what’s happened in college football to know that,” Haynes said. “The key for us is that we are playing really fast on defense right now.”
Haynes has been a key cog in the Mustang defense this season at free safety with a pair of interceptions. He has played some on offense and makes the most of his opportunities when he gets his hand on the ball averaging more than 11 yards per carry and 11 yards per reception on just 19 total touches this season. Haynes has also rushed for three touchdowns this season.
“I’ve played pretty good (on offense),” Haynes said. “I’ve been playing mostly on D this season. My best game this season, I had around 85 yards on four or five carries and that’s been about it.”
Haynes, who was impressive and garnered a lot of attention on the camp circuit this past summer, says that he is a player that likes to play the game with a lot of passion.
“I like to keep the intensity up on the field,” Haynes said. “I like to keep my players in the game and thinking about the game. I like to keep the guys hyped up during the game, I don’t want anybody to slow down.”
Haynes has made it to Austin for two games this season having seen back to back Longhorn victories against Missouri and Oklahoma State. Haynes noted the visit for the Oklahoma State was a fun experience and was taken aback by the home crowd in both size and noise level.
“There were 98,518 people there… that’s the most people I’ve ever seen in one place in my whole life,” Haynes said. “The crowd was great. It got so loud at one point during the game that I couldn’t even talk to my dad. I like that.”
Haynes has already pulled in an offer from Texas Tech and other than the Red Raiders and the Longhorns Haynes says that North Carolina has shown the most interest in him.
“North Carolina has been sending me a lot of stuff in the mail lately,” Haynes said. “Those are the main (schools) really.”
Hurricane Ike put a damper on Haynes’ ability to send out game film and he says he has just now arrived at the point where he can compile enough film to start sending tapes out, including one to specific member of the Texas staff.
“Coach (Major) Applewhite has shown a lot of interest,” Haynes said. “I am supposed to send him film of my games but I am having to wait until district is over to get enough film to send because of the hurricane.”