Want daily Texas Longhorns content on the latest football and recruiting information from Eric Nahlin, Justin Wells, Ian Boyd, Scipio Tex, and Joe Cook? Sign up for Inside Texas HERE today!
Track and field is a bit of a sister sport for football, and when it was canceled, college coaches were robbed of some useful evaluation metrics. But some athletes are so special, missing track and field even as sophomores won’t impact them negatively.
The state of Texas has two very uncommon receivers in the 2022 class who aren’t just fast, they’re strong track athletes as they are strong football athletes. From the sound of it, schools will have to recruit them as the two sport stars they are.
The athletes in question, Evan Stewart and Brenen Thompson, exploded on the scene like they do out of the blocks and are just in the first 10 meters of the recruiting race.
Evan Stewart, Frisco Liberty, 6-foot-0, 160 pounds
100 Meters: 10.74
200 Meters: 21.08
Long Jump: 24’ 6
Triple Jump: 47’ 9
As a player: Single-handedly threatens the whole field, whether as a vertical threat on the outside or running sweeps from the slot. Speed is evident as he chews up cushion off the line of scrimmage. Also evident when forced to get more than ideal depth on sweeps but still able to pick up positive yards. More than a speed guy, shows an array of catch types — over the shoulder, contested, over the middle. Good vision with the ball in his hands and solid play strength as a runner. Stewart can do anything asked of the position, but as competition levels increase some traits may not accompany him. Typically there’s some drop off in college as everybody’s traits are competing to survive, then if a player makes it further, even more drop off in the NFL. That speed, however? That will always be with him. If all of his traits don’t follow him, could he still be Ted Ginn? Maybe so. That speed gives him both a safe floor and high ceiling as a college prospect.
Here’s the latest on Stewart. He didn’t seem too interested in recruiting at this time so I didn’t press too hard.
Are any schools standing out at this early point?
“Um it’s really a equal playing field. I’ve just been working on my craft this quarantine and trying to get right to impress next season.”
Any recent contact with Texas receivers coach Andre Coleman?
“Yeah I was talking to him last week.”
You’re pretty good in track and field, eh?
“Yessir. I was just named to MileSplit All-American 1st team.”
You could compete at state by yourself:
“Yeah, I placed 8th at state last year by myself.”
Has UT talked to you about its track program yet?
“No, they haven’t but I’ve been and seen some of their track commits.”
Brenen Thompson, Spearman, 5-foot-10, 165 pounds
100 Meters: 10.44
200 Meters: 21.74
As a player: While Stewart shows promise in the vertical and horizontal patterns, Thompson is follows the unpredictable path of a lightning bolt. His play speed is exceptional, as are his feet and change of direction. Like Billy Bowman in the 2021 class, Thompson will vie for best pound-for-pound player in the state for 2022. He seems to be a pure football player who does it all for his small school. The smaller the school, the more ways a prospect must dominate the competition. As a receiver prospect, Thompson is more slot-specific than Stewart, meaning a fortunate team could theoretically line Stewart and Thompson up to the same side, with Stewart playing way out to the field.
What’s the latest with recruiting?
“It’s hard as a ‘22 prospect because I’m having to call coaches since they can’t call me… but I’ve been keeping up with every school. I plan on visiting every school I can when I’m able to. Especially schools like Alabama, OU, Baylor, etc. Schools like Michigan will be hard to get to but as time goes on I hope I get to!”
Have you been talking to Texas much?
“Yes sir! That will definitely be a place I visit. No doubt. I’ve talked to Coach Herman and some of the coaching staff there.”
Are you evaluating track options?
“Yes sir, for sure. Many coaches have been telling me I could be a two sport athlete.”
What are you looking for overall in a school?
“Just an entire family environment with a great program.”
Tom Herman needs to inject speed and big play ability at wide receiver. That goes for 2021, 2022, and beyond. The best way to take advantage of strong-armed quarterbacks and ball control within the tackle box isn’t ball control on the perimeter and intermediate route tree, but hitting defense over the top whether it’s from the slot or outside.
Cover photo courtesy of Stewart