Weekend Recap: Feb. 27
It was a busy weekend in the world of Texas high school football — the coaching carousel continues to spin, the University of Texas hit the recruiting trail, and more. Dave Campbell's Texas Football associate editor Greg Tepper tries his best to sort it all out.
It's Monday, and if you spent your weekend away from the computer -- you know, actually doing things -- don't worry: we're here to catch you up on everything you need to know about the weekend that was on the Texas football scene!
Without further ado, your TexasFootball.com Offseason Weekend Recap for February 27, 2012.
HS Coaching News
-Not a whole lot to report in this usually burgeoning section of the recap, but there is one coaching change of note to report: Medina has a new head coach. The Class 1A football program had been run by Tut Wardlaw for the past two seasons, as he led the Bobcats to a 9-10 record over that stretch. Wardlaw, however, is stepping aside in favor of defensive coordinator Brandon Allen, as Allen confirmed to Dave Campbell's Texas Football managing editor Travis Stewart this weekend. Allen will be the Bobcats' third head coach in four seasons, after longtime coach Keith Mills stepped down after the 2009 season.
-Last week, we were raving about the proliferation of early commitments to Texas A&M after coach Kevin Sumlin's first Junior Day. This weekend, however, it was Texas that struck back, landing a pair of pledges from impressive rising seniors. First up is Lancaster DE Daeshon Hall, who offered his verbal commitment to the Longhorns on Saturday. Hall is something of a physical anomaly, coming in at a monstrous 6-6 but a mere 220 pounds, but he can engage and get off of blocks swiftly and track down ballcarriers. He's not near a finished product for the college game, but with his senior year and (likely) a redshirt year ahead of him, he'll be a name to remember. There's also Cy Woods LB Deoundrei Davis, a big-bodied outside linebacker that reminds me a little bit of Keenan Robinson. The regional powers have been all over this kid so far — Rivals reports that Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Texas Tech have all offered, as well. The other Longhorns commitment this weekend came out of the Houston area, as Cy Falls WR Jacorey Warrick pledged to Texas on Sunday. Warrick is kind of your typical undersized slot receiver -- 5-foot-11, 165 pounds, outstanding hands -- except for one thing: he's exceptionally athletic. He's got athleticism to the point that if receiving doesn't work out, Warrick could conceivably move to the other side of the ball and play cornerback. For now, though, Warrick is a nice get for the Longhorns to fit in the third receiver role.
-If you were to ask me, however, the best wide receiver prospect out of Texas to commit this weekend went north, as John Tyler WR Fred Ross pledged to Oklahoma State. I think Ross is a super-special athlete: he has the measurables at 6-1 and 185 pounds to compete at any level, and his speed and route-running abilities set him apart as a truly special wide receiver. He's likely not a No. 1 receiving option in Stillwater — Mike Gundy's system tends to favor more of a jump-ball receiver for those roles, which Ross is not — but he could be a very, very potent No. 2 option for the Cowboys. And his numbers — 99 catches, 1,335 yards, 15 touchdowns as a junior in a difficult district — speak for themselves.
Other Texas football news
-The NFL combine continues to roll — it continues today and into tomorrow in Indianapolis — and there are a number of Texas college athletes who are making headlines. Baylor WR Kendall Wright was a little underwhelming — his 4.61 40-yard dash and 38.5-inch vertical leap did not impress. Houston QB Case Keenum opted to throw at the Combine, and did so pretty well, though questions about his arm strength still linger. SMU guard Josh Leribeus flexed his muscles — literally — by pumping out a whopping 29 reps on the bench press, a measurement that will help his cause to be a later-round pick in June's draft. Texas DT Kheeston Randall's measurements — 6-5 and 293 pounds — combined with his 28 reps on the bench press should turn some heads. While Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill's stock continues to rise, it was RB Cyrus Gray who did the best work on his prospects, proving that he is healthy by running a 4.47 in the 40-yard dash, a blinding speed that puts him in the top 20 at the Combine. But there was one man who stole the show: Baylor QB Robert Griffin III. He didn't throw at the Combine, but his stock is soaring after an incredible combine. His 120-inch broad jump was good; his 39-inch vertical leap is even better (just one inch short of last year's best); but the number everyone will be talking about is 4.41. That's what Griffin ran in the 40, which is blinding for a quarterback. Let's put it this way: Oregon RB LaMichael James, who is known as one of the fastest players in college football, ran a 4.45 40. Simply put, it was Griffin's Combine, just like it's been Griffin's year.
Greg Tepper is the associate editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.