One underrated player from each 4A region to watch in 2017
THERE ARE ONLY SO MANY HEADLINES TO GO AROUND IN THE LONE STAR STATE, BUT THESE GUYS DESERVE A SPOTLIGHT.
With over 1,400 high schools in the great state of Texas that play football in some form or fashion, there’s no way that every deserving player can be recognized properly with all-state honors or a scholarship to play at the next level. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some under-the-radar guys who could make a big impact in the 2017 season.
Region I: Jace Keesee, QB Andrews
Keesee, who has been a key cog in the Andrews secondary the past two years, gets to finally take the reins as the pilot of the Mustangs spread offense. Keesee knows the offense, and in limited duty as a backup he impressed. He gives Andrews a different dimension on offense because of his dual-threat ability, but he’s made big strides as a passer this off-season. Keesee gave Mustangs fans a glimpse of what’s to come during the 7-on-7 season, where he led Andrews to a nice run at the state tournament in late June. “Jace is a great leader, he’s a hard working kid who is all in,” said Andrews head coach Ralph Mason. “He’s got the respect of his teammates.”
Region II: Cedric White, RB Tatum
Second-year Tatum head coach Craig Barker loves running the football, and when he’s got a bell cow back that he can rely on, his teams are typically dangerous. So it’s no surprise to anyone that in Tatum the Eagles have yet another big-time back in Cedric White. The senior back was a huge part of Tatum’s turnaround from 0-10 in 2015 to 7-4 in 2016 with 1,345 yards on the ground and 16 touchdowns. The encore could be even better as he’s running behind a solid offensive line that is now in the second year of the offensive system.
Region III: Walter White, QB Stafford
For most, the TV Show “Breaking Bad” comes up when you think of Walter White, but for TXHSFB junkies, it’s the Stafford QB who comes to mind. As a junior, White threw for over 2,300 yards and accounted for 44 total touchdowns while leading the Spartans to the state quarterfinals. With much of the skill talent around him gone, expect White to be the key cog in the explosive Spartans offense under first-year head coach Ken Savannah.
Region IV: Tyler Bush, QB Rio Hondo
If you are looking for a sleeper team in the Valley in 2017 it might be Rio Hondo, and a big part of that is Bobcats QB Tyler Bush. The signal-caller had a huge junior season, throwing for 34 touchdowns and leading one of the best offenses in Region IV. Look for the Rio Hondo QB to have an even bigger impact in 2017 as he’s a guy who very well could lead all of the Valley in passing and total offense. “Tyler is a great kid, he takes care of business in class and he leads by example. He has a ‘work first’ mentality and the rest of our kids follow suit, he’s an unbelievable athlete who is a state qualifier and powerlifting and a big track guy,” said Rio Hondo head coach Rocky James. “On the field, his brain sets him apart. He has a strong arm and can really dissect a defense.”
Matt Stepp is the Texas High School Football Inside for Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. Find him on Twitter: @Matt_Stepp817.