One underrated player from each 6A 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: Jyaire Shorter, WR Killeen Ellison
One of Region I’s most physically gifted receivers, Shorter has the skill set to simply take games over. He’s 6’3, 220 pounds and runs a blazing forty time. In addition, he’s a great character guy who tends to lead by example according to Eagles head coach Trent Gregory. A year ago as a junior, Shorter hauled in 43 passes for 743 yards and nine total touchdowns. With his size and frame, he’s a prototype red zone target who has the ability to make tough catches in traffic. Expect those numbers to see a big increase as a senior.
Region II: Jamon Johnson, RB San Marcos
San Marcos head coach Mark Soto prefers to employ a ground based attack that wears defenses down and controls the clock, and the key to the Rattlers success is Johnson. As a sophomore, the 165-pound speedster ran for 1,325 yards and 19 touchdowns, and if San Marcos wants to take the next step to become a contender for a district title and go beyond just a playoff appearance, Johnson will be vital. He’s got home run ability, but when tough yards are needed between the tackles, Johnson’s got more than enough strength and will power to earn those “dirty” yards.
Region III: Amryn Jeffrey, QB Fort Bend Travis
There’s never a shortage of talent in Greater Houston and often times great players can get lost in the shuffle and Jeffrey is one of those big-time talents. As a junior, the pro style QB threw for over 3,600 yards and 35 touchdowns, pacing one of the top offenses in Region III. Travis has their eyes on more than just a playoff trip in 2017 and if the Tigers are going to contend for the District 20-6A crown, Jeffrey will need to take it to the next level. When it comes to the mental aspect of the game and making the right decisions, Jeffrey has that part down as he holds multiple Ivy League offers and combine that with outstanding physical ability and you have one of the most dangerous weapons in the state.
Region IV: Roy Pedraza, RB Weslaco East
Pedraza, a state level powerlifter, burst on the scene as a junior while pacing Weslaco East’s powerful grind-it-out offense to a trip to the regional semifinals a year ago. Pedraza isn’t tall and doesn’t give defenses a big target to wrap up, and when contact is made he’s a handful to bring down due to his lower body strength. In the Wildcats’ area round playoff win over Del Rio, Pedraza took the game over in the second half and put his stamp on their best season in school history. Pedraza ran for 1,922 yards and 20 touchdowns as a junior. He’s returned even stronger for his senior season, so expect that workload to increase as East looks to navigate the brutally tough District 32-6A.
Matt Stepp is the Texas High School Football Inside for Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. Find him on Twitter: @Matt_Stepp817.