We're a mere 40 days from kickoff of the 2019 Texas high school football season. As we inch closer to the season, the Dave Campbell's Texas Football staff has compiled a list of 40 Texas high school football players that you need to know heading into the 2019 season.
Obviously, this is not a complete list of the notable players in the state — that list would need to be thousands of names long (though you can probably see everyone you need to know in the 2019 summer edition of Dave Campbell's Texas Football). And in the interest of spreading the love, we are excluding the players we rank as the top 10 prospects in the state — obviously, you need to know about them.
Some of these players, you may already know. Others, this may be the first time you're hearing of them. No matter the case, here are 40 Texas high school football players you need to know for the 2019 season.
DB Xavian Alford, Alvin Shadow Creek
Alford picked off six passes as a junior and led the Sharks to the state title game in their first varsity season. He’s got offers from nearly every major program in the country and possess elite ball skills for a defensive back. Throw his way at your own risk.
RB Drew Arevalos, Poth
If Avalos’ sophomore season, in which he topped over 1,500 yards, was any indication, high school football fans are in for another treat of a season as the reigning District 15-3A MVP looks to be an even bigger part of Poth’s offense this fall.
LB Riggs Barrett, Corpus Christi Calallen
One of the great things about Phil Danaher’s consistently impressive Wildcats over multiple decades is the endless string of cornerstone players. Barrett is without question one of those players. As a junior, he was named TSWA first-team all-state, first-team all-South Texas and first-team all-district on the back of 152 total tackles and 14 tackles for loss.
LB Sederick Colbert, Lubbock Estacado
Colbert is fast and aggressive linebacker who leads one of the top defensive units in all of West Texas. His ability to cause havoc rushing the passer can change the course of a game.
ATH Jalin Conyers, Gruver
A physical specimen, Conyers — who stands 6-5 and 220 pounds — is a complete mismatch at the 2A Division II level. The Oklahoma commit caught 61 passes for 1,225 yards and 19 scores as a receiver a year ago, guiding the Greyhounds to their first state title berth, and will likely move to quarterback for his senior year.
ATH Ben Crockett, McLean
Seemingly every season, you find a 6-Man player that’s head and shoulders above the rest of the field. That’s Ben Crockett this season after rushing for over 2,700 yards and nearly 60 touchdowns on the ground last year.
QB Dematrius Davis, Galena Park North Shore
Lost in the shuffle of the Mustangs’ incredible 2018 season and the wild Hail Mary finish to the 6A DI state championship, was the fact that the team’s sophomore — that’s right, sophomore — quarterback is one of the state’s fastest-rising stars and prospects. He threw for 3,350 yards and 43 touchdowns — and just two interceptions. Two seasons to go.
WR Kelvontay Dixon, Carthage
Dixon is carving out a path of greatness separate from his older brother Keaontay (now at Texas) and the versatile senior is hoping to add a state title to that legacy as a senior.
DL Prince Dorbah, Highland Park
One of the most dominant defenders at any level, Dorbah broke out as a junior with 21 sacks and 10 tackles for loss in an all-state season, helping lead the Scots to their third consecutive title. The scary part: he’s still getting bigger and better every year.
DL/RB Roddrell Freeman, Mart
Mart’s dynamic athlete will be lined up all over the field but primarily look for him in the backfield and along the defensive line. He won’t be hard to miss either, he’ll the be the one running through, around and over everyone else.
QB Roman Fuller, Decatur
Maybe you’ve heard of Fuller, maybe you haven’t, but take note: he threw for 4,652 yards in 2018 (tops in UIL among all classifications, the second-best returning QB is Longview’s Haynes King with 3,879) and 45 touchdowns en route to a state semifinal berth. Now he’s back for his senior curtain call, and has one of the state’s best backfield partners in RB A.J. Martinez.
LB/K/RB/QB Will Harbour, Frisco Reedy
There’s not much this four year letterman can’t do for one of the top 5A Division II teams. He’ll rack up over 100 tackles, he can play short yardage RB and wildcat QB, while also handling kicking duties to boot.
QB Ben Harmon, Texarkana Pleasant Grove
A quarterback in a Wing-T offense? You bet. Harmon enters his third year as the starter for the Hawks, holding a 29-3 mark as a starter after throwing for more than 2,000 yards a year ago. Simply put: he’s turned an old-school scheme into one of the state’s most dynamic attacks.
RB Zach Hrbacek, Troy
After electrifying the state as a sophomore rushing for over 2,000 yards, Troy’s Zach Hrbacek is only getting started as the Trojans will look to him again hoping to compete with Cameron Yoe once again for a district title and deep playoff run.
RB Montavien Hunt, Jasper
Hunt does a little bit of everything for the Bulldogs, rushing for 1,523 yards and 19 touchdowns (averaging a staggering 13.1 yards per carry), while moonlighting at other spots around the field. Injuries derailed both Hunt and Jasper’s season in the playoffs, but with a majority of starters returning, he and his teammates are ready for another push.
QB Dane Jentsch, Grandview
All Jentsch did as a sophomore was account for over 3,600 total yards, 51 touchdowns and he led the Zebras to their first state title. The encore could be even better as he leads Grandview towards a run at a repeat in 2019.
FB Steven Johnson, Port Lavaca Calhoun
Who said the fullback is dead? The Sandcrabs’ double-slot scheme leans heavily on the beefy Johnson, and he’s more than up to the challenge — he ran for 2,324 yards and 15 touchdowns last year. Expect to hear his name early and often in what could be a very dangerous offense.
DBs Jack and Bill Koetting, Canadian
How do you pick just one Koetting twin? Both Bill and Jack will be in charge of shutting down the air attack opponents throw at Canadian and based off last season (more than 300 combined total tackles), the Wildcats aren’t going to be easy to score on.
QB Brendon Lewis, Melissa
There’s a reason we selected Lewis as our preseason 4A offensive player of the year, and it starts with the company he keeps, and eclipses in production. The 2020 QB class in Texas is strong with the likes of Hudson Card, Haynes King and Chandler Morris, to name a few, but Lewis’ dual skills lead the way: 3,109 yards through the air, and 1,009 on the ground.
OL Chad Lindberg, Clear Creek
One of the state’s nastiest offensive lineman, Lindberg excels at run blocking and could be a guy that moves inside at the next level. Lindberg plays angry much of the time and is capable of dominating any defensive lineman in the country.
QB Wilson Long, Austin Regents
If you think that Long is just another private school quarterback, think again. A three-year starter for the Knights, the Texas Tech commit accounted for 3,375 total yards and 34 touchdowns while throwing just four interceptions as a junior. He’s one of Texas’ most underrated signal-callers.
QB Brady Lyssy, Falls City
The fact that Brady Lyssy shared a backfield with Keyshawn Johnson last season and still carved a name for himself rushing for over 2,000 yards says a lot. This fall it’s going be the complete Lyssy Show in Falls City.
WR AJ McCarty, Brownwood
The Lions have had their share of legends over the decades, and McCarty his working his way up the charts. As a sophomore and junior, he tallied up 90 receptions for 1,549 yards and 14 touchdowns. He’s a dynamic gamebreaker who’s good at pretty much everything, and was last year’s 4A state champ in the triple jump.
RB/LB JW Montgomery, Strawn
The quintessential six-man ironman, Montgomery basically never leaves the field for the two-time defending 1A Division II state champs. He’s a bit undersized, but he plays big, especially on the defensive side. Coach Dewaine Lee can’t say enough good things about the senior.
QB Behren Morton, Eastland
If you find yourself in Eastland County on a Friday night, mosey on over to Maverick Stadium to see some fireworks. Morton dazzled as a sophomore last year, completing 64 percent of his passes for 2,664 yards and 24 touchdowns, and igniting the Mavericks’ attack. He’s only getting better, and we can’t wait to see what he does as a junior.
QB Sean O'Keefe, San Saba
It isn’t enough that Sean O’Keefe, standing at an impressive 6-foot-3, is already stands over a lot of players at the 2A level, but add his running ability and knack for reading the game and you have one of the best playmakers in the division.
QB Austin Ochoa, Refugio
After a slow start to last season while experimenting with a new offense, Refugio started cooking with gas when Ochoa started taking snaps. The Bobcats ran into an all-time Mason squad in the regional finals, but Ochoa’s numbers were strong down the stretch, throwing for 1,082 yards and rushing for 526 yards. Now, Ochoa’s back for an encore and Refugio’s our preseason 2A DI No. 1.
OL Akinola Ogunbiyi, Fort Bend Kempner
The Texas A&M commit combines the nimble feet and athleticism of an offensive tackle with the brute strength of an interior lineman. He excels in Kempner’s run oriented scheme and is a candidate to earn all-state honors as a senior.
OL Logan Parr, San Antonio O'Connor
One of the most technically sound linemen in the state, the 6-4, 295-pound Parr has the strength and the quick hands to play pretty much anywhere along the line. The Texas commit will do something that few people can: make fans pay attention to individual line play. He’s that dominant.
QB Joseph Plunk, Amarillo Tascosa
The point-man behind Tascosa’s state semifinal run a year ago is back to pilot the Rebels’ flexbone attack one more time. You’re not going to find a better or more exciting triple option quarterback in the state than Joseph Plunk.
RB Cameron Rickett, Springtown
Rickett remains one of the state’s truly hidden gems. During his sophomore campaign, he ran for 1,732 yards, averaged 8.8 yards per carry, 144 yards per game and scored 25 touchdowns. His junior season was outstanding, as well, as he racked up 2,083 yards, 35 touchdowns and averaged 10.9 yards per carry. He’s truly the best running back you haven’t heard enough about.
RB/LB Tye Scogin, Jayton
Big things are expected of the Jaybirds in 2019, and Scogin is a big reason why. The senior ran for 2,003 yards and 40 touchdowns while also notching 123 tackles for the state semifinalists last year. Scogin does a little bit of everything — including knocking down a buzzer-beating shot in the state basketball semifinals.
RB Campbell Speights, McAllen Memorial
The Valley’s top player is back for an encore, Speights is the proto-type back who can tote the mail 30 times a game, but he’s versatile enough to line up at receiver and cause matchup problems. He’s more than capable of breaking a game open at any time.
RB Ashton Stredick, Needville
Sometimes you watch an athlete and you can’t help but think that it’s unfair. That’s what it’s like watching Needville’s 5-foot-9 tank of a running back, Ashton Stredick whether he’s breaking three tackles at the second level or sprinting past the secondary, it looks unfair.
DT Slone Stultz, Mason
The whole state got a proper introduction to Stultz after his outstanding performance in the Punchers’ 44-6 state championship win over New Deal. Much of the team’s offensive production graduated, but Stultz returns to lead the trenches, and offers the kind of defensive production and leadership any Texas program would kill to have.
RB Jay’veon Sunday, Waco Connally
The Washington commit holds every all-time record at Waco Connally and now he’s looking to lead his team to a state title. Sunday ran for 36 touchdowns a year ago and over 2,000 yards, his senior year numbers could border on insane.
DE James Sylvester, Newton
The back-to-back 3A DII state champion Eagles have yet another freakish athlete waiting in the wings, as Sylvester takes center stage for Newton this year. A behemoth at 6-5 and 235 pounds, Sylvester would be the most dominant player on many 6A teams, making him a total mismatch at the 3A level.
QB Ace Whitehead, Lampasas
Could the most accurate passer in the state be playing down in Lampasas? It’s possible. Ace Whitehead completed over 70 percent of his throws (3,049 yards, 35 TDs, four INTs) as a sophomore while leading the Badgers to their best mark since 2011.
WR Jay Wilkerson, Midlothian Heritage
The Jaguars love to throw the football around, and Wilkerson is outstanding at hauling it in. In three seasons, he’s caught 118 passes for 2,189 yards and 32 touchdowns. As a result, he’s hauled in plenty of awards and big-time offers, and they’ll keep coming if he and Heritage keep trending upward.
QB Cy Wing, Dublin
Versatile Wing is the heart and soul of Dublin’s explosive spread offense, he put up nearly 3,000 yards of total offense and 33 touchdowns as a junior. More of the offense will be on his shoulders and he’s capable of carrying Bob Cervetto’s squad to greatness in 2019.