The second day of the 2022 State 7-on-7 Tournament in College Station is in the books, and the Dave Campbell's Texas Football staff was there to witness all of the action. Here's what we thought of the action in Aggieland.
Greg Tepper, DCTF managing editor
It's important to remember that 7-on-7 is not the same as the 11-man game in the fall, and perhaps that's why it is so unpredictable. Any predictions for the Division I bracket were promptly and efficiently inserted into the nearest woodchipper once the opening whistle blew. Consider who isn't in Saturday's championship bracket, instead relegated to the consolation bracket: defending champion Hebron, defending runner-up Lake Travis, perennial power Austin Westlake, pre-tournament favorite Alvin Shadow Creek, among many others. And check out who's crashing the party in the title bracket: the Rio Grande Valley's own PSJA North, capitol city standouts Austin Anderson, private school juggernaut Bellaire Episcopal. The action was fierce out in the blazing College Station sun, and while it may not have gone the way the experts (ahem) thought, it was certainly worth watching.
My MVP: Allow me to dip down one last time to the Division III bracket, where Childress receiver/defensive back Lamont Nickleberry really popped for me. A two-way dynamo, he made his presence felt on both sides of the ball, and I'm looking forward to seeing what he does when the autumn rolls around.
Ishmael Johnson, DCTF assistant managing editor
Maybe it should’ve been an easy call to see Hitchcock winning Division II in retrospect. Sophomore quarterback Lloyd Jones III flashed arm strength and ball placement to stars Damien McDaniel and Bryce Dorsey all weekend and nothing stopped them en route to the title. When it came to Division I, Dripping Springs’ Austin Novosad was by far the most impressive player of the day. The zip, the technique, the decision-making was all on-point from the jump. Harker Heights’ speed up close and McKinney’s incredible 20-point comeback against Westlake was easily the highlight of the day.
My MVP: The day’s MVP could either be Novosad, but I’m going to give it to Hitchcock’s Dorsey who caught multiple touchdowns as well as some picks on defense. Keep an eye on this rising junior.
Matt Stepp, DCTF high school insider
The Division I bracket got up and running today, but before we get to the big schools, two small schools who didn’t win it but really impressed me today deserve a shoutout. In Division III, credit goes out to the Crane Golden Cranes, who as they were pulling up to Veterans Park on Thursday found out their head coach resigned. Instead of hanging their heads and wondering what’s next, Crane remained focused and ended up advancing to the quarterfinals before falling to Brady. In Division II, Wichita Falls deserves some kudos as the Coyotes advanced to the semifinals before falling to Lorena.
On the Division I side of things, parity once again reigned supreme as six pools involved a three-way tie at 2-1, while another pool had a three-way tie at 1-2 and one other pool had two teams finish 2-1. That tells me that we are going to have some really close games in single-elimination bracket play. DeSoto, for me, takes the crown as most impressive team on Day 1 as the Eagles obliterated the “Pool of Death” going 3-0 and winning every game by at least twenty points.
My MVP: San Antonio Brandeis QB J.C. Evans — the Bears' QB is going to start popping up on recruiting radars very quickly as the Broncos went 3-0 in pool play.
Greg Powers, DCTF recruiting analyst
Dripping Springs 2023 QB Austin Novosad (6'3, 185) is the newest DCTF four-star prospect, jumping up 19 spots from No. 51 to No. 32 in the DCTF Hot 100. Novosad has many of the tools that colleges covet — he processes the field quickly, has a quick release, throws an accurate and catchable ball, and has the arm to fit it into tight windows. Novosad is committed to Baylor.
My MVP: Desoto 2024 QB DJ Bailey (5'10, 175) was shredding defenses. He helped the eagles tally wins over Lake Travis, Fort Bend Hightower, and El Paso Eastlake, outscoring the opposition 91-12.
Mallory Hartley, DCTF associate producer
Without a doubt, the most complete team I saw today was the Division II champs Hitchcock. Nothing but greatness came from their breakout star quarterback Lloyd Jones III, who had an abundance of weapons around him. In Division I, it comes as no surprise that DeSoto looked solid all around. They end the day undefeated and will definitely be in the mix of top teams in the finals. Just like today, I expect big things from Johntay Cook II tomorrow.
My MVP: I have to give my MVP to Hitchcock Quarterback, Lloyd Jones III. The sophomore star showed out today, leading his team to win the Division II Title.
William Wilkerson, DCTF digital director
First, I’ll give a shout out to Dublin’s Dalan Rasberry who put together one of the best late-game heroic efforts I’ve ever seen in a state tournament. The Lions found themselves trailing Stamford by two scores with just under two minutes to play when Rasberry (6-4, 180) high-pointed a pass in the endzone for a touchdown and then caught the subsequent 1-point conversion. Then, with under one minute to play, he intercepted a pass for a TD to give Dublin a 32-27 win. Tip of the hat to you, Rasberry.
Another shout out goes to Anna linebacker Grayson Stewart, who intercepted two passes for Pick-6s against Breckenridge. The Coyotes are loaded with talent in 2023 and appear to be just fine in 2024 as well thanks to guys like Stewart.
The best quarterback I saw today was San Antonio Brandeis 2024 prospect JC Evans. His physical traits (6-foot-5, 200) make it appear like he was drawn up in a video game. Then you see him unleash the cannon he has for a right arm, the ball placement he exhibited and the calm demeanor he displays, and you catch yourself looking for a console and controller. Hometown Incarnate Word and UTSA have both offered and more would be wise to follow suit asap. He’s special.
My MVP: Gotta go with Brandeis’ JC Evans who led his team to a 3-0 day in a pool with The Woodlands, Prosper and Mission. Loved everything about the way he carried himself and his throwing abilities are a sight to behold.
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