DCTF's Recruiting Tales from the Road - Regional Semis, 2023

Billy Mazy

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Only the best of the best are still competing after Turkey Day. Here are the prospects leaving a legacy in the TXHSFB playoffs.

A Tale of Two DJs

Name: DJ Bailey | School: Desoto | Class: 2024 | Pos: QB | HT: 5'10 | WT: 190

The Sam Houston commit is one of the state's most underrated signal callers, he doesn't make mistakes and consistently puts his team in positions to be successful. Bailey threw for just 134 yards on Friday night, but had a high efficiency rate completing 13 of 18 passes with four of those completions going for touchdowns. - Matt Stepp

Name: DJ Lagway | School: Willis | Class: 2024 | Pos: QB | HT: 6'2 | WT: 225

The Florida commit closed out a record-setting high school career with 336 yards passing and two touchdowns while also rushing for 108 yards and a touchdown in Willis' loss to DeSoto Friday night. Lagway displayed all the tools that make him such a coveted recruit and he showed them off while being under siege all night from a ferocious DeSoto front. Lagway made several elite throws from multiple arm angles, while also showing off elite running ability. - Matt Stepp

Backfield Workhorses

Name: Deondrae "Tiger" Riden | School: Desoto | Class: 2024 | Pos: RB | HT: 5'10 | WT: 195

Riden, who has battled injuries much of his junior season, is rounding into form as DeSoto chases a second-straight state title. He ran for 131 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. He showed off elite vision and ability to run between the tackles with lethal efficiency. - Matt Stepp

Name: Davis Penn | School: Southlake Carroll | Class: 2026 | Pos: RB | HT: 5'10 | WT: 180

Penn has compiled 1,343 yards and 25 TDs this season on a whopping 10.33 yards per attempt. The sophomore went bezerk Friday afternoon against a stout Highland Park defense, carrying 14 times for 210 yards and three touchdowns. He's shifty in the hole and displays breakaway speed, ripping a 90-yard touchdown run at one point. He's clocked a 4.5 40 and runs the 100m for Southlake's track team. The running back has camped at Penn State and visited Texas State and North Texas. - Carter Yates

Name: Riley Wormley | School: Southlake Carroll | Class: 2026 | Pos: RB | HT: 5'10 | WT: 170

Wormley has added a new dimension to Southlake's offense since he was ruled eligible midway through the season. He and Penn form one of the state's most talented backfields. The junior rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown on just 10 carries against Highland Park, showing great contact balance and burst. TCU, Oklahoma and Texas are in heavy pursuit. - Carter Yates

Leaders on the Line of Scrimmage

Name: Jacob Ponton | School: Dripping Springs | Class: 2024 | Pos: OT | HT: 6'7 | WT: 265

Ponton, a sleeper out of Central Texas committed to Texas Tech, has elite measurables with his 6'7 frame that can easily hold more weight and long arms which are ideal when playing tackle. He easily handled the smaller, quicker defensive linemen from San Antonio Jay. - Matt Stepp

Name: Case Pickelman | School: Highland Park | Class: 2024 | Pos: OT | HT: 6'4 | WT: 280

Pickelman's got expereince at both left tackle and center, versatility that'll serve him well at the next level. He just picked up an offer from North Texas and should get a couple more before Early Signing Day. He's a proven leader for Highland Park who's got the size and aggression for college ball. - Carter Yates

Name: Harrison Moore | School: Southlake Carroll | Class: 2024 | Pos: OG | HT: 6'4 | WT: 260

Moore's one of the more impressive linemen I've seen in 2023 and is a huge get for Georgia Tech, where he'll suit up with QB Graham Knowles. He's quick at guard and opened up numerous holes that allowed Southlake to rush for 367 total yards. - Carter Yates

Standout Wideouts

Name: Royal Capell | School: Cibolo Steele | Class: 2025 | Pos: WR | HT: 5'10 | WT: 190

Capell had a big afternoon for Steele in their 48-27 third round playoff win at the Alamodome, he caught five passes for 69 yards and a touchdown and added a 64-yard touchdown on the ground as well. He displayed good hands, above average route running and elite playmaking after the catch. - Matt Stepp

Name: Jalen Cooper | School: Cibolo Steele | Class: 2025 | Pos: WR | HT: 6'1 | WT: 165

Cooper, along with his partner in crime Capell, tormented Harlan on Friday in Steele's third round playoff win. Cooper caught 4 passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns and also was dynamic after the catch. He's a little bit taller than Capell, so Steele sent him on more deep routes to stretch the defense. - Matt Stepp

Name: Isaiah Champagne | School: San Antonio Pieper | Class: 2025 | Pos: WR | HT: 5'11 | WT: 165

Champagne is a true under-the-radar prospect in San Antonio after transferring into Pieper from Cecila, Louisiana, this off-season. The junior WR had a monster night in Pieper's third round playoff win over Alamo Heights Saturday with nine catches for 206 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Champagne did it while playing with a cast on his wrist as well! He's got elite short area quickness and his "twitchiness" allows him to quickly get open and get into open space. - Matt Stepp

Name: Michael Terry III | School: San Antonio Alamo Heights | Class: 2025 | Pos: ATH | HT: 6'3 | WT: 210

Terry is an electric ATH with great size and explosiveness who plays WR, RB, CB and S for Alamo Heights. Terry had a pair of touchdowns rushing and also intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown, he's an elite prospect in the Class of 2025 who will be a national level recruit. - Matt Stepp

Front-Seven Menaces

Name: Keylan Abrams | School: DeSoto | Class: 2025 | Pos: DE | HT: 6'0 | WT: 195

The Purdue commit was an absolute menace for the DeSoto defense tallying three sacks and disrupting at least a dozen more plays in DeSoto's Friday win over Willis. Abrams has elite quickness off the ball, an array of pass rushing moves and a motor that doesn't stop. - Matt Stepp

Name: Jack Morse | School: Highland Park | Class: 2025 | Pos: LB | HT: 6'1 | WT: 210

Morse has great instincts at the linebacker spot and triggers on his keys in a hurry. He blew up multiple plays in the backfield Friday against Southlake Carroll before the offensive line could even react. He's going to be one to watch next year as a senior. - Carter Yates

Dynamic DBs

Name: Dontae Carter | School: Cibolo Steele | Class: 2024 | Pos: S | HT: 6'1 | WT: 175

The Vanderbilt commit looked outstanding in Steele's Friday win over San Antonio Harlan. Carter makes many of the secondary calls and is the "Quarterback" of the defense, he picked off a pass and was lurking on several other throws over the middle. Carter proved he was a solid tackler in space and showed elite closing speed, while also making an impact on special teams. Vanderbilt has an absolute steal in this playmaker. - Matt Stepp

Name: Alvin Williamson | School: Cibolo Steele | Class: 2024 | Pos: S | HT: 6'0 | WT: 180

Williamson, another Vanderbilit commit, absolutely looks the part playing corner in Steele's defense, Harlan largely avoided the side of the field where he worked as he was all over any receiver in his vicinity. - Matt Stepp

Name: Eric Garza | School: Southlake Carroll | Class: 2024 | Pos: S/LB | HT: 5'11 | WT: 200

I have no clue how Garza isn't on more college radars, he's an absolute freak of nature. Southlake likes to play him as a box safety/outside linebacker, and he's constantly around the football. He's physical in the run game, good with coverage in the slot and the leader of the defense. - Carter Yates


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