Recruiting Tales from the Road - Regional Finals, 2023

Kiotti Armstrong (Photo by Greg Powers)

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Teams are remembered in December, and the standout players from those teams become legends. Here are the guys etching their names in TXHSFB lore.

Offensive Fireworks in Frisco Emerson/Colleyville Heritage Duel

Name: Luke Ullrich | School: Colleyville Heritage | Class: 2024 | Pos: QB | HT: 5'10 | WT: 190

Watching Luke Ullrich on Friday night was the most fun I've had at a TXHSFB game this year. Colleyville Heritage finished with 619 total yards. Ullrich accounted for 582 of them. He was surgical in the pocket thowing to top wideouts Braden Blueitt and Hayden Golden. When protection collapsed, he juked, hurdled and sprinted past defenders. Him and Oklahoma commit Michael Hawkins went touchdown-for-touchdown in a third quarter that combined for 48 points. When the game ended, Emerson head coach Kendall Miller jogged all the way from his sideline and embraced Ullrich outside the regular handshake line. Game recognize game. Ullrich has one offer to North Texas right now. I think he's one of DFW's biggest sleepers. - Carter Yates

Name: Michael Hawkins | School: Frisco Emerson | Class: 2024 | Pos: QB | HT: 6'3 | WT: 195

I honestly didn't plan on writing about Hawkins because we've included him on three of these notebooks, but he was too good to leave off. For as much as I gushed about Ullrich, Hawkins matched him every drive. The Oklahoma commit finished 21-of-25 for 316 yards and three touchdowns through the air. I knew he was athletic coming in, but I was shocked by the acceleration he showed with 128 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. He's led Frisco Emerson into the state semifinals in their second season as a Varsity program, an unprecedented accomplishment.  - Carter Yates

Name: Kylen Evans | School: Frisco Emerson | Class: 2024 | Pos: WR | HT: 6'2 | WT: 180

The Texas State commit could not be covered Friday night. Evans finished with eight receptions for 196 yards and two touchdowns. He's a big-body deep threat who showed up time and again on posts and streak routes, including a 3rd and 19 conversion when everybody in the stadium knew Hawkins would look his way. Evans said postgame he's locked in to Texas State. He should be lethal in GJ Kinne and Mack Leftwich's offense. - Carter Yates

Name: Braden Blueitt | School: Colleyville Heritage | Class: 2024 | Pos: WR | HT: 6'1 | WT: 195

Blueitt has produced all season as Ullrich's top guy, finishing with 73 receptions for 1,127 yards and and 20 touchdowns. Friday night was no different. Those 50-50 jump balls are like 70-30 Blueitt's way. He's got strong hands and nice YAC ability. Blueitt holds offers from Texas Tech and Tulsa, but has taken visits to Baylor as well. - Carter Yates

Standouts from Tolar/Marlin battle

Name: Isaac Blessing | School: Tolar | Class: 2024 | Pos: QB/LB | HT: 6'3 | WT: 215

Blessing is Taysom Hill in HS form. He was an all-state linebacker last season for Tolar, but is mainly a quarterback this season to fill a hole for the team. He's a power runner with breakaway 4.5 speed once he's in the open field, and he's got a strong arm to uncork it when Tolar does pass. I think his future is on the defensive side, where he flashed sideline-to-sideline range and brought the boom numerous times. He's generated tons of interest from FCS schools, and whoever pulls the trigger is going to look like a genius in a couple years. - Carter Yates

Name: Peyton Brown | School: Tolar | Class: 2024 | Pos: RB | HT: 6'3 | WT: 235

Brown's the guy no one wants to tackle once the second half rolls around. He had guys hanging on for dear life. He's been out most of the year with a leg injury, but is working his way back just in time for a state championship run. Trying to take on his truck stick when the weather gets cold is no fun for anyone. I think he could also translate well to the defensive side of the ball if he wants to in college. Brown's got the plus athleticism and size to be a 4i. - Carter Yates

Name: Brysen Steele | School: Marlin | Class: 2026 | Pos: DT/OG | HT: 6'1 | WT: 285

Steele is going to blow up recruiting-wise in the next two years. He's got grown-man strength as a sophomore. Rarely do you see an interior defensive linemen wreaking havoc in the backfield like he was, and he was a violent tackler. Steele played both ways the entire night, a testament to his endurance and will power, especially with how hard it is to rush the passer constantly, and he was impressive start to finish. - Carter Yates

Jasper Products

Name: Kiotti Armstrong | School: Jasper | Class: 2025 | Pos: TE | HT: 6'6 | WT: 248

To put it simply, Armstrong is a monster. He had one of the game's best plays on a one-handed snag in the endzone to score Jasper's only points. He already has offers from some of the nation's most elite programs, including Alabama, Texas A&M and Oklahoma, and it's easy to see why. - Greg Powers

Name: Ty'Anthony Smith | School: Jasper | Class: 2024 | Pos: LB | HT: 6'1 | WT: 205

The Texas A&M commit was always around football. Smith is a downhill striker and a knock-back tackler, but he also showcased his ability to play sideline to sideline. Bellville is a run-oriented team, so he had the opportunity to get his name called a lot in this matchup. - Greg Powers

Dominant DL

Name: Connor Vasek | School: Austin Westlake | Class: 2025 | Pos: DE | HT: 6'4 | WT: 215

Vasek battled through the injury bug a bit this season, but he jumps out with his size and power on the edge. He can get after the quarterback and was consistently applying pressure and disrupting. Vasek, the younger brother of Texas DE Colton Vasek, has one offer from Texas State, but the floodgates are about to open. - Greg Powers

Name: DJ Sanders | School: Bellville | Class: 2025 | Pos: DL | HT: 6'3 | WT: 290

An impressive specimen who is a handful to block because he is quick and agile at his size and can also overpower offensive linemen. It does not take long to see why he is approaching 20 offers. Sanders will be in the running to be a Top 10 player in the state and the No. 1 DT in his class. - Greg Powers 


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