RISING: Port Neches-Groves Indians 2024 Recruiting Notebook

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Since head coach Jeff Joseph took over in the spring of 2022, Port Neches-Groves has gone 28–4 and is coming off the program's first state championship since 1975. I spent the last two days in Port Neches to get a glimpse of the offseason program and witnessed a group working out as if they'd earned nothing yet. PN-G is stacked in the trenches and returns a couple intriguing skill position players, such as sophomore quarterback and District Offensive Newcomer of the Year Connor Bailey and 1,300-yard rusher Blair Chatagnier. 

Here are the guys with college offers to watch for in 2024. 

Name: Jackson Christian | Class: 2025 | Pos: OT | HT: 6'5 | WT: 310

Christian has started 30+ games in his varsity career and, along with Aaron Wolford, anchors an offensive line that had all five starters earn First Team All-District. Four of them return in 2024, making the offensive line PN-G's strength. He works up to the second level constantly in PN-G's run-heavy attack, paving the way for a 2,000-yard rusher and 1,300-yard rusher last year. Christian's HUDL tape shows him consistently walling off linebackers and blocking in space, displaying plus-athleticism for his size. Christian has visits lined up to Texas A&M on April 6 and Texas on April 13, the two teams leading his recruitment as of right now. He says he loves visiting College Station and that the tradition at Texas's football program sticks out to him. 

Name: Aaron Wolford | Class: 2026 | Pos: OT | HT: 6'4 | WT: 285

Wolford plays right tackle opposite Christian at the left and forms one of the state's most daunting duos. He sets the edge as a down blocker on running plays and displays polished techinque in pass protection despite being just a sophomore. If you want an insight into his character, he played the entire state championship on a torn PCL he sustained in the third quarter of the state semifinal. Texas Tech, SMU and Baylor are the teams sticking out in his recruitment. Wolford cites his relationship with Texas Tech general manager James Blanchard and meeting defensive tackles coach Zarnell Fitch as the reason the Red Raiders are early standouts. SMU's new facilities, such as the Armstrong Fieldhouse and expansion on the Gerald J. Ford stadium, are exciting. Wolford's visited Waco in middle school and enjoys the city.

Name: Mason Wuenschel | Class: 2025 | Pos: OLB | HT: 6'3 | WT: 205

Wuenschel is just freaking fun to watch on tape.The outside linebackers in PN-G's 3-4 scheme have similar responsibilities to hybrid safeties, and Wuenschel excelling at tackling in space and covering slot wide receivers is impressive given his 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame. He consistently maintains outside leverage and doesn't allow ball carriers to get outside of him. Then, he can blitz off the edge and cause opposing running backs nightmares when he picks up 10 yards of steam. Wuenschel is also a standout baseball player for PN-G as a lefty pitcher and outfielder and would like to continue competing on the diamond in college. North Texas was his first offer, and Mean Green linebacker coach Brian Odom re-offered Wuenschel when he got to Denton in February. Wuenschel also has an offer from Lamar, which offers the opportunity to play football and baseball. He has a junior day scheduled at Texas State on March 30, and both Memphis and Air Force have shown interest. 

Name: London Nunley | Class: 2025 | Pos: WR | HT: 6'3 | WT: 185

Nunley is PN-G's leading returner at wide receiver after earning Second Team All-District honors in 2023. He displays polished routes on tape that frequently create five-plus yards of separation from the defender. He's a small forward on the basketball team, but he's breaking ankles on the football field as well. Nunley consistently wins on comeback routes, and then will burn defenders on stop-and-go's. He's also a willing blocker on the outside either in PN-G's explosive run game or screen passes. Nunley has an offer from Air Force and took a visit this spring, where he was impressed with the weight room and built his relationship with wide receivers coach Taylor Stubblefield. 

Name: Jonathan Hernandez | Class: 2025 | Pos: DT | HT: 6'1 | WT: 270

Hernandez earned the district's Defensive MVP after a monster junior campaign. He mostly lines up at defensive end in PN-G's 3-4 scheme because the "weak eagle" concept has bigger five-technique players, but he'll most likley transition to defensive tackle in college. Hernandez is an absolute game-wrecker. He blocks kicks on special teams, recognizes screen passes as they happen to jump up and either intercept them or bat them down, and his run fits are exceptional. Defensive coordinator Matt McDaniel says his explosiveness and low center of gravity make him so effective. Hernandez has one DI offer to Lamar right now but is getting heavy interest from Cornell and some other Ivy League schools. His height might hold back some Power Four teams from offering, but Hernandez has Power 4 production and motor.

A correction was made on March 20: Port Neches-Groves has gone 28–4 over the past two seasons, not 31–1 as originally printed. DCTF regrets this error.

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