RISING: Crowley Eagles 2024 Recruiting Notebook

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Carlos Lynn is leading a new era at Crowley. After a six-year run as Cedar Hill's head coach, Lynn guided the Eagles to a 7–4 record in his first season at the helm, the program's best mark since 2019. He's hired a young staff - just one coach on the offensive side is over 30 - that's bringing the juice in offseason workouts. Crowley is seeking to make the third round of the playoffs for the first time in school history this year. 

Here are the prospects to watch for in 2024.

Name: Antayvious Ellis | Class: 2027 | Pos: WR | HT: 6'1 | WT: 170

Ellis placed himself in elite category last fall as a freshman playing 6A varsity football. He earned Offensive Newcomer of the Year honors with 36 catches for 719 yards and seven touchdowns. Ellis is a deep-threat in Crowley's offense because of his 10.87 100m dash time, but he also has sure hands. Offensive coordinator Matthew McHugh said he was convinced Ellis could play Varsity football during a summer 7-on-7 game when he made a terrific sideline catch against Class 4A state runner-up Tyler Chapel Hill.

Ellis said SMU, Oklahoma and Nebraska are the schools making the biggest impact on his recruitment. He loves the SMU campus and how close it is to home in Dallas. He cites the Jordan brand deal and his days idolizing CeeDee Lamb as pulls for Oklahoma. He has a strong relationship with Nebraska wide receiver coach Garret McGuire and aplauds the assistant for consistently reaching out to him. 

Everyone sees the talent on the football field, but the Crowley coaches rave about his character as well. 

“I can guarantee at 12:05 p.m., he’s going to be in my office coming to talk to me, dap me up, and ask me how my day is going,” McHugh said.

Name: Brandon Ford | Class: 2026 | Pos: CB | HT: 5'11 | WT: 180

Ford fits perfectly in Crowley's press-corner scheme. Carlos Lynn describes him as a technician, and his stats (17 tackles, 1 INT) prove what the Crowley coaches say - people don't test Brandon Ford. Last season was only Ford's second as a cornerback. He played all over the field until high school, when Crowley moved him to Varsity as a first-time corner. He already operates like a veteran.

“Everything about him is perfect,” safety Jonathan Blake said.

He was in attendance for SMU's spring game this past Friday and has now visited multiple times in the offseason. He has a cousin who attends school there and loves the campus. Ford said the program's energy sticks out to him.

“I like the atmosphere on the team, especially the defense," Ford said. "At the practice I was at, the defense was live.”

Texas Tech is another early leader in his recruitment. Ford took an unofficial visit to Lubbock last season and said the fan atmosphere was wild. 

Name: Derrick Tasby | Class: 2025 | Pos: WR | HT: 6'0 | WT: 180

The Crowley coaches rant and rave about Tasby. He played tight end and H-back as a sophomore to fill a team need, then exploded in 2023 as a full-time receiver. Tasby led the district in receptions (63), yards (836) and receiving touchdowns (13). The team refers to him as Lil Deebo because he does everything on the field. He especially takes pride in blocking.

“I’m talking about the nasty, dirty work blocking,” Lynn said. “He don’t mind bloodying his nose.”

Offensive coordinator Matthew McHugh said Tasby helped him install the offense when he arrived last March because the receiver picked it up so fast. UTEP's new staff has offered Tasby, with running backs coach Jourdan McNeill running point on his recruitment. 

Name: Derrick Page | Class: 2025 | Pos: WR | HT: 5'10 | WT: 160

Page is another playmaker in Crowley's loaded wide receiver room. Four guys caught over 35 passes. McHugh describes him as an electric playmaker that the coaching staff thinks highly of. They believe he'll play football at a collegiate level. He's a crisp route runner on film who catches the ball well over the middle, away from his body. Crowley likes to throw it to him on screens as well. Page is shifty - the type of guy who can make you miss in a phone booth.

Name: Caleb Williams | Class: 2025 | Pos: QB | HT: 6'2 | WT: 175

Williams has an argument for the area's most improved passer from sophomore to junior year. He threw for over 3,000 yards and 36 touchdowns while rushing for over 800 yards and seven scores, earning First Team All-District honors. McHugh said Williams has grown as a vocal leader. Last offseason, he was quieter as he grasped the new offense, but Lynn and the other coaches say they know now that was him processing how to operate the system exactly as they wanted it.

“He’s patient, and he’s such a coach-pleaser,” Lynn said. He wants to do it exactly how the coach coaches it.” 

Williams is an elite athlete. In his first offseason triple jumping, he's hitting marks in the 47-foot range. He does a great job taking what the defense gives him, letting his playmakers make plays. I saw him live for the first time last season against Mansfield Summit and was impressed with his command. Williams has been camping with Abilene Christian and North Texas and should start receiving college offers by senior year.

Name: Jonathan Blake | Class: 2025 | Pos: FS | HT: 5'10 | WT: 190

Jonathan Blake is a human hitstick on his Hudl tape.

“In his film, all you see is him hitting people left and right,” Brandon Ford said.

He flies around the field making plays in the run game and covers sideline-to-sideline in the passing game. Blake is jacked up and has bad intentions, which makes for a great football player. He's been offered by the new UTEP staff, as well as Montana State and Mississippi Valley. Blake also says he's been hearing from Rice, Stephen F. Austin and Utah. The Utes have a history of recruiting the DFW area, and I could see him transitioning in the college game as a box safety.

Name: Alexander Herrera | Class: 2027 | Pos: OT | HT: 6'7 | WT: 275

Herrera is one to monitor at Crowley this upcoming season. The coaches believe he'll start getting Division I offers this summer, and he's set to be the team's left tackle as a sophomore. Hererra could've played Varsity football as a freshman, but the coaches developed him on the freshman team because they had upperclassmen offensive linemen. McHugh describes him as a monster with good hands and feet.

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