Meet Arlington Lamar's loaded 2027 class

Share or Save for Later

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Save to Favorites

Billy Skinner can tell Paul Bunyan-esque stories with the best of them. Three players in his 2027 class at Arlington Lamar already have Division I offers, but he foresaw this before they reached high school.

Two years ago, Skinner stopped by a middle school game at his stadium and watched Trenton Yancey catch a screen pass on 4th-and-18 and score a touchdown. To this day, he swears Yancey made everyone on the field miss. Twice.

“I tell people this, and I know they think it’s crazy,” Skinner said. “He probably could’ve played varsity football at the 6A level as an eighth grader.”

Yancey had to wait until freshman year when he won District 8-6A Newcomer of the Year after compiling over 1,000 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns. 

But wait, Skinner learned about linebacker Braylon Williams even earlier. He first met Williams in summer strength and conditioning when he walked in with his father. Skinner chided him for arriving late - the varsity was already lifting, so Williams needed to hurry up. Where did he move in from?

Williams told him he was an incoming seventh grader at Shackelford Junior High. 

“He’s been built like a freakin’ grown man since that moment I met him,” Skinner said. “And he’s blossomed even more.”

In 2023, Williams, now standing 6-feet, 230 pounds, earned First Team All-District honors as a freshman middle linebacker. He and Yancey were the two 2027 prospects who played varsity, and their recruiting skyrocketed after the debut. Williams holds six offers, including Power Four opportunities from Texas Tech, SMU and Baylor.

Yancey now boasts over 20 offers and cites Texas, Texas A&M and Oregon as the schools sticking out to him. The recruiting accolades haven’t staved off his hunger to improve. His uncle, V’Keon Lacey, ensures that. Lacey played wide receiver for four years in the Arena Football League after earning All-LSC honors at Angelo State. Now, he mentors Yancey.

“He pushes me the most to get up and go get it, work for everything that I got right now,” Yancey said. 

Skinner didn’t put all his 2027 leaders on varsity, even if they could’ve competed, because he wanted the freshman team to go 10–0. The Vikings haven’t had a winning season since 2019, but the feeder middle schools looked different than they had in years. Skinner wanted the freshman team to set a winning standard.

So, athletes like Shahariam Thurston and Dae’Shone Kerley served as sub-varsity cheat codes. Kerley, whose father, Jeremy, played at TCU and then eight years in the NFL, runs a sub-4.4 40-yard dash. He’ll join a wide receiver room with Yancey, 2026 prospect Khamill Pruitt and 2025 leader Deante Gentry. 

Because the wide receiver room is so stacked, Thurston will play cornerback primarily and rotate some on offense. The 6-foot-2 prospect is rangy and attacks the ball like a wide receiver. He and Yancey go one-on-one in practice every day. Thurston, with offers to North Texas and Texas State, is the third 2027 prospect already on college radars.

While the young guns are grabbing headlines, Skinner credits his upperclassmen for showing them how to operate. Many of the rising seniors have played varsity since their sophomore years and have set the foundation for the 2027 class to build on.  

“The thing that makes us lucky is we’ve got these guys and we have great senior leadership,” Skinner said.

This article is available to our Digital Subscribers.
Click "Subscribe Now" to see a list of subscription offers.
Already a Subscriber? Sign In to access this content.

Sign In
Don't Miss Any Exclusive Coverage!

We've been the Bible of Texas football fans for 64 years. By joining the DCTF family you'll gain access to all of our exclusive content and have our magazines mailed to you!