The Big Fish
The Texas Tech commitment Dominique Wheeler is the lone Scout.com 5-star set to compete in the ‘small school' tournament. At 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, Wheeler is a speed demon, but he was also Crockett's quarterback a year ago, so depending upon the team's strategy you could see him sitting back in the pocket throwing the rock.
In Texas 7v7 the quarterback can get involved with trick plays as Stanford's Andrew Luck made a terrific play in the finals a few years back, after completing a pass he raced up the sidelines and received a lateral from his receiver. Houston Stratford would still fall short of the championship that season, but no one lost the memory of the play that showcased just how athletic the future NFLer exactly was.
It would be a whole lot of fun to see Wheeler split out wide or even get in the mix using his speed on a trick play or two. It may be a stretch, but a guy can dream.
The Quarterback Debate
A few of the state's top arms will get the chance to show off yet again and the three big names all have a similar ranking for the time being, but could see a rise with big-time performances.
Preston Dewey, a 6-foot-3, 200-pounder from St. Andrew's in Austin was considered to be the top arm at the Regional Elite 11 stop at TCU and because of that performance he has earned an invite to come out and throw at the actual Elite 11 in California later in the month. This gunslinger has already made a commitment to Miami (FL).
Ford Childress, a 6-foot-5, 210-pounder from Houston Kincaid High exploded on to the scene at the same event one year ago. The son of former Texas A&M standout Ray Childress should be bigger and stronger and even more polished than he was one year ago. At that time he showed a big strong arm and a great frame, so with the right development it would be no surprise to see him impress again.
Not too many out there are clamoring about TCU commit Austin Aune from Argyle High, but when you pop in his film you will notice an awfully smooth and consistent performer. He has a nice presence in the pocket and seems to sense pressure, something you can never really coach. Mechanically he is pretty sound, so if he has the cannon to go with the brains then watch out!
People may not be talking about Sanger High's Dane Evans or Decatur's Garrett Muehlstein as much as the others, but Evans, a Tulsa commit has proven that he has everything you look for except for ideal size and Muehlstein has plenty of size on his 6'5 frame.
The Best of the Rest
Justin Thomas is a 5-foot-9, 165-pound corner from West-Orange Stark High. Thomas is one of the top cover cornerbacks in the state and recently said that Baylor, who has already offered is the leader for his signature.
Jordan Smith is a prospect whose recruitment seems all set to take off. The 6-foot-5, 225-pounder from Waco Reicher High is already considered by Scout.com as one of the top tight ens in the state and has a couple of BCS offers to his credit and a number of other schools keeping really close tabs.
There has never been any question about the talent of Dennis Smith, 6-foot-1, 200-pound running back from Wimberley High, but after some off the field issues at the tail end of the 2010 season his career had been in limbo, but after getting his ducks in a row he is back on track for a collegiate career at Texas A&M.
Class of 2013 star CB Torii Hunter Jr. is the son of current MLB star of the same name and his athletic prowess is impressive. His father made a name for himself climbing over walls to make spectacular grabs and his son excels at many sports, but the odds are that the Jr. will end up playing football in college.
Pick Celina to win and history says you have about a 25% chance of picking the champions. I picked Brownwood last year and they made me look good, because behind the skills of Texas signee Jaxon Shipley they powered through the tournament. This year there are some talented teams like Gilmer and West Orange-Stark, but no one team has a ‘Shipley Effect' type of talent. For that reason I am back to old reliable -- the Bobcats from Celina.
Oh and note to Celina coaches please, please, please bring and use big man Jake Raulerson as the tight end, with his frame and athleticism he would be a true weapon and only help solidify my championship pick!