One of the things we like to do as a network from time to time is do a bit of cross checking.
As you see the same players over and over during your summer travels, objectivity can often give way to familiarity.
In our never ending quest to get it right, we spend some time working in other regions to get some fresh eyes on some of the area's top talent.
I was fortunate enough to join Greg Powers and our Midlands team in College Station, Texas on the campus of Texas A&M to see many of Texas' best and brightest prospects battle it out for a state title in 7-on-7 football.
While there were dozens of talented players in attendance, a few prospects really stood out.
QB Matt Davis: Klein-Forest
Matt May be the best college football prospect I have seen this summer. Despite missing just about all of his junior season, Davis is back to full strength and showing a tremendous amount of potential.
He played both ways during the tournament and he was the bell cow for his team on offense and defense.
Davis is a leader, but he is not the brash sort of senior who enjoys bossing people around. He knows the other players' jobs and he helps them get into position, but you can see a mutual respect between Matt and his teammates.
When a young corner was having problems holding his assignment, Davis switched positions with him and the receiver in question was no longer a factor.
Offensively, Matt has a poise and sense of confidence that is rare in a high school player. He is a winner and he makes everyone around him better.
Aggie fans get ready. Davis is a special talent.
QB Ford Childress: Kincaid
Ford is another talented field general that exudes a quiet confidence. There is not a throw he cannot make and mechanically he does the little things well.
Childress lead his team to the brink of a state title, but were turned away in a very tightly contested affair against Melissa High.
Perhaps the thing that stands out most about Ford and his team is the amount of trust they have with each other.
The receivers never give up on their routes and Childress is not scared to lay one up and there and let his guy go and make a play for him.
WR Jeffrey Thomas: Duncanville
7-on-7 tournaments are a nice measuring tool, but for a physical wideout like Jeff it can be a tough adjustment.
It is clear that Thomas enjoys using his size and strength to get free of defenders looking to jam him and at times during the tournament his instincts took over and a hapless defender found themselves on the ground.
Jeff looks to be an X receiver who can use his length and physical nature to be a handful in the redzone.
Just throw it to the back pylon and let him go get it.
WR Dede Westbrook: Cameron Yoe
Westbrook had a coming out part of sorts during the event. Even when the defense felt like Dede was getting the ball, they had a tough time containing him.
He has very good speed and great leaping ability. He shows a nice level of dexterity and tremendous ball skills.
Dede high points the ball well and he shows nice body control in the air. He finds out where he needs to be and then goes and gets the football.
Somebody is going to sign a very good player in Westbrook.
QB Darrell Colbert: Houston-Lamar:
Colbert, a freshman, led the Redskins through the Division One minefield into the state finals.
Darrell showed a poise beyond his years and he made big throw after big throw after big throw.
Even when the pressure of the quarterfinals got tense, Colbert kept his cool and as a result his team maintained their composure.
Remember the name.
WR Michael Ellis: Melissa
Melissa High school may not have the most talented roster. The young football program took a big step forward over the weekend by winning the Division II state title.
While it is always a team effort, a large part of the credit has to go to Michael Ellis and his ability to make big plays on both sides of the ball.
Michael is just beginning to get on the recruiting radar, but he is a very talented prospect who is more talented than his current list of options.
Championships are won with players just like Ellis who work hard in anonymity and put the team first.
Just ask his teammates who got to hoist that championship trophy.