This is our first segment of the Big
XII Hot 100. Remember, this is an early list that will be changing
throughout the season on a monthly basis. It includes players from every state
within the Big XII region.
With each passing season, these lists become more difficult to assemble. With
the advent of the internet and the intense coverage of recruiting, there’s
more and more players that surface early each year.
One of the first questions asked when these lists are published is: “What
position or positions do you consider the strength of the class?” This year
the answer could be easy. Quarterbacks, quarterbacks and more quarterbacks.
Grand Prairie’s Rhett Bomar, North Shore’s Bobby Reid, Rock Bridge’s Chase
Patton, Brownwood’s Kirby Freeman (a recent commitment to Miami), Winfield’s
Nick Patton, Webster Groves’ Darrell Jackson, Ennis’ Graham Harrell,
Burnet’s Stephen McGee (Texas A&M) and Ryan Walters (Colorado) head a long
list of signal callers that stretches from Texas to Colorado. And there’s
probably others that will be on this list once the season begins in earnest.
This is the deepest and most talented crop of QB’s I’ve seen in a long, long
<p>We can’t go any further without talking about Fort Collins (CO)
center Jeff Byers. Every recruiting expert and college coach that we’ve talked
to that has either seen Byers play in person or on film say the same thing.
He’s the best center prospect they’ve ever witnessed and is probably the
best player in the country heading into the 2003 campaign. This kid has it
all--size, quickness and strength. And Byers has the ability to pull from the
center position quicker than anyone we’ve seen. A real pancake artist.
The running backs are deep and talented as well. Palestine (TX) tailback
Adrain Peterson has a chance to be one of the best tailbacks to come out of
Texas in the last 10-15 years. He’s another player that has it all--size
(six-foot-two, 205-lbs), speed (10.31 100-meters in the state 4-A track meet)
and strength. Seldom goes down on initial contact and even with his height, has
great “body lean” into the line of scrimmage, taking most of the punishment
on his shoulder pads. Reminding many of former Sealy High School, SMU and Los
Angeles Ram tailback Eric Dickerson, Peterson has a chance to be something
really special. One of the others in the region to keep an eye on are
Liberal’s Kenny Wilson, Rockhurst’s Tony Temple and Belton’s Ramonce
Taylor. A Dallas high school assistant worked out Lawton Eisenhower tailback D.J.
Wolfe at the Sooner summer camp and said the kid is fabulous. One other back
worth keeping an eye on in the DFW Metroplex is Parrish Fisher from Richardson
Pearce. This kid could really make a big splash in 2003.
South Oak Cliff’s Lendy Holmes is scheduled to play quarterback this
season, but will play wide receiver in college. He has all the tools.
Texarkana’s Nathan Jones is certainly a prime target and Burnet’s Jordan
Shipley, another son of a head coach, looks great on film. Both Jones and
Shipley are future Longhorns.
Denver’s Calias Campbell, Allen, TX’s Chris Smith and Tyler Lee’s Nic
Redwine lead an impressive list of defense ends, with Smith already pledging to
Texas A&M and Redwine to the Longhorns. Silbee’s William Morrisey, who
will more than likely be an Aggie before it’s all said and done, is probably
the top inside defender in the region, but Derek Lokey, a real overachiever from
Denton Ryan, promises to be a real star on the next level also.
The linebacker position may not be as deep as in prior years, but it’s
still early. Lufkin’s Aaron Darks, Galveston Ball’s Rodrick Johnson and Lake
Highland’s Jeremy Campbell are three worth keeping a eye on.
At safety, Houston Lamar’s Andrew Kelson, already committed to Texas, is
one of the top athletes and there are many recruiters after the signature of
Fort Worth Dunbar’s D.J. Davis, a real blazer.</p>
Omaha Central’s Cortney Grixby is another amazing athlete who’s slated
for cornerback in D-I. And most experts agree that Waco’s Marcus Walker is
likely the top corner in the Lone Star State heading into the season.
There are many, many more players we’ll be talking about as these lists
keep changing, so stay tuned.