Thursday: Cedar Hill at Denton Guyer at 7:00 p.m.
This match-up is always one of the most anticipated. Denton Guyer checks in at No. 45 in the FOX Sports NEXT National Top 50 and Cedar Hill is a team that could make that very list with a big road win. Both squads are loaded with D1 talent. Guyer is led by Texas quarterback commit Jerrod Heard (2014), TCU offensive line commit Patrick Morris (2013) and Arizona wide receiver commit Ellis Jefferson (2013). The Hill boasts as much D1 talent as anyone in the state. Arkansas State quarterback commit Damion Hobbs (2013) leads the offense and has two quality receivers to get the ball to in Texas A&M commits Laquvionte Gonzalez (2013) and Quincy Adeboyjo (2013).
Friday: Abilene at Hebron at 7:30 p.m.
Abilene is a a sleeper pick by many this season, but it will get a sure test as it comes to ‘The Woodshed' in week one. Hebron was tough last season and is poised to be even better this year as some of its young talent will have more experience. Safety Jamal Adams (2014) has emerged as one of the top prospects in the country in his class and offensive lineman Zach Rogers (2015) proved that he was one of the state's best as a freshman last year. Three-star runnning back Dez Wortham (2013) will be a heavily used weapon on offense. Abilene will be led on offense by Tulsa receiver commit Keevan Lucas (2013) and on defense by Jake McMillon (2014).
Saturday: The Woodlands vs. Dallas Skyline at 6:00 p.m. @ FC Dallas Stadium
Another great non-district match-up to kick things off. The Woodlands will be bringing up a very talented team from the Houston area to face off against the Skyline Raiders, the Midlands top-rated squad. There may not be a more talented team in the country than Dallas Skyline, who is led by Ole Miss quarterback commit and Elite 11 alum Devante Kincade (2013) and four-star Oklahoma State wide receiver commit Ra'Shaad Samples (2013). On defensive side of the ball you will find athletic Texas A&M defensive tackle commit Kerrick Huggins (2013) wrecking shop. The Woodlands should be tough up front. Northwestern's tight end commit Jayme Taylor (2013) is a good blocker and pass catcher and future Colorado big man Jonathan Huckins (2013) will open up some huge holes.
Ahmard Vital - Midlands Recruiting Analyst
Friday: Houston (Texas) Bellaire at Alief Taylor (Texas) at 7 p.m.
No doubt that the Taylor football team is one of the most talent-heavy programs in the Lone Star State and easily the most star-studded in the Houston area. The headliner is clearly four-star defensive end Torrodney Prevot, who committed to USC this past summer. The other two defensive ends, Ogbonnia Okoronwu and Duke Ejiofor are also a pair of Division I players who will be at Oklahoma State and Rice respectively. In the secondary, safety Jonathan Wiggins is SEC bound going to Texas A&M and junior cornerback Chris Hardeman made an early commitment to LSU. On to the offense, running back Trevorris Johnson was flying under the radar for most of last year, but a solid off season landed him more than 10 offers. Ultimately, he decided on TCU. Wide receiver Keenen Brown is a top recruit for 2014, with offers to Ole Miss, Utah and SMU. Receiver Romello Brooker, also a junior will be a top target after a full, healthy season on the varsity level. For Bellaire, all of its top players are on offense, with speedster wide receiver Devin Lauderdale, a Texas Tech commitment, who chose the Red Raiders over several top options including Alabama, Notre Dame and West Virginia. Running back Denzell Evans is a Houston commit. The Cardinals have two offensive lineman committed with Dwayne Johnson to Purdue and Charles Sanders to UTEP.
Saturday: Klein Collins (Texas) at Cy Woods (Texas) at 7 p.m.
These two squads are part of the weekend doubleheader played at the new Dynamo Stadium in downtown Houston. Klein Collins has seen plenty of success in its short history and once again the offensive line is solid led by Tyler Tezano and Chance Allen, who are both headed to the Big 12 Conference with commitments to West Virginia and Kansas State. Running back Marcus Goodson is solid out of the backfield and will be working this season to haul in offer No. 1. Collins' junior class has a couple of solid players with athlete Jordan Thomas and linebacker Isaiah Santos, both of whom are future Division I players. Thomas has an early offer from Utah. Cy Woods is a stacked team as well. Linebacker Deoundrei Davis is a four-star defender and one of the state's best. He's headed to Texas. Staying with the defense, safety Alfred Pullom is Baylor bound. On offense, quarterback Nate German had a solid offseason, which led him to a committable offer to Rice. Both running backs for Woods can get it done with Trent Holmes, and Air Force commitment and Sam Stewart, a junior who holds offers from Texas Tech and Mississippi State.
Erin Hartigan - Midlands Field Reporter
Thursday: Dallas (Texas) Bishop Dunne at Fort Worth (Texas) Eastern Hills at 7 p.m.
And the 2012 season opens with the Bishop Dunne show. This will be a bit of a lopsided matchup for two reasons. One- football in the Dallas district has traditionally been stronger than that of Fort Worth. Two- Coach Michael Johnson and Dunne bring in a load of talent- led by one of the top offensive tackles in 2013 in 6-foot-5, 275-pound Ishmael Wilson, a Texas A&M commit. And just when you think he's a monster, wait until you see 6-foot-6, 295-pound junior, Jovan Pruitt, lined up next to him. Just as Wilson developed under former star tackle (now at Texas) Alex Norman, so too will Pruitt under the guidance of Wilson. Pruitt holds an offer from Colorado State, but with improvement in the classroom over the spring and summer, Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma look to jump on board. Speaking of jumping on board, '14 corner Nick Watkins has has had just about every storied college football program do just that-- from Alabama and LSU, to Michigan and Ohio State, Texas, Notre Dame, Stanford. Senior safety Deyleon Williams will be holding down the secondary with Watkins. Williams will also see time at receiver this year. Keep eye on junior transfer from Cedar Hill, LeShai Maston Jr., son of former Baylor standout Maston Sr. The long-armed 6-foot-4, 185-pounder will showcase his athleticisim at quarterback, receiver and outside lineback this fall. He is getting looks from Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech. Also keep eye on running back Justin Hawthorne.
Friday: DeSoto (Texas.) at Arlington (Texas) Martin (Tx.) at 7:30 p.m.
DeSoto enters 2012 having lost key seniors in DBs Bryson Echols and Jalen Mills and OT Curtis Riser. But Coach Claude Mathis, and what he has transformed into a powerhouse program, always manages to refuel. Much of the work will put on the shoulders of four-star senior running back and Oregon pledge Dontre Wilson, who rushed for nearly 800 yards and 15 touchdowns last season, also taking 12 grabs in the slot for 246 yards and five scores. New leader on the line will be Sergio Phillips, a 6-foot-3, 300-pound center committed to San Diego State, who has over the offseason developed a strong rapport with junior quarterback Desmond White. White will have some nice targets in firey, scrappy senior wideout Rickey Daniels and Kyle Collins. Both Daniels and Collins had dominant 7v7 seasons, expect each to have blowup falls. Holding it down on the defensive side will be DBs Myron Turner (Washington State commit) and Nick Orr, and linebacker Taylor Young, an honorable mention all-state selection last year with 116 tackles.
Martin comes off of a record-setting 2011. After falling to Euless Trinity in the regional quarterfinals four of the previous five years, it was on a cold day last November, among 30 mph winds, that Coach Bob Wager and his Arlington Martin Warriors finally knocked the wall, running past the Trojans, 19-7, to advance. Much of the "running" was done by current senior running back and University of Texas commitment Kyle Hicks (who will also play some quarterback, possibly some corner, for Martin this season.) The shutting down of Trinity's run game was courtesy of Devonte Fields, a highly-rated defensive end who could see the field early this fall as a true freshman at TCU. Filling Fields' shoes will be one who could ultimately surpass him- 2014 prospect Myles Garrett, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound "man child" as most describe him, who holds early offers from Texas, Arkansas and Minnesota and will likely add Texas A&M, TCU, Notre Dame and Ohio State soon. Opposite Garrett on the D-line will be '13 defensive end Chris Odom (6'3/220), the son of 13-year NFL veteran Cliff Odom and the younger brother of Baylor's Clifton Odom. Odom has been in close communication with Baylor, as well as TCU.
Aaron Cedeno - Kansas Recruiting Analyst
Friday: Overland Park (KS) Shawnee Mission South at Prairie Village (KS) Shawnee Mission East at 7 p.m. CST
Head Coach Chip Sherman has revitalized football at East during the past couple of years, and in 2012 he and the program got a big boost in the form of Waco (TX) Midway transfer Jordan Darling. A 6-foot-4, 222-pound quarterback, Darling spent the summer gelling with his new teammates and helped them to impressive records at a number of area 7-on-7 events. He's got prototypical size and good mobility, but his real strength is his arm - which is a cannon. Committed to Head Coach Charlie Weis and the Kansas Jayhawks, this will be Darling's first competition in his new home and we're eager to get a look at how he's adjusted.