Greg Powers - National Recruiting Analyst
Friday: Gladewater (Texas) High at Gilmer (Texas) High at 7:30 p.m. CST
An East Texas showdown. The undefeated Buckeyes from Gilmer are looking to get back to the State Championship game and Gladewater's Bears are looking to take it to the next level and a winning record. The Bears are led by Scout.com Class of 2015 five-star defensive tackle Daylon Mack, who is coming off a very impressive performance against Atlanta. Mack is a force up front, commanding a double team at all times. Gilmer has a bevy of top prospects. They are lead emotionally and defensively by Texas A&M commit Josh Walker, Scout.com four-star prospect. On offense, it is Class of 2015 Top 100 member Kris Boyd at running back stealing the spotlight. He is also a lockdown corner on defense. You will also want to remember his Class of 2016 brother Demarco Boyd. The next big thing in East Texas.
Ahmard Vital - Midlands Recruiting Analyst
Friday: Crosby (Tex.) vs. Humble (Tex.) Summer Creek at 7 p.m. CST
Here is a solid battle of unbeaten teams in the Houston area. And while both teams are solid collectively, the individual parts are equally impressive. For Crosby, Aston Walter and Austin Walter have been great contributors to what Crosby has been doing, as well as wide receiver Raelon Singleton. The Walters brothers are headed to Rice while Singleton is Pac-12 bound going to Utah. On defense, linebacker Chase Nix is a player to watch as well. For Summer Creek, the class that has been producing for several years are now seniors, led by quarterback Aaron Sharp, who will take his talents to Kansas State. In the backfield with him is running backs Jordan Braden and DeUnte Chatman. Defensively, Summer Creek is led by top linebacker Dakota Allen, who committed to Texas Tech earlier this year.
Saturday: Humble (Tex.) Atascocita vs. Spring (Tex.) Westfield at 7 p.m. CST
Here’s a game of North Houston area that has a couple of stars playing. For Atascocita, wide receiver Greg Campbell is the player to watch. For Westfield, defensive back Brian Peavy is one of the top skilled guys. It is the trenches where Westfield is the strongest. Marcus Oliver and Toby Weathersby lead a great offensive line group while the younger Oliver, Ed Oliver, a 2016 top recruit, is great on the defensive line.
Bob Przybylo - Midlands Reporter
Friday: Lawton (Okla.) High vs. Edmond (Okla.) Memorial at 7 p.m. CST at University of Central Oklahoma
All eyes will be locked on Class of 2015 Scout 300 offensive guard Jalin Barnett, who has started his season in fine fashion for Lawton. Expected to be the state’s top recruit for the class, he already has offers from schools such as Oklahoma, Stanford and Auburn. But there are other talents in this game, including an emerging one in 2014 Lawton running back Michael Warren, who has rushed for 655 yards on 62 attempts and eight touchdowns. Three-star defensive tackle Ivan Thomas, committed to Texas Tech, has been plugging up the middle as well. Edmond Memorial is anchored by 2015 running back Warren Wand. At only 5-foot-7, he can get lost in the shuffle, but all he does is produce. Wand has rushed for 546 yards on 74 carries and five touchdowns. Class of 2015 defensive end LaManuel Singleton will also be one to watch. A transfer from Louisiana, Singleton has two sacks this season and was impressive at OU’s camp in June.
Erin Hartigan - Midlands Field Reporter
Thursday: Weatherford (Texas) at Arlington (Texas) Bowie at 7:00 p.m.
Bowie's 6-foot-2, 212-pound four-star senior linebacker Edwin Freeman headlines this matchup. Freeman recently made a game day visit to Texas A&M for the Aggies' much anticipated rematch with Alabama. And while the Aggies' day ended in a 49-42 loss, it didn't stop Freeman from naming Texas A&M his leader in his top four of Texas, TCU and LSU.
Keep an eye on 2015 defensive back Niko Small. Named District 3-5A's Defensive Newcomer of the Year as a sophomore, Small has continued to be a major defensive weapon behind Freeman.
2015 athlete Tony James has again taken the quarterback reigns following senior Keaton Perry's season-ending re-tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in week one. And like last year, James has hit the pocket running, completing 16 of 21 passes for 123 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions, keeping it 26 times for 219 yards and another four scores. Senior Trenton Shumate has remained a top option, taking 31 handoffs for 220 yards and three touchdowns while averaging 12.4 yards per catch on seven passes. Junior Jalin Badger has averaged 13.3 yards per catch with three carries for 61 yards and a score. Both are sleepers on the recruiting trails, but that should change with strong performances through district play. Someone who's not a sleeper: Bowie's 6-foot-4, 260-pound senior offensive guard Kris Thigpen. Thigpen holds offers from Texas Tech, Houston and Rice. Bowie (2-1) comes off of a bye week and looks to rebound from a week three 52-28 loss to Dallas Skyline, while Weatherford (0-3) still searches for its first win.
Annabel Stephan, Midlands Field Reporter
Thursday: Cibolo (Texas) Steele at San Marcos (Texas) at 7:30 p.m.
The Steele Knights enter this game 3-1, their only defeat coming in a 46-45 loss to San Antonio (Texas) Madison in week one. There are a number of top prospects on Steele's team; the offense features running back Justin Stockton, a Texas Tech commit who has rushed for 760 yards and seven touchdowns this season. The offensive line is led by Deionte Noel, who will join Stockton in Lubbock next year, and the defensive line by Baylor commit Josh Malin, who has racked up 20 tackles this fall (nine of them solo). Other prospects to watch include defensive end Matthew Simmons, 2015 quarterback L.G. Williams, and 2016 running back Bryson Denley, who has near 250 all-purpose yards this season. The Knights are facing a 3-1 San Marcos team fresh off of a 29-8 win over Waco (Texas) University.
Friday: Cedar Park (Texas) at Leander (Texas) at 7:30 p.m.
The 3-1 Timberwolves were one of the highest touted Texas teams coming into the season and their sole loss was to Abilene (Texas) Cooper, 24-21. Cedar Park's offense is led by quarterback Nate Grimm, who has thrown for 673 yards and eight touchdowns this season. Grimm, who holds an offer from Sam Houston State, is also the team's leading rusher, with 320 yards and five touchdowns. Fullback Thomas Middleton has accounted for an additional almost 100 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, the prospect to watch is 2015 lineman Myles Cheatum; head coach Joe Willis was high on the 6-foot-2, 225-pounder during the off-season, and Cheatum has received interest from programs including TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Kansas, and Houston interest. Leander enters the game 2-2. Defensive end Michael Epley is an SMU commit and has scored a defensive touchdown this season. The other defensive prospect to keep an eye on is linebacker Martin Nwakamma, a Rice commit.