For those who followed the "Unheralded 2013 Player of the Week" series of posts I did through the 2012 high school football season, I thought it appropriate to re-visit the profiled players post-Signing Day and update readers on which colleges these young men will be playing for next year. For each player you can click on their name to read the original article in which they were featured.
Collin Bowen (Canyon Randall), Quarterback
Senior year: The talented dual-threat QB surpassed the 1,000 yard mark both running and passing for the second consecutive year and was named honorable mention All-State. He lead his team to a 9-1 record and they had their sights set on a deep run in the playoffs, but Randall was upset in the bi-district round by a Hereford team they had defeated 33-0 early in the season.
College choice: Texas State (preferred walk-on). Bowen has Division I talent and was evaluated by a number of FBS schools, including some in the Big 12. He received scholarship offers from FCS level programs but never got that FBS scholarship offer he wanted. In the end, he decided to accept an offer from Texas State (FBS) to sign as a preferred walk-on, where he'll be battling - among others - fellow 2013 prospect , who led Stephenville to the Class 3A Division I state championship and was named 3A Offensive Player of the Year by multiple media groups.
Derick Bates (Belton), Wide Receiver
Senior year: Bates, whose father played cornerback for BYU, was the leading receiver in the Belton-Temple-Killeen area as a junior and had a stated goal of grabbing 100 receptions and/or rolling up 1,000 receiving yards in his senior year. He fell far short on both counts, catching 39 passes for 678 yards (an impressive 17.4 yards/catch) and 6 touchdowns. He is very good at all aspects of playing the receiver position but his average top-end speed is likely what held him back from being widely recruited.
College choice: Trinity Valley C.C.
Tyrel Stokes (Killeen Harker Heights), Defensive Back
Senior year: For the second straight year, the ball-hawking 6' 175-pound safety lead a talented Harker Heights defense in tackles, totaling 140 overall (87 solo), 21 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 3 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries. (Seriously, how can somebody post those numbers in a central Texas 5A district and not get FBS offers?!?)
College choice: Sam Houston State (FCS)
Devante Pullum (Little Elm), Athlete
Senior year: The cat-quick and speedy Pullum had a tough senior season. He entered the season as a third-year starting quarterback, but was injured in his team's pre-season scrimmage and didn't see the field until half-way through the season. When he did return, he spent much of his time handing the ball off to fellow senior Ke'aun Kinner, who lead the Dallas area in rushing yards with over 2,900. Pullum's flashed some breathtaking quickness at times in his junior year highlights but had barely enough plays as a senior to even make a video of them. He is also a talented basketball player (it may actually be his best sport) and he was one of the best point guards in the area, averaging nearly 18 points and 8 assists per game and leading Little Elm to its 2nd consecutive district championship.
College choice: Cisco Junior College. When Pullum's junior year ended and he wasn't getting the basketball offers he expected, he decided to focus on football in an attempt to earn a scholarship in that sport. He competed in 7on7 and summer football camps instead of keeping the summer basketball schedule he'd played in previous summers. In the end, he had an injury-shortened football season and a successful basketball season as a senior, but still didn't get Division I offers in either sport. I'll be pulling for him to do well at Cisco and be a top Juco slot receiver prospect in two years.
Gennard Johnson (Waxahachie), Defensive Tackle
Senior year: The stout and very strong Johnson was an all-district 2nd team performer at defensive tackle after making 1st team as an offensive linemen his junior year. He carried a lot of bad weight (330+ pounds) and probably wasn't the 6' he was listed at, which was probably what led larger programs to write him off, if they even took notice of him. He had endurance issues as a junior and wasn't going to be a big-time pass rusher, but he had the lower-body strength to be a valuable run-stuffer and 3-4 nose guard for the right team.
College choice: He received a late offer from NAIA program Southern Nazerene University in Bethany, Oklahoma and signed with them the week after Signing Day.
Charleston White (Amarillo Palo Duro), Wide Receiver
Senior year: The Amarillo playmaker (and high school teammate and best friend of Texas signee Montrel Meander) used his array of skills to put together a very strong senior year and finally drew the attention of FBS programs. For the season he had 26 catches for 557 yards (21.4 yards per catch) and 6 touchdowns at wide receiver, recorded 50 tackles from his safety position, intercepted two passes (returning one for a score), and returned a kickoff for a touchdown. He was easily the best of the players I profiled in this series and once UT began recruiting Montrel Meander I hoped they would offer White as well, but unfortunately they never did.
College choice: He signed with Washington State over offers from a handful of schools, including Cal, Arizona State, UTSA, Tulsa, and Nevada.
Xavier McElhannon (San Antonio Johnson), Running Back
Senior year: In a season when the San Antonio area had a number of talented but underrated running backs, McElhannon was even more under-the-radar than most. He was named a 1st Team All-District running back after rushing 193 times for 1,223 yards and 11 touchdowns.
College choice: Unknown at this time. When I last communicated with him a few weeks ago he said he had an offer from West Point and had spoken several times with the coaches at the Air Force Academy, but hadn't made a final decision yet. On Twitter he has stated that he will be attending the Air Force Academy's prep school for a year to get used to the Academy's lifestyle and such. One can be appointed to the prep school without being appointed an academy cadet, and some will spend a year at the former to help their chances of becoming the latter. Best of luck to him.
Isaiah Galvan (Edinburg North), Defensive Tackle
Senior year: The senior defensive lineman was a consistent performer and a frequent visitor into opponents' backfields in what was a tough season for his team, as it finished 2-8 after losing a lot of young talent to a newly-opened high school in the school district. When I profiled Galvan he had compiled (in 8 games) 69 tackles, 7 sacks, and 2 blocked kicks. He was named a 1st Team All-District defensive tackle. Also worth noting was that my story on Galvan was possibly the most widely-read one of the series; it was "liked" on Facebook 112 times, which may have been more than all the other "Unheralded" posts put together.
College choice: Chadron State (NCAA Division II)
Kameron LeCoq (Fort Worth Dunbar), Defensive End
Senior year: The athletic defensive end was named a 1st Team All-District defensive end despite only totaling 2 sacks and 6 tackles for loss through his team's first 9 games. He showed himself to be a fundamentally sound player with promising athleticism and a good frame to build on. He was also an Academic All-State honoree. A week before Signing Day I tweeted his senior highlight video and it created a minor stir among some of my UTSA followers. Apparently the word spread to Mike Craven, who runs UTSA's Rivals site, and he was impressed enough to contact Dunbar's head coach to gauge LeCoq's possible interest in the Roadrunners. But it turned out he had already committed to and was about to sign with...
College choice: Houston Baptist University (FCS). The Huskies are fielding their first football team this fall and will join the Southland Conference in 2013, and will play their first Southland Conference football schedule in 2014.
Antoine Arboleda (Rosenberg Terry), Quarterback
Senior year: After a very productive junior season, Arboleda was injured early in the first game of his senior year and he sat out all of 8 games before returning for his team's last regular season game and its 3 playoff games. Though he only played 4 complete games and part of another, he ended the season with 513 yards and 6 TDs passing, and 236 yards and 4 TDs rushing. Had he been healthy for the whole season he would have had a much greater chance of getting D1 offers.
College choice: He signed with Juco Arizona Western College, which also got signatures from Arboleda's high school teammate Victor Davis (who also signed with Texas A&M), and LB Isaiah Williams (who also signed with Kansas State).
Alec Salas (Laredo United), Quarterback
Senior year: The strong-armed 6' 200-pound Salas had two 500-yard passing performances in his team's first three games, then broke his collarbone in his fourth game and missed the rest of the season. He threw for nearly 1,300 yards and 9 touchdowns in what was essentially 3.5 games of work. Had he stayed healthy all year he might have put up video game numbers and gotten the attention of larger schools.
College choice: Unknown. He had interest from Division III Hardin-Simmons and told me at one time he was considering walking on at UTEP. The I last heard from him a month ago he said Division II Oklahoma Panhandle State had offered him, but I haven't gotten any updates since then on if and where he signed.
Joshawa West (Angleton), Running Back
Senior year: A versatile offensive weapon, West was named his district's MVP after rushing for over 1,500 yards, adding 400 receiving yards, and scoring 30 total touchdowns (3 of which were on kickoff returns).
College choice: Stephen F. Austin State (FCS)
Richard Cooper (Angleton), Running Back
Senior year: Josh West's backfield mate was a star fullback in Angleton's wing-T offense, rushing for 1,545 yards and 15 touchdowns.
College choice: Texas A&M-Commerce (NCAA Division II)
Kade Harrington (Humble Kingwood), Running Back
Senior year: The diminutive 5'7" 175-pound Harrington used his outstanding speed and balance to run for just shy of 2,000 yards and 22 touchdowns, which made him the Houston area's leading Class 5A rusher at the conclusion of the regular season. In Kingwood's eight district games, Harrington averaged 245 rushing yards! The AP named him to its Class 5A All-State First Team at running back.
College choice: Lamar (FCS)
Senior year: Vaughan was an outstanding left tackle for Calallen and was named an All-District 1st Team and Corpus Christi Caller-Times All-South Texas team member.
College choice: West Texas A&M (NCAA Division II). Vaughan chose to sign with the Buffaloes over offers from UTSA and others. He will join his older brother Dustin Vaughan, who is WTA&M's starting quarterback and will be a senior this fall. Dustin was a Division II All-American in 2012.
Jake Wallace (Victoria West), Offensive Lineman)
Senior year: The tough but somewhat undersized (6'3" 250 pounds) Wallace had a very good season starting at left tackle for his team, but his size probably warded off bigger programs from offering him.
College choice: Texas A&M-Kingsville (NCAA Division II)