I tend to ramble with these posts and often don't mention anything about how the Texas Longhorns themselves did in their previous game, but I can say it's way more fun to write these in the week following a Longhorn win. The current commits- - who had almost certainly been getting questions before the OU game about how solid their commitment to 1-4 Texas really was -- joined in the celebration on Twitter with many other fans (see below).
As for the actual games of Week 7, the commits who played all won their games, some in more lopsided fashion than others. With four weeks' worth of games left before the playoffs begin, some big district matches remain to be played, including at least three pretty big ones this week involving the Longhorn commits. Oh, and Texas also got a commitment yesterday from one of the state's top 2017 recruits (more on him below).
Before we get into the recaps/previews for each commit, I'll ask you readers to give your prediction on which will happen first: Texas gains another defensive commit (they technically have three for 2016, though two of them -- Gerald Wilbon and DeMarco Boyd -- have some likelihood of playing on offense at UT), or Sam Ehlinger throws an interception (he has none in 136 pass attempts this season)? [Note: this paragraph was written a few hours before 2017 defensive lineman Lagaryonn Carson committed to Texas, so no need for predictions after all. Carson will be included in next week's recap/preview post.]
QB Shane Buechele (Arlington Lamar)
Last week: Completed 9 of 14 passes for 104 yards and 1 TD, and rushed 4 times for 103 yards (including a 60-yard TD) in a 56-7 win over Fort Worth Paschal
This week: Friday, October 16 at 7:30, at Arlington High (UTA's Maverick Stadium)
Notes: Buechele was far from perfect against district doormat Fort Worth Paschal last Thursday, but he didn't really need to be. His first pass of the game was fumbled by a Lamar receiver and lost. Three of his next four passes fell incomplete, though he slightly redeemed himself with a 53-yard punt (he also serves as Lamar's punter) that put Paschal deep in its own territory, and that possession ended with a blocked punt that Lamar recovered in the end zone for the game's first touchdown. On Lamar's next drive he fumbled at the end of a 23-yard run, but Lamar maintained possession and scored two plays later. Paschal answered with a TD of their own to make the score 14-7 near the end of the 1st quarter, but that was as close as the game got.
A 41-yard pass from Buechele to Arkansas commit Kofi Boateng helped set up a Lamar TD run on its next possession. After a Paschal punt, he completed two passes, extended the drive with a 16-yard run on 4th and 8 from the Paschal 40, and finished the drive off with a 19-yard TD pass to put Lamar up 28-7. He ran for a 60-yard TD on Lamar's first possession of the third quarter, then sat out the rest of the game as junior backup QB Chance Fuller led TD drives on Lamar's final three possessions.
Next, Lamar has another cross-town rivalry game, this time with Arlington High, which has already matched its win total from 2014 by going 4-2. Lamar won last year's matchup 51-21 in a chippy game that I remember having several unsportsmanlike conduct and personal foul penalties.
WR Tren'Davian Dickson (Navasota)
Last week: Caught 8 passes for 221 yards an 2 TDs in a 70-6 win over Houston Sterling
This week: Friday, October 16 at 7:00, vs. Sealy
Notes: Friday's game was a laugher, as Navasota rolled up the score on Sterling once again. The two teams have played each year since the 2012 season, and Navasota has outscored Sterling 289-24 in those four games! Sterling may as well have put cardboard cutouts in its secondary, as Navasota QB Shelton Eppler went 22-of-23 for 543 yards and 8 TDs passing. As a team Navasota averaged nearly 25 yards per catch.
This week, they'll probably be running up the score on a 2-4 Sealy team that they beat 65-6 a year ago.
WR Reggie Hemphill-Mapps (Manvel)
Last week: Caught 2 passes for 23 yards and a TD in a 49-31 win over Pearland Dawson
This week: Friday, October 16 at 7:00, at Alvin
Notes: Manvel was outgained by 75 yards, ran 33 fewer plays, and was penalized 16 times to Dawson's 8, but still came out on top by 18 points. Through six games, Hemphill-Mapps leads Manvel with 317 receiving yards, and his 15 receptions is one behind Memphis commit Sean Dykes, who also leads the team in TD receptions with 7 (Hemphill-Mapps and two others are tied for second on the team with 3 TD grabs each). The Manvel offense is mostly built on the arm and legs of QB D'Eriq King (a Texas State commit) and the legs of RB D'Vaughn Pennamon (an Ole Miss commit). Aside from Hemphill-Mapps and Dykes, King also has Dartmouth commit Hunter Hagdorn to throw to. It's one loaded roster, to be sure. Manvel runs a bit more often than they pass but the offense is very balanced and the wealth is spread around. King and Pennamon have gotten the majority of the carries, but the receptions have been more distributed, with seven different players having at least 6 catches.
Manvel's next opponent, Alvin, lost to Pearland Dawson 45-13 a month ago, and from a look at Manvel's schedule they may not even break a sweat between now and their regular season finale with state-ranked Pearland, a game that will very likely decide the champion of district 22-6A.
WR(Valley Christian - San Jose, CA)
Notes: Johnson suffered a shoulder injury in his team's Week 3 game and he will miss the rest of the season.
TE Peyton Aucoin (Brother Martin - New Orleans, LA)
Last week:Team defeated Sulphur 41-21
This week: Friday, October 16 at 7:00, vs. New Orleans Holy Cross
Notes: Brother Martin rebounded from its first loss of the season to beat a pretty good Sulphur team by 20. The game was closer than the score might indicate. Suphur led 14-13 before Brother Martin scored a TD with 7 seconds left in the first half to take the lead, and Brother Martin's lead was only 27-21 going into the fourth quarter before putting the game away. On three possessions Sulphur advanced into the red zone but came away with no points. If college football doesn't work out for Aucoin, he'll probably have at least a decent career serving pancakes at Denny's or Waffle House, judging by his Hudl clips from the Sulphur game.
Brother Martin is ranked sixth in this week's LSWA Class 5A poll and next faces a 4-2 Holy Cross team whose two losses came by a combined 11 points and were against a pair of teams that are now 5-1.
OL Tope Imade (Arlington Bowie)
Last week: Team gained 483 total yards on 48 plays in a 63-7 win over North Crowley
This week: Friday, October 16 at 7:30, at Arlington Martin
Notes: The game was never close, as Bowie scored on eight straight possessions after punting on the game's opening drive. Bowie led 56-0 mid-way through the third quarter and kept North Crowley off the scoreboard until early in the 4th. As a team, Bowie rushed for 356 yards and nearly 9 yards per carry. The only real negative of the game was that they still had their starting QB in the game in the 3rd quarter even after going up 49-0. No reason not to have your backup QB in by that point of a blowout. Shane Buechele has been pulled multiple times from games less lopsided than that.
DT Gerald Wilbon (Destrehan, LA)
Last week: Team defeated Reserve East St. John 62-25
This week: Friday, October 16 at 7:00, vs.Raceland Central Lafourche
Notes: Destrehan is 6-0 on the season and moved up from fourth to third in this week's Class 5A poll. Their next three opponents have a combined record of 13-5, and the end of their regular season probably won't be a cakewalk. Their defense dominated East St. John, whose QB (a former Destrehan student-athlete) was forced into committing five turnovers.
LB DeMarco Boyd (Gilmer)
Last week: Had 7 carries for 38 yards and 2 TDs, 2 receptions for 22 yards, 6 tackles (5 solo) and 1 sack in a 60-0 win over Melissa
This week: Friday, October 16 at 7:30, at Canton
Notes: It was another week, another blowout win for Gilmer, and another week of Boyd finding the end zone and showing up in three different areas of the stat sheet. Gilmer remains the state's second-ranked 4A team behind Navasota, which once again garnered 22 of 25 first place votes (Gilmer received two, while No. 3 Celina received the other one). The districts for all classes below 5A are split into Divisions I and II, though the AP polls for each classification aren't broken down, so the rankings for 4A-2A include all teams regardless of division. Navasota is in 4A Division I, while Gilmer is in 4A Division II, so the two teams will not be meeting in the playoffs. Interestingly, this week's 4A rankings have six Division II teams in the top ten.
DB Obi Eboh (Southlake Carroll)
Last week: Team defeated Richland 52-21
This week: Friday, October 16 at 7:30, at Euless Trinity
Notes: For the third time this season Carroll won a game after trailing early on. Richland went up 13-7 after a TD with 9:01 left in the 2nd quarter, but Carroll scored the game's next 31 points to run away with it. In last week's post I said Richland senior Aaron Denson was be one of the best receivers Eboh and the Carroll secondary would face this season. Denson caught 8 passes for 138 yards and a TD (beating 2017 Oklahoma commit Robert Barnes on a slant from 9 yards out), and also caught a pass to complete a two-point conversion (beating Eboh in the process). Denson is a player, to be sure, and Alcorn State shouldn't be his only offer. Carroll's Hudl highlights are set to private, as usual, but Richland's are not, and Eboh (#23) and Barnes (#22) show up several times on the wrong end of Denson's highlights from the game. I won't embed those clips, but you can watch them here.
This week, Carroll faces their toughest opponent of the season thus far: Euless Trinity, which is ranked fourth in the state AP poll and 9th in Maxpreps' composite national rankings. Trinity, the alma mater of current Longhorn right guard Patrick Vahe, is known for its punishing rushing attack (often run behind an offensive line made up mostly of large Tongans, or so it seems) and doesn't pass the ball much (they've attempted 55 passes in seven games this season). So Eboh probably won't be challenged much in pass defense, but he'll have to do his part to help contain Trinity's ground game, which averages 413 yards per contest.
QB Sam Ehlinger (Austin Westlake)
Last week: Completed 15 of 20 passes for 297 yards and 5 TDs, and rushed 8 times for 61 yards and 1 TD in a 58-13 win over Austin Akins
This week: Friday, October 16 at 7:30, at Buda Hays
Notes: Westlake had a Southlake Carroll-like game, falling behind an inferior opponent early before getting on track and winning in lopsided fashion. Westlake trailed Akins 13-9 at the end of the 1st quarter, with those 9 points coming on a safety and kickoff return TD, but they scored the last 49 points of the game afterwards. Westlake is now 6-0 and ranked eighth in Class 6A in this week's AP poll. Ehlinger has attempted 136 passes this season and has yet to throw an interception.
WR Damion Miller (Tyler John Tyler)
Last week: Caught 5 passes for 99 yards and blocked a punt in a 41-38 win over Lufkin
This week: Friday, October 16 at 7:30, vs. Ennis
Notes: John Tyler won its third straight game to bring its overall record up to .500 and -- more importantly -- its district record to 3-0 with four games remaining. According to ETSN's account of the game, Damion Miller blocked a punt after Lufkin went nowhere on its first drive, and he recovered it at the 2-yard line to set up John Tyler's first TD. Next, John Tyler faces defending 5A Division II state champion Ennis. Ennis won last year's matchup 30-27 in a game that ended up deciding the champion of district 16-5A.
Miller's highlights from the Lufkin game -- which unfortunately do not include his punt block -- can be seen below.
TE Major Tennison (Bullard)
Last week: Caught 6 passes for 129 yards and 1 TD, and caught a pass on a two-point conversion in a 47-10 win over Emory Rains
This week: Friday, October 16 at 7:30, vs. Nevada Community
Notes: Tennison committed to the Longhorns on Wednesday evening, just hours after being offered by Texas. He's in the 6'5"-6'6" range in height, and reportedly around 245 pounds after being in the 220s last spring. Regular BON readers may have first seen Tennison's name in a March 4, 2015 post that profiled him among four of the state's top tight end prospects for the 2017 class. At that time he was quite under-the-radar and I don't believe he had a recruit profile on any of the major sites, at least until Texas Tech gave him his first offer two weeks later.
When I asked Bullard head coach Shannon Wilson about Tennison last spring, he was very high on him and said the last player of similar size who he'd coached who could move as well as Tennison was former Southlake Carroll star and Texas Tech defensive lineman Jackson Richards. Tennison seems to have filled out quite a bit in the seven months since then and there's no telling how big he'll be by the end of his senior year, so while he'll be classified as a tight end now, it's not out of the realm of possibility that he could end up at defensive end or offensive tackle by the end of his college career.
Through six games this season he has recorded 16 catches for 312 yards and 2 TDs. In Week 9 he'll be on opposite sidelines with future UT teammate DeMarco Boyd when Bullard plays Gilmer.
Below you can watch highlights from last week's game vs. Emory Rains.
Longhorn recruits' tweets celebrate Red River Showdown victory
In the days and weeks going into last Saturday, it's likely that most -- if not all -- of UT's football commits were getting some level of negative recruiting directed at their school of choice, which wouldn't be unexpected for a highly-rated athlete committed to a 1-4 team coming off an embarrassing loss, struggling to find an offensive identity after its play-caller was relieved of those duties after Week 1, and led by a head coach who some in the media were already speculating could be on his way out after the season.
But the Longhorns' upset win over Oklahoma last week helped quiet many of Strong's doubters in the national media, at least for a while, and may have reinforced the commitments of the 2016 and 2017 class's current members. The celebratory Gatorade poured on Charlie Strong's turtleneck had not yet dried when several of the commits joined in the post-OU celebration via Twitter.
Here's a few I saw.
We needed this one for the critics and doubters, This is great team with a bright future ! #Hookem— Collin Johnson (@c_johnsonVC5) October 10, 2015
Upset #10 OU— Reggie Hemphill5⃣♐️ (@reggiehemphill5) October 10, 2015
So jacked up rn!!— Peyton Aucoin (@PeytonAucoin1) October 10, 2015
Even Shane Buechele's top receiver Kofi Boateng (an Arkansas commit) got in on the pro-UT tweet action (tweection?).
UT got their juice back!— Kofi Boateng (@BGKofiBoateng) October 10, 2015
And 2017 tight end Major Tennison, who was neither a Texas offer nor a commit until a few days later, attended the game and seemed pretty happy with its result.
Great time getting to watch the Longhorns prove some people wrong with my girl! pic.twitter.com/Y2E8LcgXWE— Major Tennison (@major_tennison) October 10, 2015
Four days later, Tennison dropped an even better tweet.
And while he didn't announce his commitment to Texas with a tweet of his own, he retweeted a number of articles written about his commitment and congratulations he subsequently received from friends, his coach, and future tight end teammate Peyton Aucoin.
Thanks man, proud to get to be apart of it! https://t.co/wRGlkcYK8Q— Major Tennison (@major_tennison) October 15, 2015