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Texas Longhorn Recruits: Week 8 Recap, Week 9 Look-ahead

In case you haven't heard, Sam Ehlinger is good at football, and Shane Buechele is no slouch himself.

2017 defensive end commit Lagaryonn Carson
2017 defensive end commit Lagaryonn Carson
Justin Wells (Inside Texas)

Regular readers of these posts will probably not be surprised to learn that UT's two quarterback commits combined to produce 12 touchdowns in Week 8, though they might be surprised by some of the teams in the state's football rankings (see: below). This week, two future Longhorns will be on the field in Gilmer, Sam Ehlinger's Austin Westlake team faces its toughest test of the season so far, and Peyton Aucoin's team squares off with Louisiana's top-ranked 5A team. Week 9 should be an interesting one.

2016 commits

QB Shane Buechele (Arlington Lamar)

Last week: Completed 11 of 18 passes for 229 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception; and rushed 15 times for 134 yards and 2 TDs in a 44-21 win over Arlington

This week: Saturday, October 24 at 2:00, vs. North Crowley (AT&T Stadium)

Notes: Buechele opened the scoring last Friday with a 90-yard TD pass to Kofi Boateng on Lamar's second drive. He also accounted for four other TDs, but his second or third biggest play of the night may have been a 68-yard punt he unleashed after a Lamar drive stalled very early in the 2nd quarter. The punt was downed at Arlington's 3-yard line, and when Lamar's defense forced them into a three-and-out, the resulting punt gave Lamar the ball at the Arlington 31-yard line, and three plays later Buechele found Boateng again for a 31-yard TD to put Lamar up 14-0.

Lamar led 17-7 with a minute and a half left in the first half when Buechele was intercepted and Arlington got the ball just beyond midfield. They would score with 0:45 left and go into halftime trailing 17-14, but they got no closer. Lamar received the second half kickoff and Buechele ran 46 yards on their first play, then he threw his third TD of the game three plays later. Three of Arlington's next four drives ended with a turnover on downs, while two of Lamar's next three possessions ended with Buechele TD runs, the second of which gave Lamar a 38-21 lead with 3:51 remaining in regulation.

Next, Lamar has a Saturday afternoon game at Arlington's AT&T Stadium versus 2-5 North Crowley, which earlier this season lost to Arlington High 48-20.

WR Tren'Davian Dickson (Navasota)

Last week: Caught 2 passes for 39 yards and intercepted a pass in a 31-7 win over Sealy

This week: Friday, October 23 at 7:00, at Houston Furr

Notes: One week after completing 22 of 23 passes and throwing for 8 TDs, Navasota QB Shelton Eppler had 17 completions on 39 pass attempts. Even more unusual: Dickson caught only one more pass from his own QB than he did from Sealy's, as the game stats reported an interception for Dickson and only two receptions. The 31 points for Navasota was the fewest they had scored in a game since a 44-14 loss to eventual state champion Carthage in the area round of the 2013 playoffs.

WR Reggie Hemphill-Mapps (Manvel)

Last week: Caught 3 passes for 54 yards and 1 TD in a 73-7 win over Alvin.

This week: Friday, October 23 at 7:00, vs. Pasadena Rayburn

Notes: Hemphill's stats aren't going to look very impressive at the end of the season, mostly because his team is loaded with skill position talent and they've very rarely been challenged in the regular season, so the offense doesn't depend on him having lots of touches to succeed, as opposed to Collin Johnson, who accounted for well over half of his team's receptions and receiving yards when he was healthy. Against Alvin, 14 Manvel players got at least one offensive touch, and Manvel scored early and often in a very lopsided game that had a 42-0 score before the 7:00 mark of the 2nd quarter. Alvin's sole TD of the game came with under a minute left in regulation.

WR Collin Johnson (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 New Orleans Holy Cross 49-24

This week: Saturday, October 24 at 7:00, at Metairie (LA) Archbishop Rummel

Notes: Some of UT's other commits have faced a slate of opponents about as challenging as a Baylor non-conference schedule. Peyton Aucoin's Brother Martin team has faced a veritable murderer's row by comparison. They currently sit 6-1 and are ranked 6th in this week's LSWA Class 5A poll. Their seven previous opponents have a combined record of 29-21, and the only one with a losing record (2-5 New Orleans St. Augustine) has two wins over teams that were state-ranked at the time. So they've gone through their season without playing anyone who could legitimately be called a "cupcake". Brother Martin also owns a win over the current #4 team, John Curtis. This week, Brother Martin faces Louisiana's #1 ranked 5A team, Archbishop Rummel, whose defensive line includes four-star Arkansas commit Briston Guidry.

OL Tope Imade (Arlington Bowie)

Last week: Team gained 395 yards on 64 plays in a 61-21 loss to Arlington Martin

This week: Friday, October 23 at 8:00, vs. Arlington High (AT&T Stadium)

Notes: Bowie scored all 21 of its points against Martin in the 2nd quarter. Martin led 18-0 early in the 2nd quarter before Bowie scored TDs on three straight possessions to get back in the game, and they went into halftime trailing 25-21. But Martin scored 29 unanswered points in the 3rd quarter and literally ran away with the game, totaling 473 rushing yards and averaging nearly 12 yards per carry as a team. Imade no doubt did his part in the trenches but Bowie had five possessions end in punts and five others end in turnovers (2 interceptions and 3 lost fumbles). Bowie's 2nd half possessions ended with: a three-and-out, lost fumble at the Martin 25, three-and-out, interception in the red zone, interception on a play that began near midfield, and the end of regulation.

This week, Bowie will be part of a series of games that will be played at AT&T Stadium, and they'll take on Arlington High on Friday night in a game that could decide third place in District 4-6A.

DT Gerald Wilbon (Destrehan, LA)

Last week: Team defeated Raceland Central Lafourche 31-7

This week: Friday, October 23 at 7:00, at Gray (LA) Bourgeois

Notes: Destrehan maintained their undefeated record, moving to 7-0 with their win last Friday, and remains the #3 ranked team in Class 5A. Unless things have changed since last season, Louisiana's football playoff bracket is a seeded tournament between 32 teams in which the #1 seed plays its first game against the #32 seed, and so on, rather than a system split into regions in which the first round of games are played between teams from neighboring districts, as in Texas. So there's no way of really predicting at this time who Destrehan will face in the first or second round of the playoffs. In 2014, Destrehan went into the football playoffs as the #4 seed, and made quick work of the #29 and #20 seeds by a combined score of 122-14. They won in the next two rounds by much closer margins over the #12 seed (which had previously upset the #5 team) and the #9 seed (which had just beaten the #1 seed) to reach the Class 5A state final, in which they lost 23-7 to Acadiana, a team that went into the playoffs as the #15 seed and had to defeat teams seeded 18th, 2nd, 10th, and 3rd to reach the championship game.

LB DeMarco Boyd (Gilmer)

Last week: Had 5 carries for 53 yards and 1 TD, caught 4 passes for 73 yards and 1 TD, made 5 tackles and recovered a fumble in a 45-19 win over Canton.

This week: Friday, October 23 at 7:30, vs. Bullard

Notes: In his typical fashion, Boyd did everything but throw passes and kick the extra points. Think of him as a more talented Alex De La Torre, a guy who could play either middle linebacker or fullback in college, and he'd be a better prospect at both. This week, Boyd will face a future Longhorn teammate in 2017 tight end Major Tennison. That game alone might make #bEastTexas a trending topic.

DB Obi Eboh (Southlake Carroll)

Last week: Made 5 tackles in a 37-35 loss to Euless Trinity

This week: Friday, October 23 at 7:30, vs. Colleyville Heritage

Notes: Carroll's defense allowed Trinity to rush for a staggering 603 yards, and did not force a single turnover. And they still only lost by 2! The game was a tight one throughout, and more points were scored in the 4th quarter than in the first three combined. Trinity led 21-14 at the half, and extended their lead to 24-14 with a field goal a minute into the 4th quarter. The teams traded touchdowns on the following five possessions, with Trinity twice scoring to make it a two-possession game after Carroll pulled to within 3. Carroll scored a 1-yard TD on 4th-and-goal to make the score 31-28 in favor of Trinity with 2:59 left in the game, but the Trojans answered with a 59-yard TD run on their very next play. Carroll scored again a minute later to make the score 37-35, and they still had 3 timeouts left, but they couldn't get a stop on Trinity. Carroll took its last timeout with 1:06 left on the clock and Trinity facing a 3rd-and-2 from the Carroll 16-yard line, but Trinity senior Ja'Ron Wilson - who finished the game with 31 carries for 339 rushing yards and 3 TDs - ran for six yards to convert the first down and ice the game.

This week Carroll faces Colleyville Heritage in what will likely be a battle to decide the runner-up in district 7-6A.

2017 commits

QB Sam Ehlinger (Austin Westlake)

Last week: Completed 21 of 25 passes for 371 yards and 6 TDs, and had 10 carries for 55 yards and 1 TD in a 55-3 win over Buda Hays

This week: Friday, October 23 at 7:30, vs. Lake Travis

Notes: The cheat code-enabled video game avatar that is Sam Ehlinger accounted for 426 yards of offense and had a hand in 7 of his team's 8 touchdowns last Friday (the one TD he wasn't involved in was a 3rd quarter pick-six that was the last score of the game by either team).

Westlake is ranked 8th in this week's AP poll and they'll be playing in what might be the state's game of the week when they host 6th ranked Lake Travis.

WR Damion Miller (Tyler John Tyler)

Last week: Caught 4 passes for 78 yards and had one carry for 14 yards in a 40-29 win over Ennis

This week: Friday, October 23 at 7:30, at Corsicana

Notes: John Tyler is rounding into form halfway through district play and has now won four straight after beating defending 5A Division II state champs Ennis last Friday. A win over Corsicana (6-1) this week likely ensures John Tyler at least a share of the district 16-5A title, as their last two games come against teams with a combined record of 3-11.

In the video below you can see some of his work versus Ennis.

TE Major Tennison (Bullard)

Last week: Had a 9-yard TD reception in a 38-19 win over Nevada Community

This week: Friday, October 23 at 7:30, at Bullard

Notes: Tennison's touchdown catch came in the 4th quarter after Community had scored a TD to cut Bullard's lead to 31-19, and it helped put the game out of reach to give Bullard a win in its homecoming game. I have not seen a complete box score for the game so I can't say if Tennison had any other receptions last Friday. He'll need to make some this Friday if Bullard hopes to upset Gilmer.

DE Lagaryonn Carson (Texarkana Liberty-Eylau)

Last week: Team defeated PIttsburg 28-0

This week: Friday, September 23 at 7:30, vs. Quinlan Ford

Notes: Liberty-Eylau's defense forced 4 turnovers and limited Pittsburg to 237 total yards last Friday. Pittsburg was unbeaten at 6-0 coming into the game, and Pittsburg QB Brian Baca, who had completed over 61% of his passes for the season before the game, completed only 7 of 21 passes and was picked off twice. L-E has won six straight after falling 50-45 to Gilmer in their season opener. Dave Campbell's Texas Football ranks L-E fourth in its current 4A Division I rankings.

New kids on the block schools in the rankings

If you are merely a casual fan of the Texas high school football scene, you could be forgiven for looking at the current state rankings for Class 5A and saying "Who?" The state rankings for Class 5A include a few schools so new that they did not yet exist when George W. Bush left the White House.

This week's AP poll for Class 5A includes Richmond George Ranch at #3, Austin Vandegrift at #7, and Mansfield Lake Ridge at #8, all three of which have opened since 2009. In the "also receiving votes" group for 5A is College Station (opened in 2012), Edinburg Vela (opened in 2012), and Frisco Lone Star (opened in 2010).

The 5A rankings from Dave Campbell's Texas Football - which ranks the top 25 teams in 6A and 5A, and the top ten in every other classification - includes 11 schools that had not yet opened when their current seniors were born: #1 Cedar Park, #3 Richmond George Ranch, #7 Mansfield Lake RIdge, #8 Austin Vandegrift, #11 Frisco Lone Star, #13 Mansfield Summit, #14 Cedar Park Vista Ridge, #17 Edinburg Vela, #21 Wylie East, #22 Victoria West, and #25 College Station.

As numerous as the high schools have become in the Frisco (8, with two more scheduled to open by 2017), Leander (5), and Mansfield (5) school districts, it's remarkable that all of them were single high school districts as recently as 18 years ago. Frisco, which has the fastest-growing school district in the state and opens a new high school almost as often as an Aggie football player shows up on police blotters, only opened its second high school in 2003. With Mansfield now having one 6A and four 5A high schools, it seems incredible that Mansfield High was the district's only high school until Summit opened in 2002. And Leander ISD, which likewise has one 6A and four 5A campuses, had only Leander High to serve its high school grades until Cedar Park High opened in 1998.

Some schools will go several years or even a few decades without seeing their football team advance into the postseason, while other schools will experience playoff success before they've graduated their first senior class. Hebron High School won the 4A Division II state title in 2005, only six years after it first opened its doors to students. North Crowley opened in 1998 and won the Class 4A Division I state championship just four years later, then added a 5A boys basketball state championship trophy to its case in 2008.

Brock High is not a new school but is in a similar situation. A 3A school some 35 miles west of Fort Worth in southwest Parker County, Brock has won state titles in five different sports since 2001, including eleven in basketball (eight for its girls' teams, and three for the boys' teams). Given the recent success of their athletic program, Brock's football team being currently ranked 2nd in Class 3A in the AP poll and 4th in 3A Division I by DCTF wouldn't be all that remarkable if not for the fact that the school didn't add the sport until very recently, and its football program played its first season of U.I.L competition only a year ago. After a season-opening loss in 2014, Brock reeled off 12 straight wins before losing by a point in the regional final round of the 3A Division I playoffs. As of this writing, Brock football has a record of 19-2 through roughly its first season and a half of varsity ball while playing a U.I.L schedule. They're used to winning in Brock, and they may just add a football state trophy to their case before long.