The Texas high school football season begins this week, with many - if not most - of the state's high schools scheduled to play their first regular season games tonight, tomorrow, or Saturday. That includes UT's current football commits, some of whom will be playing a part in highly anticipated match-ups to begin their season. For those interested in watching a future Longhorn in person this weekend, here is where they'll be playing.
QB Shane Buechele (Arlington Lamar)
Thursday, August 27, 7:00 at Richland (Birdville Fine Arts/Athletic Complex).
WR Tren'Davian Dickson (Navasota)
Saturday, August 29, 7:00 at Autonoma de Nuevo Leon (Monterrey, Mexico)
Notes: This is the first of four games Autonoma de Nuevo Leon has scheduled to play against Texas high schools this fall. In September, the Autenticos Tigres (as its American football team is known) will travel to play games at Galveston Ball, Brownsville Porter, and Richmond George Ranch. In 2014, Navasota began its 16-0 run to the 4A Division I state title (a run in which the Rattlers beat their opponents by an average score of 58-13) by beating the Tigres 62-0. Dickson caught 7 passes for 133 yards and 3 TDs in that game.
WR Reggie Hemphill-Mapps (Manvel)
Friday, August 28, 7:00 vs. Houston Westfield (Alvin Memorial Stadium)
Notes: Westfield's loaded roster includes 2016 DT Ed Oliver (a Houston commit, owner of a Texas offer, and a consensus top-5 recruit in the state), four-star 2016 WR Tyrie Cleveland, and four-star 2016 QB Dillon Sterling-Cole (Arizona State commit). When these two teams met in 2014, Hemphill-Mapps caught 3 passes for 64 yards and a TD as Manvel won 35-10.
WR Collin Johnson (Valley Christian - San Jose, CA)
Idle, Valley Christian will play a scrimmage with Santa Clara Wilcox on Friday evening at 6:00, then will play their first regular season game a week later.
TE Peyton Aucoin (Brother Martin - New Orleans, LA)
Idle, Brother Martin opens its season on Friday, September 4
OL Tope Imade (Arlington Bowie)
Friday, August 28, 7:30 at Dallas Jesuit
Notes: A year ago, Bowie and Jesuit put up video game numbers in week one, combining for 121 points and over 1,300 yards of offense. Bowie gained an astounding 872 yards in a 72-49 victory, outscoring Jesuit 31-7 after trailing by one at halftime. The two QBs that night - 2015 TCU signee Tony James (Bowie) and 2015 Central Florida signee Bo Schnieder (Jesuit) - combined to throw for 864 yards, 12 TDs and only 1 interception.
DT Gerald Wilbon (Destrehan, LA)
Idle, Destrehan opens its season on Friday, September 4
LB DeMarco Boyd (Gilimer)
Thursday, August 27, 7:30 vs. Texarkana Liberty-Eylau
Notes: Gilmer kicked off its 16-0 run to the 4A Division II state title in 2014 with a 55-14 drubbing of Liberty-Eylau. L-E began the 2014 season 1-5 but won its last four regular season games and advanced four rounds deep into the playoffs before losing 45-42 in the regional final round to eventual 4A Division I runner-up Argyle.
QB Sam Ehlinger (Austin Westlake)
Friday, August 28, 7:30 vs. Southlake Carroll
Notes: Carroll's roster includes 2016 athlete Lil'Jordan Humphrey, who holds a Texas offer. Humphrey played RB as a junior and piled up 2,100 yards from scrimmage and 32 total touchdowns, but with his 6'4" 200-pound frame he'll have to move to another position in college. When the two teams met in 2014 - a game in which former Texas QB Todd Dodge began his tenure as head coach at Westlake by facing the school he led to four state championships between 2002 and 2006 - it was unexpectedly a defensive struggle, as the teams combined for only 533 yards and 31 points (Carroll won 17-14). In the game, Ehlinger completed 17 of 32 passes for 196 yards, 1 TD, and 2 interceptions, and also carried the ball 20 times for 73 yards.
WR Damion Miller (Tyler John Tyler)
Friday, August 28, 7:30 at Plano (John Clark Stadium)
Notes: Plano's roster includes three-star 2016 RB Brandon Stephens, who holds a Texas offer. John Tyler won this matchup 30-12 (in Plano) last year in a game that probably featured one of the biggest enrollment disparities between opposing schools in any game last season; 6A Plano, long one of the state's largest schools, has roughly 3,400 more students than does 5A John Tyler. Miller did not record a catch in that game. John Tyler went 12-3 in the 2014 season, with its three defeats coming in a six-point loss to 6A Tyler Lee, a three-point loss on the road against eventual 5A Division II state champion Ennis, and a 44-14 loss in the state semifinals to eventual 5A Division I state champion Aledo.