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Texas Longhorn commits: Week 9 preview

The teams of some Longhorn commits will make or break their postseason chances this week.

Texas Longhorns linebacker commit Byron Hobbs poses with Defensive Coordinator Todd Orlando (left) and Head Coach Tom Herman.
Natalia Vaughns (@NNVaughns)

Week 8 was a rather ho-hum one for most of the current Texas Longhorn football commits. At least two commits sat out their games due to injury, one had a bye, two of the three committed quarterbacks saw their teams get blown out, and the teams of some other recruits got lopsided wins over very weak opponents.

The most notable performances from last week were: Roschon Johnson continuing his season-long streak of producing 4+ touchdowns, Rondale Moore scoring four TDs in his first game action in three weeks, B.J. Foster reaching the end zone on 80% of his carries, and Caden Sterns returning a punt for a TD.

On the less positive side, one week after the 2018 class gained a new commit in defensive back D’Shawn Jamison (Houston Lamar) it lost one of its two committed tight ends, as highly-rated Juco recruit Dominick Wood-Anderson (Arizona Western College) announced his de-commitment from the Longhorns on Monday. That move stings, especially coming just days after the state’s top tight end recruit, Mustapha Muhammad (Fort Bend Ridge Point), spurned the Longhorns and committed to Michigan. Which tight end(s) will the Longhorns pursue to take Wood-Anderson’s spot in the class? If they look in-state, probably one of the twenty I wrote about six months ago. If they look out-of-state, maybe someone like four-star Carterville, Illinois prospect Luke Ford, who holds a UT offer but whose most recent 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions almost all have him bound for Alabama, which does not yet have a committed TE in the 2018 class.

Many of the commits’ games this week will have playoff implications, with some looking to either clinch a postseason berth with a win or stave off elimination from postseason contention.

It’s quite out of the way for most of this site’s readers, but the best game this week involving a Longhorn commit appears to be Reese Moore and his Seminole (7-1) teammates traveling to play unbeaten and state-ranked Sweetwater on Friday night.

Read on for the full recap of last week’s games and this week’s schedule, including video clips featuring D’Shawn Jamison and Roschon Johnson.

2018 Texas Longhorn football commits

QB Cameron Rising (Newbury Park, California)

Last week: Passed for two touchdowns and ran for another in a 44-24 loss to Calabasas.

This week: Friday, October 27 at 7:00, vs. Moorpark

Notes: Newbury Park played Calabasas even for most of the first half, but a crucial turnover late in the half allowed Calabasas to take a halftime lead, and they limited Newbury Park to just 3 second half points.

Rising passed for an 8-yard TD in the 1st quarter to give Newbury Park a 7-0 lead, but it was the team’s only lead of the game. The game was tied at 21 late in the 2nd half and Newbury Park had the ball, but they lost a fumble at their own 31-yard line, and Calabasas scored on a 31-yard TD pass with just ten seconds left in the half to take a 28-21 halftime lead.

Calabasas extended that lead on its first possession of the 3rd quarter, finishing off a 97-yard drive with a short TD run. Later in the half Newbury Park drove into the red zone and had a chance to make it a one-possession game, but a bad snap went over Rising’s head and was recovered by Calabasas to end the threat.

Fun fact: Calabasas’s head coach is former Tennessee Volunteers QB and southern California native Casey Clausen, who is in his fourth season at the helm. Calabasas was winless the season before Clausen was hired and had won just six games in four seasons, but they are 40-10 since he was hired in 2014. The team’s offensive coordinator is his younger brother Rick Clausen, who played QB at both LSU and Tennessee.

Newbury Park is now 4-4 for the season and 0-1 in Camino League play. On Friday they face a 7-1 Moorpark team ranked fifth among the Division 5 schools in the CIF’s Southern Section. Moorpark’s only loss this season was a 24-21 defeat to Westlake (ranked 8th in CIF Southern Section Division 3), who had beaten Newbury Park 42-40 two weeks earlier. Newbury Park beat Moorpark 35-14 when the teams played in 2016.

QB Casey Thompson (Newcastle, Oklahoma)

Last week: Completed 9 of 22 passes for 101 yards and a TD in a 56-7 loss to Oklahoma City Heritage Hall.

This week: Friday, October 27 at 7:00, at Elk City

Notes: After winning two of their past three games and getting tremendous production from Casey Thompson and senior WR Jacob Morris, Newcastle crashed back to earth in a lopsided loss to Oklahoma’s 2nd-ranked Class 4A team, Heritage Hall. Thompson had passed for over 1,200 yards and accounted for 20 total TDs in Newcastle’s previous three games, but against Heritage Hall he barely cracked the century mark in passing yardage, and Newcastle was limited to 46 rushing yards as a team.

The loss dropped Newcastle to 2-6 overall and 2-3 in district play, which ties them for fifth place in District 1-4A. The top four teams in each district advance to the playoffs, and Newcastle can grab one of their district’s last two seeds if they beat Elk City and Cache and those teams both lose to Heritage Hall in the final two weeks of the season. If they lose either of their last two games, they can only reach the playoffs by winning the other game while hoping the team they do beat also loses to Heritage Hall, and if Elgin loses its last two games to Clinton and Weatherford.

The Racers’ task this week is beating Elk City, who is 5-3 overall and 3-2 in district play. One of their wins was a 35-14 victory on September 22 over an Elgin team that would win a wild 75-56 contest over Newcastle two weeks later.

RB Keaontay Ingram (Carthage)

Last week: Scored two rushing TDs in a 42-12 win over Center.

This week: Friday, October 27 at 7:30, vs. Bullard

Notes: Ingram scored on TD runs of 30 and 3 yards in the 1st quarter to help stake Carthage to an early 21-0 lead. That lead expanded to 35-0 at the half, and Center only got on the scoreboard late after the game’s outcome had been assured.

Neither of the two recaps of the game that I’ve read mentioned Ingram’s full stat line, and the matchup was probably not enticing enough and the outcome not dramatic enough to demand a blow-by-blow account.

Carthage is now 7-0 overall and alone in first place in District 9-4A Division I with a 3-0 district record. They once again retained the #1 spot in the AP rankings for Class 4A, receiving 22 out of 25 first-place votes in this week’s poll. This week’s opponent, Bullard, is 2-1 in district and 3-4 overall, and is coming off a 34-28 win over Tyler Chapel Hill. The one common opponent the two schools have so far is Center, who Carthage just beat and who Bullard lost to, 39-35, on September 29.

WR Brennan Eagles (Alief Taylor)

Last week: Bye

This week: Friday, September 27 at 7:00, at Alief Hastings

Notes: Taylor has a 1-2 record against its District 23-6A opponents mid-way through the district schedule. That record ties them with three other teams for fourth place in the district. This week the Lions face an Alief Hastings team that is 4-2 overall and 3-1 in district.

Eagles, who celebrated a birthday on Tuesday, did not play in Taylor’s last game two weeks ago. I have not read of a reason for his absence or his status for this week’s game.

WR Rondale Moore (Trinity - Louisville, Kentucky)

Last week: Caught six passes for 102 yards, rushed two times for 19 yards, and scored four total TDs in a 49-0 win over Ballard.

This week: Bye

Notes: On the night before his official visit to Texas, Moore played for the first time in three weeks and reached the end zone four times. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal’s recap of the game, Moore had been nursing a bruised hip of late and had not played in a game since Trinity’s 28-0 win over Louisville’s St. Xavier on September 29.

With the win, Trinity completed a 10-0 regular season schedule. The Shamrocks get a bye this week as most of Kentucky’s other schools conclude the regular season, so Moore and his teammates will have an extra week to rest up before they begin the defense of their 6A state championship next Friday (November 3) in the first round of the playoffs against a winless Seneca team that they beat 42-0 two weeks ago. I assume all of Kentucky’s 6A teams must make the playoffs if a 0-9 team that’s been outscored 353-28 gets a spot in the tournament. By virtue of winning district 4-6A, Trinity gets to host as much as their three playoff games in a bracket that goes for five rounds.

Trinity moved up from #10 to #9 in this week’s USA Today Super 25 national expert rankings.

WR Al’Vonte Woodard (Houston Lamar)

Last week: Caught 2 passes for 32 yards in a 58-0 win over Houston Heights.

This week: Friday, October 27 at 7:00, vs. Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center

Notes: Last week’s Lamar-Heights game was supposed to be a battle between neighborhood rivals and the two best teams in District 18-6A, but it was a completely one-sided affair, as Lamar scored two touchdowns in every quarter and limited Heights to just three first downs.

Lamar is now 4-1 overall and 3-0 in district play. A win on Friday will ensure the Texans a spot in the playoffs, and they’ll probably be able to name their score that night, as they take on a 1-4 Houston Math Science & Tech team that lost 68-7 four weeks ago to the Houston Heights team Lamar just beat by 58 points, though in fairness Heights was without the services of an injured Jalen Green when they were blown out by Lamar.

TE Malcolm Epps (Spring Dekaney)

Last week: Did not record any stats in a 28-14 win over Aldine Davis.

This week: Friday, October 27 at 7:00, vs. Spring

Notes: The box score from the Dekaney-Davis game posted to MaxPreps did not credit Malcolm Epps with any offensive or defensive stats, and the Houston Chronicle’s recap of the game never made mention of him. Whether he was injured or just was never around the ball, I don’t know.

Dekaney’s defense held Davis without a first down in the 1st quarter, and forced four turnovers over the course of the game. Dekaney improved to 4-2 overall and 2-2 in district play, which ties them with Davis for 4th place in District 16-6A. This week Dekaney will face Spring, who is tied for 2nd in the district at 3-1. Dekaney can control their own destiny from here on out; the Wildcats will make the playoffs if they win out, and if they lose to Spring they’ll still reach the postseason as long as they finish with wins over district cellar-dwellers Aldine and MacArthur, and as long as Davis doesn’t win each of its final three games.

OL Rafiti Ghirmai (Frisco Wakeland)

Last week: Team lost, 45-14, to Frisco Lone Star.

This week: Friday, October 27 at 7:00, at Frisco Independence (at The Ford Center at The Star)

Notes: It just wasn’t Wakeland’s night last Friday. Facing arguably their district’s most talented team, the Wolverines fell behind 14-0 to the Lone Star Rangers in the 1st quarter, lost their starting quarterback for the night in the 2nd quarter after scoring their only points of the first half, and went into halftime trailing 35-7.

Lone Star’s senior QB M.J. Rivers, an Illinois commit, had twice as many touchdowns as incompletions on his stat line for the night, completing 15 of 18 passes for 246 yards and 4 TDs, and also rushing for 64 yards and 2 TDs on 7 carries. Wakeland’s two QBs completed just 13 of their 24 pass attempts for 115 yards (4.8 yards per attempt), and the Wolverines were limited to 210 total yards of offense. Wakeland scored their first TD with 11:02 left in the 2nd quarter but didn’t get onto the scoreboard again until scoring a TD run with 3:01 left in the 4th quarter. Aside from those two scoring drives, they advanced the ball into Lone Star territory only one other time, in a 2nd quarter possession that ended with a blocked field goal attempt.

Wakeland is now 4-3 overall after starting the season 4-0. More importantly they are 1-3 in district play, giving them the sixth-best record out of the eight teams in District 13-5A. Their remaining schedule consists of Independence (2-2), Heritage (2-2) and Frisco (0-4). If they can win out they should clinch the district’s fourth and final playoff spot. That task begins on Friday against Independence, a team with a 5-2 overall record in just its fourth varsity season. Independence edged Wakeland 38-35 when the teams played in 2016.

OL Reese Moore (Seminole)

Last week: Caught one pass for 38 yards in a 38-6 win over Lamesa.

This week: Friday, October 27 at 7:00, at Sweetwater

Notes: As as been their custom this season, Seminole controlled the game with a dominating defense and rushing attack, and rarely passed the ball. The Indians completed just three passes but gained 306 yards on 51 rushes, punted only once, and limited Lamesa to -21 rushing yards as a team. Seminole led 17-0 at halftime, and 31-0 after their first play of the 4th quarter. Lamesa gained 75 of their 181 total yards on their only scoring play, a long TD pass with 11:40 left in the 4th quarter. Army commit Cade Bernard rushed for 133 yards on 17 carries and scored three of Seminole’s five touchdowns, one each in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters.

Seminole improved to 7-1 overall and 4-0 in district play. Since losing 20-17 to Class 5A program Lubbock to open their season, Seminole has outscored their last seven opponents by an average margin of 32 points. With only two games left on their regular season schedule, Seminole has clinched a playoff bid, and this Friday they will travel to face Class 4A’s 10th-ranked team, Sweetwater, in what will likely amount to the championship game for District 2-4A Division II.

Sweetwater has beaten all of its opponents this season by at least 25 points. The Mustangs are led on offense by senior QB Chris Thompson and senior WR Kobe Clark, and on defense by senior LB Kiante McCoy. Thompson is a three-year starter at QB and has passed for at least three TDs in every game so far this season, with his 31 TDs (against just 3 INTs) nearly matching the 34 scoring passes he had in 15 games as a junior. His top target, Clark, has 52 receptions for just shy of 1,200 yards and 21 touchdowns, and he has also made 35 tackles and 3 interceptions for good measure.

Unlike with my coverage of the 2016 season, I haven’t included a Unheralded Senior Athlete of the Week feature in this year’s posts, but if I did Kiante McCoy would definitely have been one of the highlighted players. He earned first team all-district honors in each of his first three high school seasons, and he certainly will again as a senior, as he leads his team in tackles with 89 and has accounted for 13 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. He has also played varsity basketball and been an all-district baseball player for Sweetwater. He’s listed at 6 feet and 214 pounds, and has apparently received very little recruiting interest, but from watching his highlights I think there’s a good chance he’d be swimming in offers right now if he were 6’2” and lived a lot closer to the state’s urban football hot zones and not 40 miles west of Abilene.

Sweetwater and Seminole played twice in the 2016 season, with Sweetwater winning their district matchup 39-22, and later eliminating Seminole in the fourth round of the playoffs, 38-14. Sweetwater went on to reach the 4A Division II state championship game, where they fell 24-6 to a historically dominating West Orange-Stark team that beat all of its other opponents by at least 24 points, and allowed just 39 points to its six playoff victims and 69 points all season.

DT Keondre Coburn (Spring Westfield)

Last week: Team beat Aldine Nimitz 50-0.

This week: Saturday, October 28 at 4:00, at Aldine

Notes: Westfield led Nimitz 27-0 at the half, and made the game a rout with twenty 4th quarter points. I have not found a detailed recap of the game online, but the MaxPreps box score says Westfield forced Nimitz to punt 7 times and held them to just 80 yards of total offense.

Westfield is 6-0 overall and remains alone atop the District 16-6A standings at 4-0. The Mustangs have outscored their first four district foes 149-19. Their next opponent, Aldine, is alone in the district’s cellar at 0-4. Aldine, which won the 5A Division II state championship in 1990 and once had 14 playoff wins in a three-season span (1989-1991), has won just one playoff game since the start of the 2001 season, and has not won a football game period since October 24, 2015. Their losing streak is now at 18 games, and is in very little danger of being snapped against Westfield on Saturday.

LB Ayodele Adeoye (IMG Academy)

Last week: Team beat Salt Lake City East, 43-19.

This week: Bye

Notes: IMG, as they have done a few times this season, let their opponent play even with them early on, then ran away from them in the second half. Last week, Salt Lake City East (Utah’s two-time defending 4A state champions) twice led IMG in the first half, the second time following a TD with 3:25 left in the 2nd quarter that put them ahead 19-15. But IMG responded with a TD of their own before the end of the half to re-take the lead at 22-19, and then they held East scoreless in the second half while scoring 21 points of their own.

Two recaps of the game that I read did not make mention of Adeoye or any other IMG defensive player, and IMG’s stats from the game were not posted to its MaxPreps page. IMG is now 6-0 for the season and remains the #2 team on this week’s USA Today Super 25 expert rankings, one spot behind Mater Dei (Santa Ana, California) and just ahead of Texas powerhouse Allen.

IMG has another bye this week before finishing their schedule on November 3 with a road game at Hoover, Alabama, that state’s 2nd-ranked 7A team and winner of ten state championships since 2000.

LB Byron Hobbs (Fort Worth Eastern Hills)

Last week: Did not play in a 51-6 loss to Birdville.

This week: Thursday, October 26 at 7:00, vs. Fort Worth Polytechnic

Notes: Eastern Hills fell to 0-4 in district play with its loss to Birdville last week, and that eliminated them from playoff contention. The Highlanders have been outscored by their district opponents 217-30. For those who haven’t read previous posts this season, Byron Hobbs suffered a separated clavicle back in Week 2 and has not played since. Based on a tweet his mother posted a week ago, I’d call it unlikely that he suits up again this season.

Hopefully he gets healthy and back to 100% before he reports to Austin. Eastern Hills has three games left and two are against bad Fort Worth ISD teams, so at the very least they have a chance to move out of the bottom of District 8-5A’s standings by the end of the season.

DB B.J. Foster (Angleton)

Last week: Had 5 carries for 143 yards and 4 TDs and caught 3 passes for 70 yards in a 70-0 win over Lamar Consolidated.

This week: Friday, October 27 at 7:30, vs. Victoria West

Notes: I think it’s fair to call 213 yards from scrimmage and 4 touchdowns scored on 8 offensive touches an efficient night of work. B.J. Foster scored first half touchdowns on runs of 20, 7, 49, and 63 yards in helping his team build a 49-0 halftime lead last week against Lamar Consolidated.

Angleton continues to destroy everything in their path. They won by a 70-0 score for the second time in as many games last week, and the Wildcats have outscored their six opponents 349-14. My calculator says that makes for an average score of about 58-2.

Angleton is 6-0 overall, ranked 7th in Class 5A, and their 3-0 record ties them with Richmond Foster (their opponent next week) for the lead in District 27-5A. They may not put up 70 again this week against Victoria West, but this will likely be another blowout. Victoria West (3-4 overall, 2-2 in district) is coming off a 64-28 win over cross-town rival Victoria East, but their resumé also includes a 17-10 loss two weeks ago to a Rosenberg Terry team that Angleton beat 49-7 in late September.

DB Jalen Green (Houston Heights)

Last week: Did not play in a 58-0 loss to Houston Lamar.

This week: Saturday, October 28 at 1:00, at Houston Westside

Notes: In Heights’ Week 7 win over Houston Westbury, Green suffered what has been variously described as a broken shoulder or “collarbone injury”, and he will miss the rest of the regular season. With Green and at least one other offensive starter out of the lineup, Heights was quite literally unable to do anything on offense last week against Lamar, completing just two passes and gaining - depending on the source - somewhere between -2 and 17 total yards. Lamar, meanwhile, scored two touchdowns in every quarter and took sole control of District 18-6A.

Heights is 3-1 in district play and will finish its season against 2-1 Westside and 0-4 Chavez. I don’t believe the Bulldogs have mathematically clinched a playoff spot, but their chances of reaching the postseason are 99.999%, and they would probably only miss out if they lose both of their last two games and Lamar gets upset by two weak teams.

DB D’Shawn Jamison (Houston Lamar)

Last week: Made 7 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss in a 58-0 win over Houston Heights.

This week: Friday, October 27 at 7:00, vs. Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center

Notes: Jamison had an active defensive performance in his first game as a Texas Longhorns commit, making the 2nd-most tackles on his team in Lamar’s lopsided win. For all other notes on the game, see the entries for Al’Vonte Woodard and Jalen Green. For video of some of his tackles against Heights, see below.

DB DeMarvion Overshown (Arp)

Last week: Team lost to West Rusk, 24-0.

This week: Friday, October 27 at 7:30, at Troup

Notes: Arp was shut out for the third time this season last week by West Rusk, the 8th-ranked team in Class 3A. The loss dropped Arp to 2-5 overall and 1-3 in district play, one year removed from the Tigers losing by one point in the fifth round of the playoffs. With two games left on their schedule, Arp needs to win out to reach the postseason, and they’ll be playing 1-2 Troup and 1-3 Harleton. A loss against either team would eliminate Arp from playoff contention.

DB Caden Sterns (Cibolo Steele)

Last week: Made six tackles, had one pass defended, and returned a punt for a 68-yard TD in a 42-17 win over New Braunfels Canyon.

This week: Friday, October 27 at 7:30, at San Antonio East Central

Notes: Steele got off to a fast start against lowly Canyon last week, getting a TD run from Rice commit Brendan Brady and a 68-yard punt return TD from Caden Sterns before the game was four minutes old. Steele took a 35-10 lead into halftime and cruised in the second half. Notably, senior QB Onyx Smith (a Bowling Green wide receiver commit) was moved back to his former receiver position and QB duties were mostly taken up by freshman Wyatt Begeal, who completed 7 of 8 passes for 161 yards and 2 TDs on the night. Begeal also got some snaps at QB in Steele’s previous game against New Braunfels, and he has completed 11 of 12 passes for 250 yards and 3 TDs in the past two weeks. Any freshman good enough to play a varsity skill position for a program like Steele is a player worth watching.

After a rough stretch of games early in the season and at the beginning of district play, Steele has won two straight games and now has a 3-4 overall record and 2-2 district record. On Friday, the Knights will look to get their season record back to .500 when they face winless San Antonio East Central, a team that has been outscored 202-7 in its four district games. Next week they face San Antonio Wagner, who is also 0-4 in district play, and should sew up a playoff spot with a win.

K Cameron DIcker (Lake Travis)

Last week: Made 6 of 6 PAT attempts in a 49-0 win over Kyle Lehman.

This week: Friday, October 27 at 7:30, at Leander

Notes: It’s been all PATs and kickoffs for Cameron Dicker of late, as he has not attempted a field goal since Lake Travis’s September 29 win over Buda Hays. In last week’s win over Lehman he made all six of his PAT attempts and launched five kickoffs that all resulted in touchbacks. Lake Travis scored on its first offensive play, led 35-0 at the end of the 1st quarter, and held Lehman to 67 total yards.

Lake Travis is 5-2 overall and 2-1 in district play with three games left on their schedule. This week they face winless Leander, a team coming off a 43-0 loss to Buda Hays, who Lake Travis defeated four weeks ago, 60-34. This game shouldn’t present Lake Travis with much of a challenge, but they’ll finish their season against Cedar Park Vista Ridge and Austin Vandegrift, two teams that will aiming not just for a playoff bid but also to knock off Lake Travis and claim District 25-6A’s runner-up seed behind leader and probable champion Austin Westlake.

2019 Texas Longhorns football commit

QB Roschon Johnson (Port Neches-Groves)

Last week: Completed 16 of 20 passes for 255 yards and 2 TDs, and rushed 17 times for 117 yards and 4 TDs in a 42-14 win over Vidor.

This week: Thursday, October 26 at 7:00, at Beaumont Central

Notes: Johnson had a hand in all six of Port Neches-Groves’s touchdowns in last week’s win over Vidor. He rushed for three first half TDs and had a fourth one with 5:59 left in the 3rd quarter to give PN-G a 28-0 lead. Vidor scored on its next possession but Johnson passed for two TDs before the end of the 3rd quarter to push his team’s lead to 42-7.

By my count it was the second time this season that Johnson contributed to six total TDs in a game, and he has had at least four total TDs in all six of PN-G’s games thus far. PN-G is 6-0 overall and 5-0 in district play, which puts them in sole possession of first place in District 22-5A. From looking at the district’s standings and the remaining schedule I don’t believe PN-G has clinched a playoff berth yet, despite that 5-0 district record, but they will with a win over Beaumont Central tonight. Central is 3-2 in district, and their record includes a 42-21 loss to Vidor on September 26, as well as a 16-6 win last week over Lumberton, a team PN-G beat 42-0 on September 20. To clinch an outright district crown, PN-G only needs wins in two of its final three games.

Roschon Johnson doesn’t have any clips from the 2017 season posted yet on his Hudl profile, but he makes multiple appearances in the recap of last week’s win seen below.