The Texas high school football playoffs are a tough tournament to survive, no matter the classification. Going into round three, the regional semifinals, there were nine Texas Longhorn football commits from the state of Texas whose teams were still alive and three wins away from reaching a state championship game. Five of those recruits turned in their equipment after that week, and one more joined them after last weekend’s round four (aka, the regional finals, aka the state quarterfinals) action.
There was a definite pattern to the four games last week involving UT commits. Each game was close for at least the first half, and three of the games were far from decided going into the 4th quarter, but in each game one team made enough plays in the final quarter to earn a fairly decisive win, and Caden Sterns’s Cibolo Steele team ended up on the losing side in one of those matchups.
Now, only three future Longhorns are still playing football: running back Keaontay Ingram (Carthage), running back and future defensive back B.J. Foster (Angleton), and placekicker Cameron Dicker (Lake Travis). The teams for all three have a stiff challenge that they’ll have to overcome in the state semifinals in order to reach next week’s state championship games at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, as all three face unbeaten opponents that were ranked in the top four for their classification when the playoffs began four weeks ago.
Twelve of UT’s 18 senior commits are set to participate in either the U.S. Army All-American Bowl or the Under Armor All-America Game, which will both be played in early January. I’ll have a little more on that below.
The Texas Associated Press Sports Editors annually announces its all-state teams for each classification during the week of the state championship games, and I expect a few Texas commits will see their names on one of those lists next week, and I’ll be sure to mention in my next post any future Longhorns who earn all-state honors.
For now, good luck to
and may the Force be with the three Longhorn commits who will be taking the field on Friday and Saturday. At least one of them will hopefully continue a UT-related state championship streak that has lasted two decades; in every season since 1996, at least one state champion team has had a future Texas Longhorn football player on its roster. There were three last season, and in some years there have been as many as six. I’ll write more about that streak next week.
2018 Texas Longhorn football commits in the playoffs
RB Keaontay Ingram (Carthage)
Last week: Had 18 carries for 111 yards and 2 TDs, and caught one pass for 19 yards in a 35-0 win over Henderson in the Region III final of the 4A Division I playoffs.
This week: Friday, December 15 at 7:30, vs. Waco La Vega (at Frisco’s Ford Center at The Star) in the state semifinal round of the 4A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Ingram and his Carthage teammates defeated east Texas rival Henderson for the third time in two seasons to advance to the state semifinals for the fourth time in five seasons, and for seventh time in the span of ten seasons.
Henderson was one of the last team to defeat Carthage, as they got the better of the Bulldogs in a 2016 district game, but Carthage went on to beat Henderson by two points in the third round that year’s playoffs. When the teams met in district play this season, Ingram was held to a season-low 61 rushing yards on 16 carries, and Henderson led 7-6 early on, but Carthage scored three times in a six-minute span early in the 2nd quarter to take a 28-10 halftime lead, and ended up winning 42-17.
Last week’s regional final looked like it would be another tight game, as the first half ended with Carthage holding a 7-0 lead and Keaontay Ingram having 10 carries for just 28 yards on his ledger, according to the ETSN’s recap of the game. But Carthage controlled the second half, scoring 28 points while its defense completed the shutout by stopping multiple Henderson drives that advanced into Carthage territory. The 35-0 victory was Carthage’s first shutout since a 34-0 win over Stafford in the second round of the 2015 playoffs.
Ingram scored both of his touchdowns on one-yard runs in the 3rd quarter, both of which were set up by Henderson turnovers. Carthage’s defense forced four turnovers and held Henderson to 21 rushing yards on 25 carries. Carthage QB Gunner Capps connected with receiver Dee Bowens for a 84-yard TD pass on the first play of the 4th quarter to give the Bulldogs a 28-0 lead. The pair were also responsible for Carthage’s first score of the game, a 55-yard TD pass on the first play of the 2nd quarter. Bowens caught four passes for 159 yards on the night.
Carthage is now 14-0 for the season and has won 24 consecutive games since falling to district foes Henderson and Kilgore in consecutive games during the 2016 season. Carthage has since beaten Henderson three times and Kilgore once, and on Friday the Bulldogs will face off against the team that ended their 2015 season in that year’s state semifinals, Waco La Vega.
Carthage went into the 2015 playoffs with a 7-3 record (with those three losses coming in games decided by a combined seven points), then marched through the first four rounds of the playoffs to win the Region III title in the 4A Division I bracket, a run that included a win over then-defending 4A Division I state champion Navasota. But in the state semifinals, Carthage’s offense managed only a lone field goal and turned the ball over on downs six times, as the La Vega Pirates won 39-3, delivering Carthage their the most lopsided postseason loss in 72 years, topped only by a 43-0 loss to Grapeland in 1943 in the school’s first-ever football playoff appearance. A week later, La Vega beat Argyle 33-31 to win the 2015 Class 4A Division I state championship.
So Friday night’s Carthage-La Vega state semifinal game will be a matchup of the past two 4A Division I state champs. The Pirates lost five of their first seven games in the 2014 season, and have gone 46-2 since then. They went 16-0 in their 2015 state championship season, and finished 13-1 in 2016, with their only L a 21-10 defeat against China Spring in the fourth round of the playoffs.
La Vega is 14-0 this season and entered the playoffs as the 4th-ranked team in Class 4A. Only two teams have scored more than 14 points against them, and they have won their first fourteen games by an average margin of 33.6 points.
La Vega is coached by Willie Williams, who is currently in his 28th season leading the Pirates. I have not found any news articles reporting that Williams’s coaching career is near its end, but comments he made in November following La Vega’s final home game (a 49-7 win over Gatesville) suggested that this could be his final season.
Running La Vega’s offense is senior quarterback Jamal Williams, the head coach’s son and a four-year varsity starter. According to KCEN, the Waco-Temple-Killeen area’s CBS affiliate, the younger Williams has 47 career wins as a starting QB and is tied with former Bremond standout and three-time state champion Roshauud Paul (now a freshman wide receiver at Texas A&M) for the state record in that category. A win by La Vega over Carthage would give him sole possession of that record, but Keaontay Ingram and company will be happy to deny him that accomplishment.
The winner of this game will play the winner of the other state semifinal game between Stephenville and Kennedale in the 4A Division I state championship game on Friday, December 22 at 11:00 am at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
DB B.J. Foster (Angleton)
Last week: Had 14 carries for 126 yards and 3 TDs, and caught 6 passes for 89 yards in a 41-10 win over Richmond Foster in the Region IV final of the 5A Division I playoffs.
This week: Friday, December 15 at 7:30, vs. Manvel (at Houston’s NRG Stadium) in the state semifinals of the 5A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Angleton beat a talented Richmond Foster team for the second time this season to advance to the fifth round of the playoffs for just the second time in school history. Angleton’s only previous playoff run that lasted as long was in 1958, when the Wildcats played for the 2A state championship but lost 23-0 to Stamford.
The 41-10 score in last week’s win over Foster obscures how close the game was through the first three quarters. Though the Wildcats won by 31 points, they led by a score of 13-10 going into the 4th quarter and made it a two-possession game for the first time following B.J. Foster’s 3-yard TD run with 8:33 left in regulation.
Foster sat out Angleton’s first bout with Richmond Foster on November 3 (a 34-7 win for the Wildcats) with an injury, and last week’s re-match with Foster in the regional finals was just his second game back on the field after missing four games with that injury.
The game was scoreless until the Foster Falcons got on the board with a 26-yard field goal with 1:27 left in the 1st quarter, but B.J. Foster answered with a 67-yard TD run just 17 seconds later. Angleton’s only turnover of the game (a B.J. Foster fumble) resulted in a touchdown for the Falcons off a 62-yard fumble return with 9:02 left in the 2nd quarter, which gave Foster a 10-7 lead.
Angleton’s offense managed only a pair of field goals over the next two quarters of game time, the first of which tied the game at 10 with 4:40 left in the 2nd quarter, and the second gave the Wildcats the lead for good with 2:36 left in the 3rd quarter.
What had been a close game throughout was broken wide open in the 4th quarter, as two Richmond Foster turnovers set up two B.J. Foster rushing TDs scored just 22 seconds apart to expand Angleton’s lead to 27-10 with 8:11 left in the 4th quarter. The Wildcats scored twice more in the game’s final four minutes, with SMU commit TaMerik Williams putting the final stamp on the game with a 63-yard TD run with 2:12 left in regulation. Williams rushed for 118 yards on 13 carries. In addition to rushing for three TDs and going over 100 yards without a large volume of carries, Foster was on the receiving end of all six of Angleton’s completed passes, and he compiled 215 yards from scrimmage on 20 offensive touches in the game.
In the two playoff games he has played in since returning from his injury, B.J. Foster has accounted for 284 rushing yards and 5 rushing TDs on just 22 carries. The Wildcats forced three turnovers and held Richmond Foster to just 100 total yards, and the Falcons further shot themselves in the foot by being penalized 15 times, which cost them 129 yards.
Angleton is now 13-0 for the third time in school history, has outscored its opponents 706-80, and has allowed just eight offensive touchdowns for the season. The Wildcat defense will be tested like it hasn’t been all season in Friday night’s state semifinal round, as the Manvel Mavericks are likewise 13-0, have averaged just under 49 points per game for the year, and have put 48 points or more on the scoreboard in six consecutive games.
Manvel played its first varsity season in 2008, and has not only reached the playoffs in eight consecutive seasons, it has never had a playoff run end earlier than the third round. In 2010, the Mavericks lost in the quarterfinals to eventual 4A Division II state runner-up La Marque. A year later they got revenge on La Marque in a playoff re-match, but their season ended with a loss in the 4A Division II state championship game to an Aledo team starring future Texas Longhorns running back Johnathan Gray. They spent the next four seasons in Class 6A and advanced to the quarterfinals every year from 2013 to 2015 but lost to 6A state finalist Katy each time.
Manvel (which is part of the Alvin ISD) dropped to Class 5A with the U.I.L.’s 2016 realignment, mostly due to the opening of Alvin ISD’s third high school, Shadow Creek. They were predictably dominant in their first season in 5A, going undefeated during the 2016 regular season and entering the playoffs as that classification’s 3rd-ranked team, but they fell in the quarterfinals to eventual 5A Division I state runner-up Temple in a game I wrote about here.
Manvel has had one of the state’s most talent-rich programs for half a decade, and this year’s roster includes no less than eight current FBS commits and several other highly-rated prospects who will be playing on Saturday afternoons in the coming years. Manvel QB Kason Martin, the son of Manvel’s head coach Kirk Martin and brother of Texas A&M offensive tackle Koda Martin, is committed to North Texas. Joining him on the offensive side of the ball is running back Deneric Prince (a Texas A&M commit), wide receiver Jalen Preston (also a Texas A&M pledge), wide receiver Kam Scott (a Missouri commit), and offensive lineman Jalen Momerelle (a Texas State commit). And that’s just their seniors!
Four-star senior defensive back Trent Gordon (a Penn State commit) headlines the Mavericks’ defensive prospects, and he’s joined by linebackers Brian Johnson (a Texas A&M commit), Charles Reed (a Navy commit), and DePriest Taylor (who leads the team in tackles and tackles for loss).
Manvel has played a challenging schedule, opening its season - which was delayed for two weeks due to Hurricane Harvey - with wins over traditional 6A powers Galena Park North Shore and Pearland, and advancing past the third and fourth rounds of the playoffs via wins over Cedar Park and Temple, two schools that made a combined four state championship appearances in the previous three seasons.
Friday’s Manvel-Angleton matchup will pair two teams who’ve had some successful seasons in recent years but have never won a state title, as both schools lost in their one previous trip to the state finals. It will also be a contrast of styles, as Manvel is more of a shotgun spread team with multiple future D1 receivers, while Angleton tends to stick to the ground game with its offense, which it operates out of the shotgun as well as the wing-T.
The winner of Manvel-Angleton will face the winner of the other 5A Division I semifinal game between Denton Ryan and Highland Park in the 5A Division I state championship game on Friday, December 22 at 7:00 pm. Of the ten playoff brackets for the state’s 11-man football classifications, the 5A Division I bracket is the only one whose final four teams were all state-ranked at the end of the regular season. In the season’s final AP poll on November 13, the Class 5A rankings included #2 Manvel, #3 Denton Ryan, #5 Angleton, and #7 Highland Park (the defending 5A Division I state champion).
DB Caden Sterns (Cibolo Steele)
Last week: Made 2 catches for 13 yards and returned two kickoffs for 73 yards in a 28-14 loss to Austin Westlake in the Region IV final of the 6A Division II playoffs.
Notes: Steele has reported offensive and special teams stats from last week’s loss to Westlake on its MaxPreps page, but had not listed defensive stats.
The Steele Knights began their 2017 campaign in frustrating fashion, losing four games in a row for the first time in program history and holding a 1-4 overall record half-way through the season. Those four losses came against four indisputably solid opponents that all reached at least the second round of the playoffs, but 1-4 was still uncharted territory for Steele. The Knights rebounded by winning eight straight games, capturing their district’s final playoff spot, and advancing to the fourth round of the playoffs, but in that round their season was ended at the hands of unbeaten Austin Westlake, the 3rd-ranked team in Class 6A.
They had their chances to upset Westlake. Rice running back commit Brenden Brady, who had rushed for 190 or more yards five times on the year, gained 104 yards on 26 carries and gave Steele and early 7-0 lead on a 3-yard TD run five minutes into the game. Wisconsin commit Nakia Watson tied the game with a 5-yard scoring run on the first play of the 2nd quarter, and Westlake took a 14-7 lead with another TD less than five minutes later.
Steele forced three Westlake turnovers in the first half, which helped keep the game close. A Westlake fumble set Steele up for Brady’s TD run, an interception in the 2nd quarter killed a Westlake drive deep in Steele territory, and a fumbled punt return late in the half gave Steele good field position and allowed the Knights to tie the game at 14 on a 4-yard run by freshman QB Wyatt Begeal with just ten seconds left in the 2nd quarter, but those were Steele’s final points of the day.
Steele was held to 163 total yards for the game, and Begeal completed only 10 of his 23 pass attempts for 73 yards and a first half interception. The Knights couldn’t get anything going on offense after halftime, and Watson provided the winning margin for Westlake by scoring on TD runs in the 3rd and 4th quarters, the latter a 50-yard romp with 6:15 left in regulation that made the score 28-14 following the PAT.
Steele finished the season with an overall record of 9-5, and as of this writing those five losses came against teams with a combined overall record of 59-7. Caden Sterns was unanimously voted to the All-District 27-6A first team at safety. He will take the field one last time in his high school career on January 6 as a member of the West team in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, in which he will play before a hometown crowd at the Alamodome.
K Cameron Dicker (Lake Travis)
Last week: Made one of two field goal attempts and 5 of 5 PAT attempts in a 38-17 win over San Antonio O’Connor in the Region IV final of the 6A Division I playoffs.
This week: Saturday, December 16 at 3:00, vs. Katy (at San Antonio’s Alamo Stadium) in the state semifinals of the 6A Division I playoffs.
Notes: Dicker made a 20-yard field goal attempt mid-way through the 2nd quarter in last week’s regional final against San Antonio O’Connor, and later missed on a 46-yard attempt. He was good on all five of his PAT attempts. Like the three aforementioned games of last weekend, the Lake Travis-O’Connor contest was close for most of its length, and was a one-possession game with seven minutes left in regulation.
Lake Travis scored first in the game on a 1st quarter TD run by QB Matthew Baldwin, a recent Ohio State commit. A field goal and short TD run gave O’Connor a 10-7 lead with 10:08 left in the 2nd quarter. Dicker’s 20-yard field goal was made with 6:07 left in the 2nd quarter and tied the game up at 10 apiece. The first of junior wide receiver Garrett Wilson’s three TDs in the game came with 1:40 left in the first half, and allowed Lake Travis to take a 17-10 lead into halftime.
Wilson reached the end zone two more times in the second half as Lake Travis gradually pulled away from the previously unbeaten O’Connor Panthers, who were limited to 17 points after coming into the game averaging 44 points. Wilson’s third TD, a 9-yard run, gave Lake Travis a 31-17 lead with 6:50 left in regulation and came less than three and a half minutes after O’Connor had scored their last TD to make it a one-possession game. Lake Travis concluded the scoring with a 30-yard TD return of O’Connor’s only fumble in the game, which expanded their lead to 38-17 with 1:32 left on the clock.
Lake Travis’s win over O’Connor set up a state semifinal tilt between two of the state’s most successful programs of the past decade. Lake Travis is in the state semifinal round for the ninth time in eleven seasons, and the Cavaliers have in fact lost only once out of the previous eight times they reached that round.
Hoping to deal them their second ever semifinal loss will be Katy, which is probably mentioned in the Webster’s Dictionary under the word “powerhouse” (or should be if it isn’t). That won’t be news to any but the most casual fan of Texas high school football, but if you’re that casual of a fan you probably stopped reading this post 2,000 words ago anyway.
The Katy Tigers have played in a remarkable 13 state championship games in the past 23 seasons. To put it another way, within the lifetime of most current college seniors the Tigers’ seasons have ended in the state championship game more often than not. Katy has not only reached the playoffs in 27 consecutive seasons, they have reached the postseason and won at least one playoff game in 24 straight years! (This writer’s downtrodden alma mater has not won a football playoff game since LBJ was president.)
Katy is 12-0 this season and has only been seriously challenged once. After Hurricane Harvey delayed the start of their season by two weeks, Katy won a close 24-21 game against The Woodlands, a team that ended the regular season ranked 7th in Class 6A. The Tigers ran roughshod over their next eleven opponents by an average margin of nearly 44 points. And on Friday they’ll face a 12-2 Lake Travis team that has averaged 45 points per game.
This will be a battle of Texas high school football blue bloods, as Lake Travis and Katy have won a combined 14 state championships. The only previous time they met in the playoffs was in the 2015 6A Division II state championship, in which a Katy team featuring future Texas Longhorns running back Kyle Porter and boasting a historically great defense (they had ten shutouts and allowed just 62 points all season) finished off a perfect 16-0 season with a 34-7 win. Lake Travis made it back to the state finals a year later and took home the 2016 6A Division I state trophy at the end of a playoff run in which they outscored their six postseason foes by an average of 40 points.
The most notable player on Katy’s current roster from the standpoint of a Texas fan is junior four-star running back Deondrick Glass, who has been a varsity player since his freshman year and has been offered by many programs, including Texas. If the Lake Travis-Katy game ends up being a close one, the most interesting individual matchup could end up being the one between Cameron Dicker and his placekicking counterpart, Texas A&M commit Seth Small.
The Lake Travis-Katy winner will play in the 6A Division I state final at 3:00 on Saturday, December 23, and will face the winner of Allen-Round Rock Cedar Ridge. The final AP poll for Class 6A ranked Allen at #1 (with 22 out of 24 first-place votes) and Katy #2. Out of the ten playoff brackets from Class 2A to 6A, the 6A Division I bracket is the only one whose state final could feature the top two ranked teams in its class (the top two teams in both 5A and 4A are competing in different divisions, while the 2nd-ranked teams in 3A and 2A have already been eliminated).
Texas Longhorn football commits whose seasons have ended
QB Roschon Johnson (Port Neches-Groves) 2019
Johnson’s team reached the regional quarterfinal round of the 5A Division I playoffs before falling 66-40 to College Station. Port Neches-Groves finished with an overall record of 10-2, and Johnson ended his junior season with 2,918 yards and 35 TDs passing, and as well as 1,627 yards and 29 TDs rushing. He also caught a 43-yard TD pass on a trick play. He scored at least four touchdowns in every game this season except for PN-G’s 24-17 win over Texas City in the area round of the playoffs.
Last week, Johnson was named one of ten finalists for the Mr. Texas Football High School Player of the Year award, the winner of which will be announced on December 27 before the Texas Bowl, in which his future college team will be participating.
QB Cameron Rising (Newbury Park, California)
Rising suffered a season-ending knee injury late in Newbury Park’s October 27 loss to Moorpark. Newbury Park later lost in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs. Rising finished his senior season with 1,689 yards and 14 touchdowns and 6 interceptions passing, and 496 yards and 9 TDs rushing.
QB Casey Thompson (Newcastle, Oklahoma)
Thompson finished his senior season with 3,217 yards, 37 TDs and 9 interceptions passing, and 884 yards and 8 TDs rushing. His Newcastle team finished 3-7 and did not qualify for Oklahoma’s Class 4A playoffs.
WR Brennan Eagles (Alief Taylor)
Eagles missed his team’s last four games due to an unspecified injury. Taylor lost four of its final five games to finish with an overall record of 3-5 and did not qualify for the 6A playoffs. Eagles finished his senior season with 15 catches for 230 yards and 4 TDs. He was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on January 6, 2018 in San Antonio. Eagles was not selected for the all-district team for District 23-6A, probably due to his only playing in four games.
WR Rondale Moore (Trinity - Louisville, Kentucky)
Moore led his team to an undefeated 15-0 record and Kentucky’s 6A state championship, the school’s 25th state championship overall. In the state championship game, Moore had 289 yards from scrimmage and scored three TDs on 24 offensive touches. He finished his senior season with 104 receptions for 1,462 yards and 16 TDs. He will play in January’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl as a member of the East squad, and the defensive backs on the West team who will be tasked with covering him may include fellow Longhorn commits Caden Sterns and Jalen Green.
WR Al’Vonte Woodard (Houston Lamar)
Lamar finished 9-2 overall and reached the regional semifinals in the 6A Division I playoffs before losing to Galena Park North Shore. After a slow start in which he caught only nine passes and one touchdown in Lamar’s first five games, Woodard had some strong performances late in the season and ended his senior campaign with 30 catches for 628 yards and 7 TDs. He was one of four receivers voted to the All-District 18-6A first team. Woodard is one of eight current Longhorn commits who are scheduled to play in the Under Armor All-America Game, which will be played on January 4 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
TE Malcolm Epps (Spring Dekaney)
Malcolm Epps finished his senior season with 27 catches for 508 yards and 7 TDs, and he was also credited with 11 tackles, 5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery while playing defensive end in the season’s first three games. His team reached the 6A Division II playoffs but lost in the first round. Epps was voted to the All-District First Team at tight end by the coaches of District 16-6A. He will play in the Under Armor All-America Game in January.
OL Sione “Junior” Angilau (East - Salt Lake City, Utah)
The Longhorns’ newest commit is currently the #155 overall recruit and 11th-ranked offensive tackle according to the 247Sports Composite ratings. He blocked for a Salt Lake City East team that finished with an overall record of 11-3 and qualified for Utah’s 6A state championship game on November 17, but in the state final they lost 27-14 to nationally-ranked Bingham.
He played left guard in East’s flexbone option attack, and according to his team’s MaxPreps page they averaged just shy of 400 rushing yards per game, scored 59 of their 66 offensive touchdowns on the ground, and attempted less than five passes per game. It would be reasonable to predict that Angilau will need a season or two to work on his pass protection technique before he’ll see the field at Texas after playing in a passing-averse flexbone system in high school, but his cousin Patrick Vahe didn’t play his high school ball for a pass-heavy spread team either and he has been a starter at guard for Texas since his true freshman season. Vahe came to the 40 Acres from Euless Trinity, and went from blocking for a renowned smash-mouth running team that attempted less than ten passes per game his senior year, to starting ten games at left guard as a true freshman for a 2015 Texas team that, well, um, didn’t have standout quarterback play but did air it out 21 times per game. So there’s that.
Salt Lake City’s Deseret News named Angilau to its 6A All-State first team at guard. Four of his Salt Lake City East teammates were named All-State first team at either linebacker or on the defensive line, so he probably faced stronger competition in some of his practice reps than in a lot of games he played.
That should give him more than decent preparation for the athletes he’ll face when he arrives in San Antonio for the practices preceding January’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Angilau will be one of at least four future Longhorns suiting up for the West team in that game.
OL Rafiti Ghirmai (Frisco Wakeland)
Ghirmai’s Wakeland team finished 7-4 overall and lost in the first round of the 5A Division I playoffs. He lined up at right tackle for Wakeland and was one of three offensive tackles voted to the All-District 13-5A first team.
OL Reese Moore (Seminole)
Moore’s Seminole team lost its season-opener, then rolled to an 11-game winning streak before their season ended in the regional semifinals of the 4A Division II playoffs. Moore primarily lined up at tight end but was voted Offensive Lineman of the Year by the coaches of District 2-4A Division II. He finished his senior season with a team-high 14 catches for 372 yards (26.6 yards per catch) and 5 TDs.
DT Keondre Coburn (Spring Westfield)
Coburn’s Westfield team was state-ranked early on in the season and won its first 11 games before losing 14-11 to Lufkin in the regional semifinal round of the 6A Division II playoffs. Coburn was voted his district’s Defensive MVP by the coaches of District 16-6A. He will play in the Under Armor All-America Game in January.
LB Ayodele Adeoye (IMG Academy - Bradenton, Florida)
Ayodele was credited with 25 tackles and one sack while playing for an IMG team that finished 8-0, beat multiple state- and nationally-ranked opponents, and spent the entire season as the #2 team in the USA Today Super 25 national expert rankings. He will play in the Under Armor All-America Game in January.
LB Byron Hobbs (Fort Worth Eastern Hills)
Hobbs was injured in his team’s second game this season and did not play again until seven weeks later. His team finished 4-6 and did not reach the 5A playoffs. Despite only playing in three of his team’s seven district games, Hobbs was unanimously voted as one of three outside linebackers on the All-District 8-5A first team.
DB Jalen Green (Houston Heights)
Green finished his senior season with 189 yards and 3 TDs passing, 29 carries for 347 yards and 8 TDs, 3 catches for 93 yards and 2 TDs, 13 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and a punt returned for a TD, all in just five games played. He suffered a broken collarbone in October and missed his team’s last four games. Heights finished 6-3 overall and lost in the first round of the 6A Division II playoffs. Green was one of six defensive backs voted to the All-District 18-6A first team. He will play for the West team in January’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
DB D’Shawn Jamison (Houston Lamar)
The 5’10” 180-pound Jamison returned four kickoffs for touchdowns and also reached the end zone this season on a pick-six, a punt return, and an 8-yard run. On defense, he was credited with 30 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, one forced fumble, and 8 passes defensed. He was one of six defensive backs voted to the All-District 18-6A first team. He will play in the Under Armor All-America Game in January.
DB DeMarvion Overshown (Arp)
Arp finished 4-6 overall and lost to Newton (Class 3A’s 4th-ranked team) in the first round of the 3A Division II playoffs. Overshown was voted Defensive MVP of District 9-3A Division II. He will play his last high school game on January 4 in Orlando at the Under Armor All-America Game.