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Bevo Bites: Texas targets impress at UIL State Championships (Part II)

Some of the top talent the nation has to offer was in action last weekend at the Texas UIL state championships.

Joe Hamilton

Last weekend at AT&T Stadium the Texas high school football season concluded with UIL State Championship games. A tremendous amount of talent was on hand, including Texas targets and potential targets.

Here are a few key takeaways after seeing this talent in action over the weekend.

2021 — JoJo Earle — Unranked WR — Aledo: The Longhorns have only offered 15 total prospects from the 2021 class. Earle was one of the first skill position players to earn one of those offers from and it was pretty easy to see why after his performance in the state game last Friday, as he logged 142 total yards on offense with one touchdown. The rising sophomore has an all-around skill-set, showing that he can line up in the slot or outside at times and be effective at either spot. You’ll also see Earle be utilized in the backfield as a running back, in the return game, or even as a defensive back. A lot of that has to do with Earle’s astonishing intangibles. Earle’s quick feet and great balance in the lower body allows him to separate himself from defenders on an island with ease and also helps him in coverage on the defensive end. His overall agility, body control and natural playmaking ability gives him an early edge on many athletes in his class. One of the biggest characteristics in Earle’s game that might get overlooked is the tenacity he plays with. Earle might not be the biggest prospect on the field, but he’s not letting you push him around. We’ll have an in-depth update on where things are with Earle and Texas very soon.

2020 — Alec Bryant — 4-star WDE — Shadow Creek: Bryant and his Shadow Creek Sharks took on D-FW powerhouse Highland Park last Saturday, and the outcome wasn’t what Bryant expected, but he played solid a game. Bryant was in on a number of tackles and got after the quarterback during critical stages of the game. Bryant is still such a raw prospect with physical attributes college coaches rave over for a player at his position, so there’s still a ton of room for improvement. Defensive line coach Oscar Giles and Bryant have built a relationship, he’s just hoping to land that offer from the Longhorns.

2020 — James Sylvester — 4-star WDE — Newton: Sylvester has to be one of the more intriguing defensive prospects the state has to offer. He has the prototypical build to be one of those special edge rushers at the next level once he begins to perfect his pass rushing skills, develops an everlasting motor, and ultimately puts it all together. Sylvester had flashes throughout the game where he was able to put the quarterback under duress using his speed and long arms to effect the quarterbacks timing. At this time, Sylvester holds 11 offers, but that list does not include Texas. Talks with the Longhorns coaching staff has died down a bit for Sylvester, but he’s hoping that picks back up very soon.

2021 — Dematrius Davis — Unranked QB — North Shore: Everyone in the country should know who Davis is by now, as we are approximately a week removed from one of the greatest endings to a high school football game ever; all thanks to Davis’ arm. He heaved the 45-yard touchdown pass to his wide receiver — UTEP commit Ajani Carter — to complete history and lead North Shore a 6A Division I state championship.

Yeah, that was the highlight of the game, but Davis’ surgical performance as a quarterback helped propel his team to get in position to win. Being the poised and mature quarterback Davis is at an early age gave him the edge, as he threw for 333 yards, rushed for 89 yards, and notched five touchdowns on a performance that granted him an Offensive MVP award. I’ve been able to see and witness this field general’s growth over the past two seasons, and I can honestly say his name should be mentioned up there with the best of the best at his position. His decisiveness and ability to make the necessary throws on-time should begin to open a lot of college programs eyes across the country. Davis holds four total offers right now.

2020 — Haynes King — 3-star QB — Longview: The best quarterback in the 2020 cycle class for the state of Texas looked to be a battle between Texas commit Hudson Card and Malik Hornsby, but the entire town of Longview will make a case for their quarterback that wheeled his team to their first state title in 81 years. King put everyone on notice after a prominent performance, throwing the ball through the air with 423 yards and showed that he could hurt you in the running game also, as he rushed for 65 yards. The soon-to-be rising gunslinger was on a tear in the state game, proving he can put touch on his longer passes and complete the deep ball, and also drive the ball into smaller windows. If he can maintain that consistency during camp showings as he prepares for his senior season, I think you’ll see his stock rise and his offer list continue to grow. King has been in talks with the Longhorns in the past, expect that relationship to expand as we head into the offseason.

2020 — Devon Achane — 3-star WR/RB — Fort Bend Marshall: Achane continues to be the most electric skill-position player in the state. In a losing effort last week, Achane was still able to display his fierce speed and ability to make something out of nothing. The burner ripped off several long runs against a talented Aledo defense. Achane finished off his season with eye-popping numbers with 1,341 yards on the ground, averaging 10 yards per carry, 642 yards receiving, averaging 24 yards per catch, and 37 total touchdowns. I’d be surprised if more P5 programs don’t start reaching out to Achane even more, including the Longhorns. Achane recently picked up an offer from Texas A&M.

2020 — Xavion Alford — 3-star S — Shadow Creek: Alford is one of the state’s up-and-coming defensive backs that has begun to turn heads from top programs. His latest offer comes from LSU and should be in prime position to land more attention from high major programs. In last week’s state championship game, Alford logged an interception and was in on numerous stops. Seeing Alford play with a little more control when flying in to make tackles is something I’d like to see from the rising safety. With that being said, the Shadow Creek standout has a very high ceiling.

2020 — Jeremiah Harris — 3-star ILB — Shadow Creek: Playing for a team with exceptional talent like Shadow Creek, it’s easy to be forgotten about at times, but Harris is beginning to receive the attention he deserves as he just picked up an offer from Oklahoma State. Harris is one of the more daunting linebackers in the Houston-area, that has the speed and willingness to punish ball-carriers and quarterbacks from sideline to sideline. He has been a tackling machine all season long, and finished off his junior campaign with that same grit that helped lead his team to state. I think we’ll see a guy like Harris rise on the recruiting scene this off-season.

Players to watch:

2020 — Joseph “JoJo” Wilson — 3-star CB — North Shore: 6-1, 180 pounds holds offers from Florida Atlantic and Massachusetts.

2020 — Corey Flagg Jr. — 3-star ILB — North Shore: 5-10, 210 pounds, holds offers from Boston College, Memphis, Texas State, and Texas Tech.

2020 — John Gentry — Unranked RB — North Shore: 5-10, 180 pounds, holds an offer from Arkansas.

2020 — Trysten Smith — Unranked RB — Duncanville: 5-10, 198 pounds, currently doesn’t hold an offer.

2021 — Dametrious Crownover — Unranked DE — Grandview: 6-7, 235 pounds, currently doesn’t hold an offer.

2021 — Marcus Burris — Unranked DE — Texarkana Pleasant Grove: 6-4, 235 pounds, currently doesn’t hold an offer.

2021 — Hampton Fay — Unranked TE — Aledo: 6-5, 200 pounds, currently doesn’t hold an offer.