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May 24, 2006

Texas tidbits: Big line options on the board

While several schools have already wrapped up some top offensive line commitments in the state of Texas, there are several talented prospects still on the board in the Lone Star state.

Texas has definitely had their way early on. Six in-state offensive linemen have committed to the Longhorns including arguably one of the top in the country, South Grand Prairie's Tray Allen. Allen is on board with the Horns along with Jerrod Gooch, Kyle Hix, Michael Huey, Aundre McGaskey, and Matt Nader.

Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor, and other Big 12 schools outside of the state haven't exactly been void of talent. The Red Raiders grabbed a commitment from one of the biggest sleepers in the 2007 class from Garland Sachse tackle Blake Emert. A&M struck early with backyard offensive tackle Evan Eike, while Baylor pulled one of their bigger commitments in the last few years from Brownsboro offensive tackle Lonnie Edwards.

So is there anybody left?

There are plenty. Rosenberg Lamar Consolidated offensive tackle Jarvis Jones may be the top available offensive lineman left uncommitted on the board. However, he's going to get hefty competition from California pre-evaluation Rivals100 move-in Darrion Weems.

Offensive linemen: Who's left?
The state of Texas has a top group of offensive linemen in the 2007 class. Here is a breakdown of a few names still left and who are early teams to beat:
Name Teams to beat
Jarvis Jones A&M, KSU, Iowa
Darrion Weems USC, A&M, Oregon
Baylor, A&M, LSU
Courtney Green OSU, Baylor
John Jones Baylor, Missouri
Marquis Franklin LSU, OSU
Weems recently just picked up new offers from Kansas, Utah, and Nebraska to go along with ones from Arizona, Baylor, Boston College, and Oregon.

Pre-evaluation Rivals100 member Marquis Franklin, Cedar Hill's John Jones, Corsicana's Courtney Green, Lancaster's Anthony Morgan, and Dallas Carter's Jeremiah Hatch are big time prospects also available.

The top sleepers that schools are getting in on quickly include Fort Bend Elkins tackle Daniel Baker, Langham Creek's Kelechi Osemele, and Killeen's Jonathan Rush.

It may be a better year for offensive linemen than once was thought in the Lone Star state.

Irish not giving up just yet

Don't forget about McAllen Memorial running back and Texas A&M commit Bradley Stephens because the rest of the country sure hasn't.

Since committing to Texas A&M, Stephens has added several other offers from teams such as Nebraska, Ohio State, and recently Notre Dame.

Nonetheless, that hasn't changed the mind of the talented runner that wants to spend his college days in College Station.

"I'm solid to Texas A&M," Stephens told Rivals.com after receiving the Irish offer. "I talked to one of the assistants at Nebraska, the running backs coach at Iowa State, and I also talked to Dick Tressel, the running backs coach at Ohio State."

"I told them I was solid to Texas A&M. Basically all three respected my commitment."

The storyline may not be whether or not Stephens switches his pledge, but rather how many offers will he actually wrap up in the next few months?

Hard to figure out

Trying to figure out where Brenham, Texas quarterback Jarrett Lee is going to end up may be harder than trying to predict the weather.

Those close to the situation still believe its LSU and Nebraska with a firm lead on things, but Lee says otherwise. His top three includes both the Tigers and the Huskers, but also Arizona. Texas Tech coach Mike Leach was also in Brenham late in the evaluation period to watch Lee during practice.

So is this a final three from Lee?

"There are still people that could jump in," Lee said. "I really don't know how that will all work out. It's not final either."

Lee recently returned from LSU and gave Baton Rouge high marks. He also has plans to camp at Nebraska, Arizona, and make a return trip to LSU this summer.

"It was a really good visit," Lee said. "I was amazed by everything. I mean, it was another one of those good visits to see what was all out there. You can really see why they're at the top every year."

Yet, Lee still hasn't put one team in the lead. Will Texas Tech jump back in or will Arizona end up being the dark horse in the race?

Stay tuned on this one because this doesn't look close to being over yet.

Who's close?

Several prospects are thinking about an early decision going into the summer months, where things begin to quiet down. Texas players are no different and a decision could be coming from several of those before summer gets into full swing.

San Antonio Lee prospect Travis Lewis has been adding offers at an electric pace. Oklahoma, Arizona, Nebraska, UTEP, Missouri, and Oklahoma State are just a few offers that have come in for the 6-foot-1, 213-pounder. His sub 4.4-second 40-yard dash and the ability to play defense has the Big 12 schools fighting it out.

What's surprising is that Lewis says he's close to being done already.

"There could be commitment in the next few days," Lewis said. "Oklahoma would have to be my No. 1. Nebraska – they really want me bad. They'd be my second team right now."

The Sooners could end up reaping the benefits of a big time sleeper like Lewis who could play safety or linebacker.

Running back Chris Tate was high on Baylor and thought about committing when their offer came in. It appears that he could be the next to give a pledge to the Bears.

Depending on how fast Cedar Hill wide receiver William Cole takes visits, his decision could be coming by mid-summer.

Names you may not know

With the star rankings coming out very soon, many people have several nationally known prospects on their radar for top rated position. However, a few names in the state of Texas have a chance to be rated very highly.

These prospects just may not be as familiar as others.

Allen, Texas running back Charles Opeseyitan has added a national list of offers and could be one of the higher ranked runners in the state. Houston Spring Woods Marcus Mendoza is also in that top group along with Dallas Madison's Shawnbrey McNeal. All of them could be argued in reference to four-star status.

What about wide receivers Jacob Amie and Tatum's Darnius Moore?

Both of their teammates got earlier attention, but now they're hot new names on college coaching radars.

Round Rock tight end Alex Russian didn't catch a ton of balls during his junior year, but is receiving boat loads of early attention and a few new offers. Richardson Berkner offensive lineman Josh LeRibeus was picking up offers quickly but gave an early commitment to SMU. He could also be one of the higher rated offensive linemen in the state.

Irving MacArthur's threesome of Bret Harris, Kelly Griffin, and of course Ron Brooks all have legitimate shots to be top 50 players in the state of Texas. Dallas Skyline, Cedar Hill, Arlington Seguin, and North Garland are also loaded in the Metroplex and could have nationally ranked players on their roster.

El Paso sleeper Dominique Hamilton has emerged as a top prospect in West Texas. He may be one of the better defensive tackles in a not so deep year for Texas. Silsbee DT Ahmad Jones could also make an argument for top status. Keller Fossil Ridge prospect Chris Perry may be close to a Miami commitment and makes the case as a four-star defensive prospect.

Defensive backs Jamell Fleming, Larry Rosebud, Tejay Johnson and Houston prospect Tarence Farmer are just a few that may be closer to the top of the state.

Etc.

Tatum running back Lennon Creer says he's back to even with neither Miami or Texas leading…Creer says he plans on making a decision pretty soon which is nearing the deadline that was given to him by the Longhorn coaching staff. Beaumont Cathedral defensive tackle Rob Ashabranner made an early commitment to Vanderbilt last week…He was a first-team all-district and all-state selection in 2005.



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