Midlands: What We Saw in Week 3

FOX Sports NEXT is in the streets this fall to bring you all the coverage from across the Midlands region. This past weekend, we caught three great games. In that, a number of top prospects were on display. Here are a few thoughts gathered from the performances of Week 3 from the games where we were present.

Thursday: Houston (TX) Eisenhower at League City (TX) Clear Springs
From the start, it looked as though this would be a game where Eisenhower, powered by running backs Jericho Worrell and Donald Catalon, would be dominant and control the clock. Catalon, a University of Texas commit for the class of 2014, seemed unstoppable as he seemed to be picking up 6-plus yards on every carry. He was clearly the best player on the field as each time he touched the ball he was a threat to score. He ended with 155 yards a couple touchdowns. He was hitting the holes hard between the tackles. He was able to show his speed on a number of runs and showed why he is one of the state's best. As for Worrell, a player who should see a major boost in his recruitment after more tape gets out on him, was tough out of the backfield and working as a slot receiver as well.

Instead, this turned into the Zach Cripps passing clinic, as the junior completed 70 percent of his pass for 326 yards and four touchdowns en route to 49-32 win. Forget how much flack the Clear Springs slinger has been hearing since the day he stepped on campus in League City, TX, he showed that he has the tools to be a great quarterback and college prospect. Of course we are still early in the season and there is more ball to be played, but these guys really caught our attention for their game play. Also include the true student-athlete in Clear Spring wide receiver Byron Jones, whose ticket to school could be packaged with a healthy dose of academic monies due to his solid work in the classroom and on the field. 

Another player to watch is Eisenhower wide receiver Rayshawn Givens, who transferred during the off season from the Sunshine State. He has not gotten many, if any looks from college coaches, but he plays a good, solid game. This game was his best all season with five catches for 166 yards and two touchdowns. At 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, Givens' long stride helped him get separation, as he has deceptive speed. 

Friday: League City (TX) Clear Falls at Pearland (TX) Dawson
This season we have seen a number of solid athletes from the 2013 and 2014 class. One player to remember for sure is future Texas Top 100 2014 Dawson athlete Tony Upchurch. No doubts he was the best player on the field and was able to line up out of the backfield or out on the edge and make plays. He is even a punishing blocker. Upchurch is built like a strong safety, with a solid 6-foot-1 frame, with about 210-215 pounds. Because of his skills on the basketball court (where he is a solid recruit as well), he has a great vertical so jump balls will go in his favor a lot. Watch for Upchurch to get plenty of attention not only this season, but this upcoming off season. LSU jumped in first to drop an offer this past offseason after a productive sophomore season, but know that more SEC and every other conference from coast to coast will be in contact once his video hits Hudl. Stay tuned. 

Also in the Dawson backfield was Texas A&M commit James White, who had 123 yards and a couple touchdowns, was running tough all night. Was not a lot of flash to his game. He's a 200-pound back who plays like a full back, he invites the contact. It's a one-cut and gets north/south. That's how he is taught to play and that is what he does. Dawson won over Clear Falls 55-24.

Saturday: Houston (TX) Cy Falls at Houston (TX) Cy Creek
As stated via twitter, it was only a matter of time before Cy Falls wide receiver and Texas commitment Jacorey Warrick broke out for a big play. Sure in the first half he scored on a six yard touchdown, but for the most part, Warrick had a quiet game. But he was effective. Also impressive was the running of Bryce Peters, who by the numbers was quiet. He only ran for 47 yards, but he pounded the ball inside a lot. Aside from Warrick, linebacker Otaro Alaka may have been the best player on the field. For sure, he was the best of the defenders. He has the size at 210 to bang in there with the backers, but the agility to cover the inside slot, which he did successfully. He was in on close to 10 tackles and had an interception and pass break up.

Ahmard Vital is responsible for Midlands Recruiting, mainly covering prospects in the state of Texas. He joined Scout.com in 2005 and is the author of the newly released book, Awaken the Baller Within.
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