Plano (TX) East held their annual Spring Football Showcase on Thursday night in front of a big crowd at Kimbrough Stadium.
Under the direction of new head coach Joey McCullough and led by a defense that has three D-1 linebackers, the Panthers look to be a team to keep a close eye on come this fall.
One of the most impressive players on the East roster is defensive end/linebacker Landis Durham. Rated as the nation's No.15 middle linebacker, the talented 6-foot-3, 225-pounder spent the night along the Panthers defensive line; swapping from end to even playing inside.
For Durham, he's getting adapted to playing in the new defensive scheme.
"I'm feeling pretty comfortable with the new defense; it's a little different but everybody needs change every once in a while," he said. "But, I'm really comfortable with the new coaching staff and trusting those guys; everyone seems to be on the same page for the season."
Although he played along the defensive line in East's scrimmage, he's being recruited mostly as a linebacker. While he's played end a majority of the time, he's fine with playing either position at the next level.
"I've been playing a stand up end pretty much all of my life but whatever they ever want me to play I'm up for it," he said.
As for his recruitment, Durham now holds 17 offers with his most recent coming from Mississippi State. In addition to the Bulldogs offer, Durham also has TCU, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Baylor, Boise State, Oregon, Kansas, Texas Tech and Washington among others.
Durham is humbled by all the attention he's received thus far.
"If you would've asked me this past season, I would've never thought about it," he said on receiving 17 offers. "I'm just blessed. I'm really enjoying this recruiting process and happy to be going through it. We'll see what happens."
TCU was one of the first programs to offer Durham when they offered following a junior day visit. TCU linebackers coach DeMontie Cross was in attendance for the scrimmage and Durham says there's a steady communication between he and the TCU coaches.
"I talk to Coach Cumbie and Coach Cross at least once a week," he said. "I plan on going to a camp this summer. I also talk with Coach Patterson every now and then. Whenever we visit the campus we always get a good conversation going. He's a really good guy; he's a really enthusiastic guy and he coaches the defense. You really don't see a whole bunch of head coaches coaching defense anymore."
Although he's not nearing a decision, Durham said there are a few programs standing out when asked if he had any favorites.
"My favorites are probably (Texas) A&M, Oregon and TCU," he said of his top schools. "A&M would be real nice to stay at home and play in the SEC. I love SEC football. Oregon, I would love to play in a Rose Bowl. At TCU, I really like the coaching staff and it's a very friendly environment there; it just feels like home."
Durham has a busy summer planned ahead as he hopes to visit as many schools as his schedule allows.
"I'm going to visit Nebraska and try Washington but that may be an official visit," he said. "I've got a big list."