Gerry Stanford arrived at Flower Mound Marcus this spring after leading White Oak (Texas) to a Class 2A state semifinal appearance, the school's first in more than 40 years.
Stanford brings his balanced spread offense to Marcus, where he inherits some serious talent from a team that reach the playoffs this past fall but finished with a record south of .500. The offensive line features 2015 four-star tackle Keaton Sutherland, 2015 center Creighton Barr (six offers), 2016 guard Troy Elliott, and 2016 four-star tight end Kaden Smith.
I got a chance to see those guys, plus 2015 safety/athlete Cade Erwin (pictured above) and impressive 2016 defensive end Andrew Fitzgerald, at Thursday's spring game. Sutherland did not play, but he dressed out and certainly looked the part, at least 6-foot-5 and 260-plus pounds.
Erwin has been a popular target for colleges lately. The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder, who has gotten most his offers as a safety from Air Force, Eastern Michigan, North Texas, and SMU. Tulsa has shown interest as a safety or cornerback, while Arkansas State is interested in Erwin as a receiver.
Erwin played both sides of the ball Thursday and looked capable either way. Defensively, he played a good bit as a nickel in the box and located the ball well. Regardless of which position he played, he did so as someone who always looked like he knew what he was supposed to do. Erwin possesses good acceleration and plays with impressive strength for a player smaller than 200 pounds. There's no doubt that helps him be such a versatile prospect.
Elliott was another impressive player. At 6-foot-4, 287 pounds, he's already FBS-sized. The 2016 prospect has yet to receiver an offer, but said he's gotten early attention from Oklahoma, Mississippi State, Texas Tech, Clemson, ,and Ole Miss.
Elliott is a big-bodied, wide-framed lineman. He definitely looks the part of a big, burly guard. Stanford believes guard is his best spot at the next level, but mentioned that he could potentially move to tackle.
Elliot is part of what should be a big-time 2016 group at Marcus along with Smith and Fitzgerald. Smith will be among the state's top recruits in that class and already holds more than a dozen offers. Fitzgerald, a 6-foot-5, 245-pound defensive end, is one of the most physically impressive prospects I've seen this spring.
There's no doubt Stanford will have the edge against most schools in the trenches as he has college-level talent on both fronts.
For more stories from Flower Mound Marcus' spring game, check these links: