TCU pledges impress: TCU had a few commits on display during Saturday's tournament. Arlington Bowie 2015 duo Niko Small (safety) and Tony James (receiver) led the Volunteers to one of the two state tournament berths that were up for grabs. James played his usual quarterback spot, but in the qualifying victory vs. Grand Prairie, he and Small shared the same side of the field on defense with Small at safety and James at cornerback. They looked very good together on that side of the ball.
James, who TCU wants at receiver, started the game with a leaping breakup while in full-speed retreat at the goal line to knock away a sure touchdown. Small was everywhere, as usual. He's the definition of a ballhawk. He breaks well and has good instincts. Even though his game is best in pads, he was very good Saturday and even got pick-6 on an underneath route that he jumped all over.
Another TCU commit, Arlington Sam Houston 2015 cornerback Darrion Flowers, competed Saturday. Flowers is pretty small, but has very good speed. He's got the quick-twitch athleticism necessary to compensate at the cornerback spot for a lack of ideal size. He played mostly receiver Saturday, but occasionally stepped on the field for a rep at cornerback, or nickel, based on the alignment as he usually defended the slot.
At receiver, his top-end speed really stood out. Flowers is a sudden, but smooth athlete who can go from a brisk jog to full gait, almost as if somebody turned a knob to do so.
2016 prospect shows versatility: I saw Flowers and his Sam Houston team play Fort Worth Paschal, which is home to 2016 TCU target Dylan Thomas, who holds receiver offers from the Horned Frogs and SMU. Thomas played both ways as a cornerback and receiver and looked really good both ways, but especially on defense, where he showed good instincts and insisted on covering Sam Houston's fastest (Flower) or tallest player (a 6-foot-5 kid Sam Houston went to on the goal line).
At 6-foot-0 1/2, 185 pounds, Thomas' size and athleticism allowed him to succeed in either case. He was rarely thrown at on defense, but got double-teams when on offense.
Possible 2017 recruits: Corsicana (Texas) has a couple of 2017 prospects to keep an eye on: athlete Kishawn Kelley (pictured above) and safety Trevor Denbow. Both players got some starting experience on varsity as freshmen in 2013. On Saturday, the 6-foot-2, 202-pound Kelly played cornerback, while the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Denbow played safety. Kelly was definitely one of the most physically impressive young prospects at the tournament.
Corsicana head coach Steve Hoffman had this to say: "We're really excited about both of these guys and we're really counting on them to step it up this year. ... (Kishawn) may end up being a safety. I think Kishawn could be a receiver or a safety, and he plays quarterback for us, too. There's a lot of spots we can use him. ... We've had interest (from college programs), but we expect to hear a bunch about these guys here in the future."
Thoughts on Wallace: I think DeSoto (Texas) 2016 four-star quarterback Tristen Wallace has gotten noticeably better as a passer in less than two months. We saw him at the Elite 11 regional competition in Arlington in early May and he had all the arm strength you want, but he looked very good Saturday. Plus, he's up to 6-foot-2 1/2 and an imposing 225 pounds, which is what he weighed at a recent North Carolina camp, according to DeSoto head coach Claude Mathis. Wallace has offers from Indiana, Nebraska, and SMU, plus interest from many more programs.
"Cujo" stuns DeSoto: Tyler (Texas) John Tyler notched a bit of a surprise 35-31 victory against perennial power DeSoto (Texas) in one of the tournament semifinals to secure berth in the state tournament July 10-12 in College Station.
John Tyler 2015 quarterback Geovari McCollister, who is committed to Central Arkansas, looked good. His mechanics continue to improve, though he occasionally holds the ball too long. In pads, that's not as much of an issue because his big, physical frame (6-2, 200) complements nice athleticism to make him a very dangerous runner. FCS schools have been on him so far, but I wouldn't be surprised if he gets some FBS attention by the end of the fall.
Bendy is committed to North Texas and recently picked up a Louisiana-Monroe offer. He was one of the best receivers at Saturday's event and made big catch after big catch for John Tyler, winning jump balls over smaller defenders and also going to the ground repeatedly to make difficult grabs in coverage. He's approaching 6-foot-5 and up to 190 pounds. He looks like his skills are catching up to his frame as he rarely looks like the lanky, somewhat awkward kid who appeared at times in the fall of 2013.
Warren, a 6-foot-1, 189-pound corner whose game is best suited in pads, sealed JT's win vs. DeSoto with a tip-drill interception. He has several FCS offers and is committed to Sam Houston State, but said that TCU and UTSA have been interested lately. He plans to attend a UTSA camp in San Antonio on July 17.