Scout.com released this past week its first batch of 2017 four-star prospects.
The network awarded a total of 85 players with four-star rankings, including the first two five-star prospects in the class.
Scout.com national analyst Greg Powers compiled a list of the Midlands Region prospects -- 16 in all -- who got initial four-star grades. Fourteen of those players are from the Lone Star State.
Of those 14 players from Texas in this prestigious group, I have seen more than half of them in person. Here's a little more on my impressions of those eight prospects, who should give high school football fans plenty of entertainment the next three years:
Jaylon Jackson, CB, Cedar Hill: head coach Joey McGuire has compared Jackson to former Cedar Hill star Laquvionte Gonzalez, now a receiver at Texas A&M. Jackson (pictured above) is small, but very fast and athletic. McGuire expects Jackson to play more receiver than cornerback this fall, but Jackson subbed at cornerback for an injured Darrell Miller (2015 Tennessee commit) during the Adidas Texas 7v7 Championships in mid-July and was just about as good as any cover man we saw that weekend. He has natural pass-coverage instincts, quick feet, and smooth hips. It will be interesting to see if he has a huge year on offense where his recruitment takes him regarding a position. Jackson has gotten early interest from Baylor, Ohio State, Oregon, and TCU.
Jeffrey Okudah, OLB/S, South Grand Prairie: Greg and I stopped by South Grand Prairie in late May for the Warriors' final spring practice and Okudah immediately grabbed our attention. At 6-foot-1, 192 pounds, Okudah is tall and very long. He plays receiver and outside linebacker for SGP, but has gotten interest as a safety as well. Okudah's final position is to be determined, but it's safety to say he could wind up at any of those spots at the next level. So far, we like him best as a rangy, even-front outside linebacker who can play in space. He could also be a good prospect for the hybrid nickel role a lot of teams are using to combat the spread offense. Baylor, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, and UTSA have already shown interest in Okudah.
Shawn Robinson, QB, Denton Guyer: Robinson has the unenviable task of replacing two-time state champion quarterback Jerrod Heard, a Texas signee, who led Guyer to state crowns in 2012 and 2013. If any 2017 player is up to the task, it's Robinson, who moved to Guyer in the spring when his mother got the school's head girls basketball coaching gig. Robinson is already 6-foot-2, 191 pounds with a very strong arm and good mechanics. He's deadly as a runner as well. Robinson already holds offers from Nebraska and Texas and may end up as one of the most heavily-recruited players in the country in the 2017 cycle.
Chris Robison, QB, Mesquite Horn: Robison was the toast of the state 7v7 tournament, helping Horn to the big-school quarterfinals. He's got the frame and look of a high-major quarterback prospect, as well as the velocity and quick release. TCU has already offered him and Baylor has shown interest.
Jason Shelley, QB, Frisco Lone Star: I first saw Shelley at the Dallas Elite 11 regional competition in early May in Arlington. He had a solid performance at an event that was loaded with quarterback talent, including Jarrett Stidham, Kyler Murray, Shea Patterson, Ben Hicks, Robinson, and plenty of others. He's not the biggest guy out there, but he has a quarterback's instincts and improving mechanics. If he can get where he's consistently on top of the ball, he'll be a very good passer. His 7v7 performances in June that I saw were encouraging. That said, his best trait right now is his running ability, which produced 821 rushing yards and seven touchdowns as a freshman. Clemson and Nebraska have already offered Shelley.
Derrick Tucker, S, Manvel: Manvel is absolutely loaded with a list of players with offers in the double digits. The next to make that list will probably be Tucker, who we saw at the state 7v7 event in July. He was great. He made a lot of plays on the ball thanks to his 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame and big wingspan. Tucker also showed excellent leaping ability that further maximizes that frame and length. Tucker will get a ton of exposure this fall considering the number of other high-profile recruits suiting up for Manvel. Tucker has reported early interest from Kentucky and Utah, in addition to attending Texas' "Under The Lights" camp July 18.
Kaegun Williams, RB, Stephenville: I saw Williams last December when a fierce wind and Kilgore's defense combined to shut down Jarrett Stidham and the high-powered Stephenville offense in a 44-6 Class 3A Division I state semifinal win in Corsicana. Williams was Stephenville's lone bright spot with 126 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Williams finished his freshman season with 1,561 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns, plus 24 receptions for 456 yards and three scores.
Marvin Wilson, DT, Bellaire Episcopal: Wilson was a star of the aforementioned Texas "Under The Lights" camp July 18 in Austin. At 6-foot-5, 289 pounds, Wilson already has the frame of a high-major defensive lineman. He's got plenty of room to add more bulk, so he'll be scheme-versatile as a defensive tackle prospect. Ohio State, TCU, Texas, and Texas A&M have shown interest in the big D-lineman.