Five Midlands Questions analyst Greg Powers answers five burning questions in the Midlands, including how other teams in the region can keep up with Texas' annual hot start.

Last year Texas received 25 commitments from 27 offers put on the table. How does that percentage look going into the class of 2011 already leading the country in commitments? How do other teams in the region compete with the Texas Junior Day surge?

Texas is off to another hot start and has already secured 17 commits in a class that will range from 22-25. Ironically they have extended 27 offers again so far towards the 2011 efforts. So that means they need to hit the last 8-of-10 without offering anyone else to equal that same percentage.

But still it is extremely impressive even they have to send out a few more offers to get to the 25. The only thing for teams to do is to sit back and wait to see how it shakes out for the Horns and really the Horns biggest weakness on the recruiting front is the 85 man limit.

For example the Horns have stocked up on DT and DE in the past few classes and now that there are more than a handful of great defensive linemen still on the market in the Lone Star State it may be a good year for schools to stock up on the guys that UT could not offer.

Working forward almost a year ahead allows Texas to identify the guys that they may want early in the process, but the talent is deep enough in the state that there are still prospects that have the skills to play for UT being uncovered. So foresight, patience, and evaluation may be the biggest keys to combat the machine that is Texas football recruiting.

What team in the region is setting up to make a push for number one in the region for the class of 2011?

Jamal Turner was a big get for the Huskers
Greg Powers,
It is way too early to tell, but there are a number of schools off to a solid start, but Texas always grabs the early lead because of the numbers.

Breaking it down it is not out of the question that at least four teams are in the race to catch up with the Horns by the time it is all said and done.

1. Oklahoma – The Sooners have seven commits and six of them project out as four stars and it seems that stud WR Trey Metoyer will likely snag a five star rating. Pound-for-pound they could already be considered the leader.

2. Oklahoma State – The Cowboys are off to a fantastic start powered behind some recent success and recent facility upgrades have OSU pulling in prep recruits at a high level. They have already secured a commit from the top QB in the region: J.W. Walsh.

3. Nebraska – It will likely be a good year in Lincoln when the Huskers are able to go down to Florida and snag a Top 100 OL like Tyler Moore. They also have a four star commit in QB Jamal Turner and are strong a player for five star RB Aaron Green.

4. Missouri – The Tigers have once again snagged the top talent in the state in ATH Anthony Pierson. The school has also re-affirmed the commitment of former All-American Sheldon Richardson who is an athletic phenom.

Defense wins Championships, so who do you feel is the best defensive player in the region?

The top three players in the region are all playmaking running backs, but not far down the list from number one you will find Westfield High defensive tackle Desmond Jackson.

‘Tank' dominates in the middle of the field and can get in the backfield early and often. Plus he has the ability to rush the passer. He is also good at backside pursuit, he puts a lot of effort into his play and because of his athleticism on the interior he sometimes requires double teams to keep him somewhat in check. He understands how to use his hands well and has an understanding of how to use his technique to cause offensive linemen big problems.

He put on a big show at the U.S. Army All-American Combine in Texas when he was unstoppable in the 1v1 drills, dominating all comers. His match-up with Glenville High star Aundrey Walker was shaping up to be epic until he blew straight past the 6'6, 350 pound OT in a flash to get to the bag. Then he did it again.

Jackson has already committed to Texas.

Right now running back Malcolm Brown sits at the top of the Midlands regional rankings, who appears poised to battle for that number one spot?

Brown is quite honestly in a class by himself. Anyone in the country that watches his film dreams about what their offense could be with a runner like him as the feature back. He has power, size, explosion, vision and balance.

Malcolm Brown has it all
File Photo
There have been many comparisons made for Brown. Oklahoma fans say Adrian Peterson. Texas fans say Ricky Williams. I do not think the he has the speed of Bo Jackson but I can't help but flash back to my younger days and remember him when I see Brown run in his Silver and Black Steele Knights jersey.

The next two players in the state behind Brown are also both running backs. Aaron Green was the odds on favorite to be the top player in the state and his sophomore highlight film was one of the most impressive to drop on the net. He also has a nice junior reel.

Herschel Sims is a slick runner that makes some of the sickest open field moves in the game. He also came up big during the season and rushed for well over 2,000 yards to help lead his team on to a State Championship.

What player do you expect to have the best spring evaluation period when it comes to earning a ton of offers who may not have a lot at the moment?

Quincy Aldridge, a 6-foot-, 195-pound safety from Whitehouse High in Texas is one of the more physically impressive athletes that I have seen in the past year. He is an explosive player that can jump through the roof and he plays with nasty and competitive disposition.

He also has great range at safety and is also a huge playmaker on the offensive side of the ball at wide receiver. He was easily one of the most dominating prospect at the State 7v7 in College Station last summer and many scouts thought he would give his teammate Trey Metoyer a run as the highest rated prospect on his team.

He currently only holds one offer from Texas A&M, but he suffered an MCL injury that forced him to miss the first five games of the season and slowed him somewhat after he came back to the field. When coaches get to see what he can do in person the offers could pile up.

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