Is Symonette the best in Texas?

Is Ian Symonette the best in Texas? Texas recruiting analyst Stacey Dean recently made the trip to St. Pius X High School in Houston to try and find out just exactly what all the buzz is about.

Houston St. Pius OT Ian Symonette has been talked about as much as any offensive linemen in the state this season, perhaps more so because of issues that remained unaddressed, until now. Is he a project? Is he merely just overweight? Is he healthy? Can he play? After being invited by St. Pius head coach Robin Kirk to scout the 6-9, 330-pound specimen at his school yesterday, fills you in below…

Making my way down to the practice field I was considering the criticisms surrounding this young man's game, but I was still looking forward to the challenge of providing an analysis that would validate, or dismiss, those concerns.

So, having done an initial in-person evaluation on Symonette, where do we see the 6-9, 330-pounder in the State's Pecking Order?

I think Symonette has an excellent shot to grab the No. 1 overall spot in the Preseason Texas Top 200 (releasing early June). Without a doubt, everyone in the country wants this kid, even if they don't yet know it.

Let's take a look at some of the concerns we addressed:

Is he Overweight?: Considering the kid eyeballs at 6-9, even if he's closer to 340 pounds, he's definitely not battling weight issues now when you're talking about spreading those pounds across that incredible frame of his.

Work Ethic: Mr. Frank Rutherford, Symonette's guardian, said, "I brought him here last year and he was weighing 400 pounds. In fact, that was a large part of why he suffered those injuries. Looking at that then -- weighing 400 pounds and injured last year -- it's hard to slim down the way he has without working extremely hard. So being down to 320 now, without being able to condition properly shows he has a work ethic."

I agree…

Injury Status: Looked to be in very good health, to be at least 90 percent back. May have a little more rehab time left, but Symonette appeared to be fit for contact, and man can he dish it.

Developmental Project?

Not at all.

Experience: Played in an adult league in the Bahamas when he was just 15 years old against 20-30 year-old men. Was named MVP at the end of the year. Came over to the states last year, pre-2004 junior season, weighing 400 pounds and still collected a scholarship offer from Miami before playing a single down of his junior season.

Favorites: "Miami, Texas, LSU, OU, USC and Florida, Tennessee, Oklahoma State and University of Houston."

NFL Comparison: Jonathan Ogden (but more athletic).

Summary: Symonette's ridiculous HT/WT/Athletic package makes him the most intriguing prospect I have seen thus far. He's agile, explosive, driven, focused, not to mention well coached/trained. Kid's a 5-star prospect, and should seriously contend for the No. 1 overall spot in the Texas Top 200.

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