More talent in the Crusader pipeline?

Recruiting coverage at SoonersIllustrated continues as we make our rounds to spring practices. Recently, we stopped by Houston Strake Jesuit and checked in the some of the Crusaders' recruits. After talking with coach Ron Counter, he let us know that there is still talent in the program. Even more so, one who reminds him of a recent alumnus.

For Houston (TX) Strake Jesuit coach Ron Counter, seeing players move on the next level is something that makes him feel proud. In fact, a couple of his star players came by to visit while the Crusaders were doing their spring football training. 

He spoke about one in particular who is having some success at a powerhouse Big 12 program.

"David King came by to see me during practice," Counter said of his former player and current Oklahoma defender. "He looked good. He told me that he was second team and that he is looking to get about 30 snaps per game next season. Right now he is about 6-foot-4, 240-pounds. He said that the coaches want him to play at about 250 pounds for the fall."

When King was a player at Strake Jesuit, he finished his career with many accolades, one was the district defensive player of the year. Prior to his season, King had already made his commitment to the Sooners and never turned back.

For Counter, it would seem that replacing a talent like King would be nearly impossible. And while there is clearly no duplication, Counter does have a player who has been brought up in the same conversation as the current Oklahoma defender.

"At this point in David's (King) career, Michael Sam seems to much further along. I mean for one this kid is already wearing a size 16 shoe and he is a sophomore," Counter said. "Also, David got moved up during his sophomore year and Michael started the first game of the year. There are a lot of similarities between the two and I think that Sam will be just as successful as King."

Sam weighs in at 230 pounds and stands about 6-foot-2. King, at this time, weighed in at 205 pounds. Then too, King was faster, but Sam is projected to be much bigger when it is all said and done. But either way, Counter is excited that he has a player of this magnitude still in his program. 

"I project that Sam will be a big-time recruit, just as David was. Both have such a good work ethic and are hard to block," Counter said. "I'm looking for Sam to perform well in the spring game this Thursday."

Counter said that Sam's ability to use his hands makes him tough in the interior. And like it was with King, Counter will use Sam in multiple positions. During King's time, the defensive end position was his natural position, but because of size and depth he was used at the tackle position.

And for the next couple of years, Counter will have the luxury of having the same level of versatility with Sam.

"I think that Sam works well in the interior, but he could play end too," Counter said. "But, I know for at least the Thursday spring game, Sam will also play some offensive tackle. We know that he could play there and even tight end if wee needed him to. He's that athletic. He plays on the basketball team and is a regional qualifier in track so there is no doubt that he can play."

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