Cody Ledbetter starred at Stephenville in the early 90's before shattering records at New Mexico State. Branndon Stewart who signed with Tennessee (same year as Peyton Manning) before ending his career at Texas A&M, was regarded as one of the top ten quarterbacks in the country from the 1994 class. Kelan Luker shattered passing records in the late 90's before signing with SMU. Kendal Briles (Art's son) combined for over 3,000 yards as a junior before moving to Wolfforth Friendship when Art took an assistant job at Texas Tech. Kevin Kolb tore up the competition at Stephenville before setting several school records for the Houston Cougars under Briles. Kolb was drafted in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft by Philadelphia. Jevan Snead was considered one of the top quarterbacks in the country from the 2006 class as was Kody Spano who signed with Nebraska in 2008.
Remember the high expectations? It's been a couple of years since the Jackets have sent a signal caller to the D-1 level but that streak is over now that Tyler Jones is next in line. Jones was originally the backup last season behind Connor Washington. He came in very early during Stephenville's 48-47 win over defending state champion Aledo in the season opener throwing for 249 yards and 3 scores.
He never looked back.
Jones went on to throw for 3,155 and 33 scores and more importantly led the Jackets to the fourth round of the class 4A playoffs. Now that Stephenville has moved down to class 3A, those numbers could see a dramatic rise, especially if their 7-on-7 team is any indication.
Stephenville won the Under Armour 7 Sevens tournament last week in Cedar Hill over a talented pool that included Desoto, Cedar Hill, FW Southwest and Abilene Cooper. This past weekend the Jackets secured their birth to the state 7-on-7 tournament after reaching the championship at the Springtown SQT.
"It's a good deal, we came out and worked hard during the spring and we put it on the field," Jones said. "It's a big accomplishment and we look forward to state in July."
On the recruiting front, several schools are looking at the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder. He currently holds one offer while others are showing strong interest.
Jones says Texas Tech and Houston could be the next in line with an offer. While recruits are packing their summer schedule full of camps, Jones says he'll likely just hit a couple.
"Not a lot, I went to a lot of them last year. But I do plan to go to some of the smaller Conference USA teams like North Texas and possibly SMU and Houston."
TCU is another school that has recently shown interest in Jones and his talented teammate, receiver Brice Gunter. There is actually a connection with TCU, Stephenville's offensive coordinator is Greg Winder, son of former TCU quarterback coach Dick Winder.
Jones says the connection with Winder helps him and his teammates get better exposure.
"They came down Thursday to watch us throw a little bit," he said of TCU. "His dad coached at TCU, he does a great job of getting these guys down here to recruit us. He coached at TCU and Tech and they've shown a lot of interest in us this past spring so that's been a good deal for us."