The 2009 class does not have the star power of their predecessors, but the group still has plenty of talented players including a pair of playmakers that have already committed to a certain Big 12 school on the South Plains.
Daniel Cobb is one of the best pure football players not just in Central Texas, but in the state of Texas. As a freshman, he moved up to the varsity for Class 4A Killeen Ellison and made an instant impact as at free safety and as a kick returner. This past season he also doubled as a running back further, showing his great quickness while continuing to punish receivers across the middle from the defensive backfield.
Cobb has outstanding safety size at 6-foot-1 and nearly 200-pounds with good straight-line speed, hitting ability, and quickness that could make him one of the biggest steals in the class. Cobb had multiple offers and was a Texas lean waiting on a Longhorn offer until he pulled the trigger on his commitment and will head to Texas Tech next fall.
A lesser-known Red Raider pledge is Austin St. Stephen's D.J. Johnson. A 6-foot-1, 185-pound cornerback, Johnson is an outstanding athlete and stars on offense for St. Stephen's, but he will head to Lubbock as a cornerback as his size and speed are top notch.
Leander's Dion McKinney is receiving some early attention thanks in large part to his shutdown ability as a cornerback. His vitals do not jump off of the page, but what he lacks in measurables he makes up for in intangibles. He has a very high football IQ and from a technique standpoint really understands how the position is played.
Last season he saved one of his best games for Leander's televised district showdown against Pflugerville, a game that saw McKinney return a blocked extra point for a critical two-point conversion in a win for the Lions.
One of the best quarterbacks in Central Texas, Evant's Aaron Doyle could have easily been placed among the best signal callers in the area for the recruiting cycle. The Class 1A superstar is also a two-time All-State defensive back, and he best projects as a safety at the next level.
At nearly 6-foot-2 and around 210-pounds, Doyle also has sub-4.6 speed and is not afraid to fill the alley and deliver a big hit. He intercepted 10 passes during his junior season to give him 17 in two years.
Waco Univerity's Rikko Harris could see his stock soar this summer depending upon how he performs on the camp and combine circuit. He has incredible size for a safety (6-4, 190) but he is also quick enough and a good enough athlete to make the transition to outside linebacker in college.
Recruiters should also keep an eye on Copperas Cove's Rashad Hardy, who looks to be the next in a growing line of great defensive backs for the Bulldawgs.