Any discussion of Cibolo Steele's top senior prospects starts, and at times ends, with quarterback Tommy Armstrong.
The senior-to-be saw a meteoric rise in his junior year. In the first game of the season — a loss to San Antonio Madison — people wondered whether the new starter would be able to throw the ball well enough to keep people off star running back Malcolm Brown. The year ended with Armstrong assuming a leadership role and helping the Knights to the Class 5A-II state championship.
Armstrong's development has continued into the spring, with the quarterback receiving offers from Mississippi, Mississippi State, Kansas, Texas Tech, TCU, Georgia Tech, Texas Tech and UNLV. He has a powerful arm, capable of making all the throws, but has also earned praise for his praise and footwork. He's also athletic enough that Alabama has been through to evaluate him as a potential safety.
Steele coach Michael Jinks said that Armstrong would like to play quarterback at the next level, though at 6-foot-1 and weight that fluctuates between 205 and 215, Jinks thinks Armstrong could also develop into a weakside linebacker.
Also keep an eye on defensive lineman Eric Maus (6-4 230, 4.8), who could earn more interest from schools like Air Force, BYU and Idaho. Maus hurt his shoulder, which Jinks said slowed the recruiting process.
This year should be another strong year for Steele college prospects. The best of the bunch is safety Jordan Sterns, a long and muscular safety at 6-0 185. He runs in the 4.5-second range in the 40-yard dash, and is a stellar athlete who played fullback and running back for the Knights a year ago. His dad played at Baylor.
Sterns has a chance, athletically, to be one of the top safeties in the state's 2012 class, and should receive interest from all the big local schools. Jinks said he thinks Sterns also has the ability to be a punishing downhill runner at the next level, and he'll receive 10-15 carries per game this season.
Sterns' safety partner Eric Huhn (6-2 200) is another Big 12-caliber prospect according to Jinks. Huhn's older brother, Shane, signed with UTEP in this past class. Huhn has great hands a ball skills.
Taylor Lundy is a big offensive lineman (6-5 300) who could earn big interest, while receiver Matt Mayle (5-11 175, 4.52) will be Armstrong's top target this year.
Justin Roberts (6-3 250) could also merit some looks on the line.
OK, so it's always difficult to project players this far out. The players on this list just finished their freshman seasons at Steele. But in terms of potential, this is probably the best class on the Steele roster. It all starts with defensive end Josh Malin (6-5 210), a tall defensive end who uses his hands exceptionally well, especially given his young age. He will start for the Knights this next season, and has a wonderful frame to build on.
The Knights have another big-time sophomore-to-be in running back Justin Stockton, who rushed for nearly 10 yards per carry behind Brown this past year. He's not big (5-9 160), but he's bigger than Aaron Green was at the same age. He's also already faster than a lot of backs at the next level, clocking in the 4.4s this spring. And did I mention, at 160 pounds, he also broke all of Brown's lifting records? Stockton is a tough runner who doesn't necessarily have the shake that Green had, though he's just as fast — maybe faster — in a straight line.