Lake Travis 7-on-7 Boasts Great WRs

A number of big schools and big-school talent competed Saturday in the Lake Travis 7-on-7 State Qualifying Tournament.

Best Team(s): Lake Travis, Klein Forest

Both of the best teams came from Group A, with Lake Travis defeating the Houston-area school 41-33 in pool play to go undefeated for the day with a 3-0 record.

Lake Travis was able to accomplish that feat while rotating two quarterbacks in senior Collin LaGasse and junior Baker Mayfield, and while playing without tight end and 7-on-7 matchup nightmare Griffin Gilbert. Gilbert has fully recovered from an earlier collarbone injury, but he spent Saturday taking his SAT. Both LaGasse and Mayfield played well, with the multi-talented LaGasse only playing quarterback. But it's worth noting that, when Mayfield plays quarterback and Gilbert is in the lineup, Lake Travis can put as many as four FBS prospects as his weapons in LaGasse, a senior committed to SMU, TCU commitment and senior Gilbert, junior receiver Dannon Cavil and sophomore running back Shawn Nixon. Mayfield may wind up in that group as well. More on him in a bit.

Lake Travis won Group A, but because the Cavaliers were already qualified for state, Klein Forest moved on as the group's champion. And the Eagles represented the group well pulling out a comeback to winning a close 34-33 overtime showdown with a feisty Round Rock Stony Point team. The Eagles then beat Round Rock McNeil 18-0 in the first half of the final before the game was called, qualifying the Eagles for state. Matt Davis had a great day throwing the ball, and his best receiver, Markel Steward-Gillespie seemed to catch four or five touchdowns per game. Klein Forest also displayed a strong defense and arguably the most speed of any team in attendance.

Round Rock Stony Point also deserves mention after dropping the semifinal when Davis hit Steward-Gillespie for the conversion. Stony Point has a relatively inexperienced team with a lot of first-time varsity players. But they appear to have the players to contend for their sixth consecutive district title.



MVP: Markel Steward-Gillespie, Klein Forest

After about five minutes of play, people on opposing sidelines were screaming to watch out for No. 8. But for pretty much all of the day, it didn't matter. Steward-Gillespie has great size at 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds, and has been clocked in the sub-4.6 second range in the 40-yard dash. But he played even better than the numbers, showing a basketball-like ability to position himself on jump balls, while also displaying the ability to beat coverage down field. All day long, quarterback Davis threw fades and stop-gos down the field to Steward-Gillespie, and all day long, the senior came down with the big catch. Having said that, his biggest catch came on a slant route that provided the one-point margin of victory over Round Rock Stony Point.



Other Standouts

2012

Braizon Fresch, Round Rock Stony Point — Fresch was one of the top receivers all day, showing quick feet and an ability to make every catch. He'll be an FBS player, but he's flying somewhat under the radar because he's just now emerging as a starter in a pretty stacked program.


Matt Davis, Klein Forest — This isn't the sort of event designed to showcase Davis's talents, but he had a great day all the same. The mobile quarterback and Texas A&M commitment threw a great ball and displayed outstanding leadership all day in leading the Eagles to the title. He helped to will the Eagles back from a tough deficit against Stony Point.


Sedrick Chandler, Round Rock Stony Point — It's tough for defenders to show well in a 7-on-7 setting, but Chandler is a 6-foot cornerback with length and speed. He has teams like Kansas, SMU and North Texas looking at him.


Collin LaGasse, Lake Travis — LaGasse is a versatile weapon for the Cavaliers, one that is limited somewhat in a 7-on-7 setting. Still, the SMU commitment looked athletic rolling out and made some nice throws. His best strength might be his change of direction.



2013

Dannon Cavil, Lake Travis — Cavil projects as a bigger receiver/H-back at the next level, and he looks to be a good one. At 6-4 205, he already has great size, and he was fast enough to routinely get behind the defense on post and go-routes.


Baker Mayfield, Lake Travis — Mayfield is in a competition with LaGasse for the starting quarterback job, and they're entirely different players. Mayfield is more of a true pocket passer, a smart and accurate quarterback who throws a great ball. He might have been the event's most accurate thrower.


Marcos Curry, Round Rock Stony Point — Curry was arguably the best linebacker at Saturday's event. At 5-10 195, he projects as the hybrid safety/linebacker that a lot of teams are looking for to combat the spread. He showed some athleticism, and even displayed some physicality over the middle.


Isaiah Jones, Austin — The younger brother of Cayleb Jones played both cornerback and wide receiver Saturday. He's built a bit high for the former, but best projects as a slot receiver at the next level. He has quick feet and sticky hands, and should be one to watch for Austin this fall.



2014

Shawn Nixon, Lake Travis — The Texas running back crop of 2014 looks pretty strong, and Nixon should be among its top threats. He has great size and is a physical runner with some speed and burst. And at Saturday's 7-on-7, he was a major threat down the field in the passing game, an excellent route runner with great hands.



Extras

Cayleb Jones had both a strong day and a rough one. In the first game-and-a-half, he stood out as a wonderful receiver, making big catches over the middle and on the sidelines while winning jump balls. But when Austin High struggled, and a few calls went against him, Jones lost his cool and was ejected from the team's second game against Hays Consolidated. That ejection also kept him from Austin's third, and final, game against Klein Forest.

Fellow Texas commitment Orlando Thomas might have been the toughest guy to gauge Saturday. Thomas played quarterback for Copperas Cove and didn't substitute in on defense. Still, he earned rave reviews from onlookers for his speed in chasing down a player after throwing an interception.


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