Dannon Cavil has a theory: in order to be the best, you have to play against the best.
That's a big part of the reason the rising 2013 prospect is excited about a move to power San Antonio Madison after serving as a standout at Lake Travis High School. And it's a huge part of the reason he's intrigued by the idea of playing major conference football, potentially in the SEC.
But that's in the future. For now, Cavil is adjusting to life at Madison, which will play a stacked schedule that starts off with defending Class 5A-II state champion Cibolo Steele.
"Madison beat them last year, but Steele won the state championship," Cavil said. "So there's a lot to be excited about, and a lot to gain for both teams. It serves as a marker for where we're at now, and it will also show you what you need to work on and get better at. We're aiming for a long run in the playoffs."
Cavil isn't any stranger to long playoff runs after his time with the Cavaliers, who are looking for their fifth straight state title. And he said he's taken well to his new team, one that he thinks is primed for a big season.
"We want to make a statement early," Cavil said.
Making a statement is something that Cavil has already done on the field. At 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, he's a physical wide receiver that can stretch the field vertically. And that skill set has earned him early offers from Baylor and Clemson, along with interest from all of the Texas schools and a bevy of SEC schools. The latter prospect intrigues him: Cavil's cousin is former Longhorn standout Kwame Cavil, though Kwame's dad played at LSU. Dannon was slated to camp at LSU, though he wasn't able to make the trip.
"I love the SEC," Cavil said. "Just the tradition, the history and the fact that they've been winning national championships back-to-back-to-back."
Cavil said he also favors the league's high level of competition, because he said that it would improve him as a player to go against the country's best. He said he would also keep a close eye on the Texas A&M situation, as the Big 12 could become "depleted" with the Aggies' absence.
For now, he's planning on visiting Baylor for the Baylor-TCU slugfest, and Cavil also said he wants to get to Clemson at some point as well, before taking in the local junior days in February. Cavil said he doesn't have any sort of timeline for his decision.
"That's really to be decided," Cavil said. "I feel like I'm kind of under-the-radar at this point. I have some time to start listening and deciding, but for now I'm just enjoying playing high school football."