LonghornDigest.com: In the latest ranking change, who was the biggest climber in the Midlands Region?
Greg Powers: One of the highest climbers was (Texas commitment) Curtis Riser from DeSoto, who went to the No. 1 guard in the nation and a five-star. He's had a monster senior year. He was a guy that was all knew was good, but he played through a lot of injuries last year. In the offseason, he really worked hard at his college position in camps and was one of the most dominating linemen everywhere he went. Now, he's backed up those performances from big-time camps with a great year on the field. He's helped DeSoto rush for nearly 2,000 yards and helped them to an undefeated season. And he's a leader on and off the field. There's a lot to like about him.
LD.com: Who else made major moves?
GP: Another guy who really made a climb up was Daje Johnson of Pflugerville Hendrickson. He plays running back for his high school, and he could be an excellent player at running back, wide receiver or cornerback at the next level. He's one of those guys who went up to The Opening in Oregon and showed that he was one of the most talented physical specimens, not just in the region, but in the entire nation. He put up some of the best SPARQ numbers, including one of the fastest times in the 40-yard dash. He ran a sub-4.4 40, which is flat-out special, and he's hard to contain on the field. The biggest question on him isn't whether he's good enough. It's just how you choose to use him in your program.
PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Johnson visited Texas this past weekend for the Texas-Oklahoma State game. He originally committed to TCU, but is now considered open.
LD.com: Who moved down?
GP: One guy who did move down was (Mansfield defensive end and Texas commitment) Hassan Ridgeway, from a four-star to a three-star. That was more about a numbers game. He was right there slated as one of the last guys out of the Scout 300. He was in that grouping of players who just barely missed the cut. Ridgeway was one of the first, if not the first, name outside of the 300 from the Midlands Region. He's a big-framed guy and a nice athlete who needs to develop his technique more and get quicker off the ball.
LD.com: Did anybody else move down from the Texas class?
GP: Bryson Echols just barely moved down within the Scout.com 300. He stayed exactly the same at his position (regionally). With (Athens athlete) Kendall Sanders ranked as a wide receiver, Echols is still the No. 1 cornerback in the state, so he pretty much held tight. He just moved down some nationally. He's still a four-star player. He just went from the No. 10 cornerback nationally to the No. 12 spot in the cornerback rankings. So that's not really a drastic change.
LD.com: Obviously, you look at all the players closely for these rankings. But are there any specific players that you're keeping an extra close eye on for the next set, who might move up or down?
GP: One guy I would really like to see more senior stuff on is a guy who impressed us at State 7-on-7, Caleb Bluiett. He's a big-framed kid, but there's a question there about which position he projects to. Is he more of a linebacker, or is he a defensive end? He's listed at 6-foot-3 240, so you think defensive end. But at State 7-on-7, he played well in coverage as a middle linebacker. So I'm interested to see more of his senior film. On his junior film, he was quick off the ball, and I liked the way he was able to pressure the quarterback. So he's a guy that we at least have earmarked, and I would like to see more on him.