Just Missed the Cut

The tough thing about picking any list is that, in some years, there aren't enough players to fill out your quota, and in others, there are too many. Count the 2013 Texas class as the latter. It was difficult not to include several of the players here, and it's safe to say that in other years, they might have made it.

Take a guy like Baylor commitment Raaquan Davis, of Rockwall-Heath. I actually like him more than I did when I ranked him in the top 50 players in the state on the first LonghornDigest.com list. His stock is up with me. But as you see more players (or more of the players you've already seen), some players are going to shoot up. And the side effect, of course, is that others will slide down, even though they're just as good (or better) than they were before.

But here are the top 10 players who were left just off the top-50, along with 10 more players to watch.

Adam Taylor, RB, Katy — Count Taylor among the guys I'm pained to leave out of the top-50. When Taylor is healthy, he projects as one of the top backs in the state, a tall back with power and home-run-hitting speed. Was No. 48 on the original LonghornDigest.com Top 50.

Victor Davis, S, Rosenberg Terry (Texas A&M) — Look for what you want in a safety, and Davis probably has it. Athleticism, ball skills and physicality, Davis has it all. I'm not sure he has the instincts that a guy like Erik Huhn has, and he's not off the charts physically like Kameron Miles. But he's as good as you'll find in the state.

Jamel James, RB, Katy Cinco Ranch — Another tough one to leave off. James could trend as high as the top 20s on your list and I wouldn't have a problem with it, though I think Taylor is slightly better. The former Arkansas commitment is another big back who can run away from people in the open field. Was No. 49 on the first list.

Raaquan Davis, LB, Rockwall-Heath (Baylor) — Davis may play safety in high school, but the 6-foot-2 speedster will be in the box at the next level. Simply put, he's what you're looking for in a spread-defending outside linebacker, a rangy player with a gift for making plays in space. Was the No. 50 player on the first list.

Dac Shaw, LB, Mineola — Like Davis, Shaw is an outstanding athlete at outside linebacker. So good, that he could actually play running back at the next level and do well at it. Shaw is a great space player and shoots toward the ball-carrier like a cannon.

Hardreck Walker, DT, Houston Westfield — Walker has received interest from some awfully good football schools, and with good reason. He's cat-quick off the ball and is a penetrating three-technique who gives offensive linemen fits with his moves and ability to rush the passer.

Marcell Ateman, WR, Wylie East (Oklahoma State) — First impressions stick with you. And the first time I saw Ateman in person, he was dominating opposing cornerbacks at the UnderArmour Underclassmen Combine. Every year, a wide receiver comes from a bit off-the-radar to excel in college. That could be the 6-4 Ateman in this year's class.

Austin Jupe, S, San Antonio East Central (Baylor) — Jupe's offer list has been blowing up of late, adding four Big 12 offers in the past couple weeks. And it's not surprising for a smooth cover safety who actually played cornerback a year ago. Jupe has a great frame, and should be an excellent free safety at the next level.

Chevoski Collins, ATH, Livingston — Collins is a tough player to grade because he does so many things well, but not necessarily anything at an A+ level. Has nice ball skills, can flip his hips and has decent speed to turn and run. If he can add a bit of weight, his best position might be as a free safety. Could also play corner or wide receiver.

Jordan Sterns, S, Cibolo Steele (Oklahoma State) — Sterns is a little more raw than other safeties on the list, but he has some skills that project. He's a big-time hitter and a very good overall athlete. He's worked on his body to the point that he's probably a strong safety, and could excel in a 3-3-5 defense that asks safeties to play multiple roles.

Ten More To Watch (in alphabetical order):

George Baltimore, S, Mansfield (TCU)

Dylan Cantrell, WR, Whitehouse (Texas Tech)

Tre Flowers, S, Converse Judson

Ben Hughes, DT, Waco University*

Naashon Hughes, LB, Harker Heights (Texas)

Torii Hunter Jr., WR, Prosper

Kyrion Parker, WR, Manvel (LSU)

Corey Robinson, WR, San Antonio Christian (Notre Dame)

Brett Wade, LB, Kennedale (Texas A&M)

Paul Whitmill, LB, Bastrop (TCU)

* Ben Hughes was No. 41 in the first edition of the 2013 LonghornDigest.com Top 50.

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