Movers and Shakers

Which players made big jumps in the recent update to the LonghornDigest.com Texas Top 50?

For the purposes of this list, anyone not previously ranked on the Texas Top 50 was counted as No. 51 on the previous ranking. So a player who wasn't ranked, but moved into the top 50 at No. 45 made a jump of six spots.


1) Ronald Jones, McKinney North (Not Ranked to No. 7)

It's not that Jones was a total stranger after rushing for 520 yards and nine touchdowns as a sophomore. But he broke out in a huge way his junior season, rushing for 2,406 yards and 39 touchdowns while averaging just under 10 yards per carry. Jones jumps off the tape as a guy who makes violent cuts and explodes past defenders at the second level. He's also more physical than you'd expect, and he's now rated as the No. 1 running back in the state.


T-2) Ryan Newsome (Not Ranked to No. 20)

Explosive. At 5-9 170, Newsome certainly isn't the biggest wideout in the state. But he tied the national record for most punt return touchdowns, a testament to his speed, elusiveness, acceleration and ability to diagnose a broken field. As a sophomore, he routinely clocked in the 10.8 range in the 100-meter dash, with 10.69 at regionals. Don't be surprised if he puts up some serious times this go-round, though no matter what he clocks, he's plenty fast, and versatile, to make a big impact at the next level. He's a slick slot who can blow the top off the coverage vertically.


T-2) Toby Weathersby, Houston Westfield (No. 46 to No. 15)

Weathersby's junior tape answered the question I had after his sophomore season: can this guy be a left tackle? I think his natural spot is on the right, but after watching his junior film, seeing his mobility and ability to set in pass protection, those doubts are gone. Even if he sticks on the right (he played both for Westfield), he's the type of guy you can build your running game behind, as he's a natural mauler with great strength and the ability to pull, get out and track guys in space. He's devastating as a down blocker. Dominant prospect, and arguably the No. 2 offensive lineman in the state behind Maea Teuhema.


4) Ronnie Major, Huntsville (Not Ranked to No. 23)

As an offensive lineman, whenever you get offers from Baylor and now-Texas offensive coordinator Joe Wickline, that's a pretty good set of recommendations. But Major jumped up this high based on our own evaluations, as he's one of the more intriguing offensive line prospects in the state because of his size, feet and pure length. Major is 6-6 290 now, but could play at 320 pounds because of his frame. Either way, he'll have to get stronger, which is the main weakness his tape shows, and polish is certainly needed. But he has the massive body and the ability to mirror pass-rushers that could make him a fit at one of the toughest positions to fill in football.


5) Louis Brown, Burton (Not Ranked to No. 28)

Speaking of intriguing, that's really all Brown is right now. Last year, I fell in love with Jarrell Owens of Palestine, another small-school guy with a big frame playing multiple positions based on need. Owens was committed to TCU for a long time, then flipped to Oklahoma State, and projects as a potentially elite defensive end prospect. Brown is taller, longer and arguably more athletic than Owens, and in a class without a lot of elite pass-rushing defensive ends, that frame and raw athletic ability is worth taking a chance on. Is 28 too high for now? Maybe. But when looking back in three or four years, it might prove to be too low. High ceiling.



Five More Big Jumps

CB P.J. Mbanasor, Pflugerville Hendrickson (Not Ranked to No. 31)

WR Devontre Stricklin, Waco Midway (Not Ranked to No. 34)

LB/S DeShon Elliott, Rockwall-Heath (Not Ranked to No. 36)

QB Kyler Murray, Allen (No. 21 to No. 6)

WR Carlos Strickland, Dallas Skyline (No. 47 to No. 32)


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