Texas commits rack up all-state awards

The Texas Longhorns will sign a top 10 nationally ranked recruiting class in 2009. As is the case every year, the Associated Press All-State teams are littered with future Longhorns as well as some of the top juniors in the state of Texas.

The end of the Texas high school football season means the awards start piling up for future Texas longhorns. With another banner class expected to sign in February, it comes as no surprise that familiar names to Longhorns recruiting fans make up the various Associated Press All-State teams.

Two future Longhorns are on the 5A first team offensive line in Thomas Ashcraft and Garrett Porter. Ashcraft, the latest Cedar Hill prospect to choose Texas, was named first team after grading out over 90% and recording more than 100 pancake blocks on the season. Joining Ashcraft is Odessa Permian's Garrett Porter, who recorded 98 pancakes and over 100 knockdown blocks.

Joining the two offensive linemen on the first team is Pflugerville defensive end Alex Okafor. The 6-5, 235-pounder recorded 59 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and nine sacks on the season.

The other Texas commit that was named to the 5A all-state team is middle linebacker Tariq Allen, who received honorable mention honors. Allen posted over 110 tackles for a second straight season in 2008.

Along with the Longhorn commits, a few talented junior prospects that Texas is heavily recruiting also found their way onto the team.

Plano West defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat, #1 on the Burnt Orange Beat 2010 class of Texas, was an easy choice as a first team member after recording over 90 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and seven sacks despite playing through a back injury the last half of the season. Joining Jeffcoat on the first team is Dallas Skyline outside linebacker Corey Nelson.

Nelson, 6-0, 200-pounds, put together a whale of a season recording more than 150 stops, 19 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, five caused fumbles, three recoveries and an eye popping nine blocked punts.

Joining Nelson at first team linebacker is DeSoto junior Zachary Orr. Orr, the son of former Longhorn Terry Orr, was credited with 159 tackles, more than 20 tackles for loss and seven caused fumbles.

Also receiving 5A honors were two remaining seniors that Texas is actively recruiting. Lufkin defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland and Round Rock Stony Point defensive end were named second team and honorable mention, respectively.

The 4A team was released recently and there were two more future Longhorn lineman on the first team like 5A.

Wolfforth Frenship star Mason Walters was named first team after grading out 94% on the year and recording 46 knockdowns from his center position. Joining Walters was Lake Travis tackle Paden Kelley, who graded 83% and didn't allow a sack.

While the line had two commits, Lake Travis quarterback Garrett Gilbert was named the 4A Offensive Player of the Year. On Saturday, Gilbert led Lake Travis to a second straight 4A state title and finished his career as the all-time passing yardage leader in Texas high school history with 12,534 breaking former Ennis quarterback Graham Harrell's career mark by two yards.

In addition to the first team all-state selection, Gilbert was recently named the Gatorade National player of the Year.

The story of the 4A team was just how many talented juniors were rewarded for their terrific seasons.

Denton Ryan quarterback Scotty Young had the best 13 game run in the history of Teas high school football throwing the ball. The 6-3, 185-pounder tossed 65 touchdowns and threw for 4,495 yards in just 13 games as Denton Ryan reached the regional semifinals in 2008. For his efforts, he was awarded second team.

Other junior prospects that made the teams are Dallas Carter offensive lineman Dalvin Glass (first team), Denison running back D. J. Jones (first team), Hewitt Midway safety Ahmad Dixon (second team), Fort Worth Dunbar receiver Darius White (honorable mention), Rockwall-Heath center Austin Woods (honorable mention) and Denton Guyer defensive tackle Taylor Bible (honorable mention).

On the 3A first team list for a second straight year is Madisonville running back Chris Whaley. Whaley rushed for 1,910 yards and 24 touchdowns in 2008 in nine games.

The 6-3, 233-pound back finished his career for the Mustangs with more than 6,800 yards and over 80 touchdowns.

Joining Whaley on the 3A team is Graham junior quarterback Case McCoy, the younger brother of current Texas quarterback Colt McCoy.

In 1A, Cayuga junior running back Traylon Shead was named first team after rushing for 3,473 yards on 392 carries. Shead will enter his senior season with 7,565 career rushing yards needing 3,668 as a senior to break the long-standing national record of 11,232 yards by Texan Kenneth Hall.

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