Stevenson a Top Tight End Prospect

Klein Oak has been producing some of the top prospects out of the Houston area for a few years now with names such as DeSean Hales (Texas), Terrence Robinson (Michigan), Clint Naron (Texas A&M), Jordan Navjar (Stanford) and many others. Burnt Orange Beat stopped by the Houston area school to see several interesting prospects, including tight end Max Stephenson.

The 2011 class will be more of the same with defensive end Nathan Hughes (6-5.5, 250), running back/slot receiver Tory Waites (5-10, 165, 4.5), slot receiver/kick returner Cory Waites (5-10, 165, 4.5) and tight end Max Stevenson.

Stevenson enjoyed a good season as a sophomore on a 10-2 5A D-II regional finalist team catching nine passes for 100 yards and a touchdown in a limited role playing receiver and back up to Stanford signee Jordan Najvar at tight end.

A year later and the 6-6, 222-pounder with legit 4.6 speed will be a featured player on a talented offense that returns veteran quarterback Andy Wilson and a number of speedy players. Stevenson says he is ready for a featured role and the team had a great summer looking to advance deeper in the playoffs than a year ago.

"I played mostly receiver last year," said Stevenson. "I played some inside receiver, but Jordan was there. I played on the outside too. I'm looking forward to being more a part of the offense this year. We had a great summer. Since I've been at Klein Oak, it's the best attitude and participation I've seen. It's been great and we are looking forward to this year."

Stevenson is looking at the mental part of the game as the biggest gains he has made since his sophomore season. He says the ability to stay composed in adverse situations is a big improvement.

"I've improved mentally. That's number one for me. I've matured. Keeping my composure is what I need to do better. My footwork has improved too and that has improved my route running," Stevenson said.

While many top 2011 prospects took in a number of summer camps, Stevenson took a long family vacation to Europe after taking in the University of Texas camp on June 7. Stevenson, who's mother and father attended Texas for part of their college years and has a sister that just graduated from Texas, said the camp was a great experience.

"Texas camp was great. It was organized, short and to the point. I went up against some of the really good linebackers. I feel like I ran the best routes of the tight ends. Case McCoy was the quarterback when I was running routes. We had a connection out there and did well," Stevenson said.

While Stevenson says the Longhorns are his clear favorite, other programs have entered the chase from around the region.

"I'm getting a lot of mail from Kansas, Oklahoma, a couple from Texas and Stanford to name a few," Stevenson said.

Klein Oak also boasts a talented 2012 class featuring at least four sophomores that will play on the varsity, including starters at free safety and linebacker. Safety Nick Baratti will be one of the better athletes on a team loaded with speed and quickness in 2009.

Max Stevenson Scouting Report

Stevenson is a legit 6-5.5/6-6 and 220+ pounds. Right away, his flexibility and agility stand out. He's very natural in a three-point stance and is quick off the line of scrimmage. His speed combined with his ability to change direction gives him the ability run/drag across the field and separate from linebackers. He also has very long arms to disengage and separate as well as lock in on his defender in the run game.

Where the junior is a big time threat is playing in the slot/flex tight end position. He has the speed to get down the field and the height plus wingspan and leaping ability to posses the advantage on ball in the air. He also has quick feet to get off the line of scrimmage as well as sticking his foot in the ground and changing direction in the quick game.

He showed big, soft hands on Monday making two or three very tough catches in full offensive drills. He showed the ability to maintain speed, adjust/rotate the upper body and make the tough catch behind him as well as catch a low pass at full speed, maintain his balance and turn up the field. Both plays were very impressive for a tight end.

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