As expected, the Owls more than doubled the number of players the Dallas Kimball Knights suited up. The outcome wasn't in doubt from the first look at both teams in warm ups as the strength in size and numbers was clear and the final outcome of 60-7 wasn't unexpected.
From the first series, it was the clear the Longhorns have a future star in Tevin Jackson. It's not the plays he makes that shows up on a highlight reel that is most impressive, but the max effort he gives on every play combined with the physicality of which he takes on blocks and the versatility. The 6-2.5, 220-pounder blitzed from the inside, the outside and chased the ball around the field showing sideline-to-sideline speed as well as fluidity dropping in coverage.
While Jackson didn't have a bone crushing hit on the night, he did have some mighty collisions taking on blocks. In the opening quarter, Jackson registered two solo tackles getting off of blocks and standing up the running back in the hole as well as a fumble recovery, which was the theme of the first half for the turnover prone Kimball Knights.
Jackson continued his active, fast and physical play in the second quarter registering another solo tackle, a forced fumble and a quarterback hurry.
While Jackson was the top prospect on the field, fellow Longhorn commit Adrian Phillips showed an impressive and versatile skill set. The first thing that stands out about Phillips is his powerful body type. At 5-10, 195 pounds, the senior slot receiver, strong safety and punt return has the build of a running back.
Phillips showed the ability to change directions with power and burst out of a T-step at safety. The Texas commit is quicker than fast, but has a nice blend of both. Phillips registered a solo tackle in the opening quarter on a third down completion by Kimball in which Phillips quickly reacted to the intermediate throw, stepped downhill and applied a quality pop on the Kimball receiver stopping him in his tracks.
On offense, Phillips caught five passes for 51 yards on the night. He caught one pass in the intermediate game, broke the first arm tackle and attempted to back track and cut back across the field. On that play, getting up the field would have resulted in a 25-yard gain, but instead Phillips tried to make too much out of the play and ended up with a shorter gain. Phillips acts as a running back after the catch with his powerful lower body strength and physicality. On a pair of hitch routes, Phillips made the catch, was hit immediately, kept the feet moving and fell forward to maximize the play.
Phillips showed his make-you-miss ability in the punt return game. After fair catching the first two punts fielded, Phillips returned his third try 14 yards. The catch was smooth, the first spin move fluid and the feet impressive making the second and third defender miss.
A third impressive prospect on the field Friday night was Dallas Kimball junior defensive tackle Isiah Nor. At 6-4 and 285 pounds, Nor is an imposing looking player lining up across from a high school offensive lineman. The junior, who attended Tennessee camp over the summer, lined up at defensive end, defensive tackle, dropped into coverage and kicking off. Yes, Isiah Nor kicks off at times for the Knights.
In the first couple of series Nor showed his quickness, ability to change direction and ability to move laterally. While very raw in terms of technique, he shows the ability to fire off the ball fairly low with a quick first step, but that was rare last night. Many times, he stood straight up on the snap, looked for the ball and drops to play the pass in the flat or over the middle. When double-teamed after standing straight up, he was drove six to eight yards down the field.
On plays in which Nor fires off the ball and chases the ball, he's very impressive. His combination of quickness, strong hands and power enables him to engulf ball carriers and create pressure on the quarterback. In the first half, the junior posted three solo tackles and a pair of quarterback hurries.