In 2008 Collin County was the center of the Texas High School Football universe, with two state champions and two state runner ups residing within the county line. There's several big name prospects but also several sleepers who could emerge during the off-season.
One such sleeper is Class of 2009 prospect Ryan Carroll out of Prosper. The Eagles who stunned the state by winning the Class 3A Division I State Championship were led by outstanding play up front and Carroll was the ring leader of those units. At 5'10 225 pounds Ryan was a bit undersized playing RT and DT, but Ryan was able to offset that lack of size with his tremendous quickness off the ball and strength as he sports 300 pound bench press.
Ryan projects to be a LB at the next level has the speed to make an impact as he runs a 4.6 forty yard dash, that speed showed up this summer during seven on seven play when Ryan roamed the secondary playing LB for the Eagles who qualified for the State Tournament at Texas A&M in July. In the fall, the Prosper senior was named first team all 9-3A on defense and he also was named first team all area in Class 3A by TexasPrepInsider.
Carroll is described as having great speed and a motor that never stops is getting interest right now from only Division II schools Abilene Christian and Harding. "I'd love to hear from bigger schools if possible, but I really do like ACU (Abilene Christian)," said the Prosper two way standout.
Ryan who plans on majoring in Kinesiology credits the hard work this summer for the team's success, "I don't think many experts thought we'd have such a good year but the hard work we put in as a team really made the difference."
About 25 miles to the east of Class 3A Prosper lies the city of Wylie. Massive suburban growth has taken this sleepy town from a Class 3A school in the late 1980's to now being a Class 5A town with a second high school opening next year. Playing in a district with much larger schools from nearby Plano, the Pirates made a sensational run all the way to the Class 5A Division II State Championship game before losing to state power Katy.
One catalyst on the offensive side of the ball in 2008 for Wylie was WR Colby Harper who earned first team all 8-5A honors hauling in 87 passes for 987 yards and 9 touchdowns. Harper who also started in 2007 as a sophomore for the Pirates had 264 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns.
The 6'1 175 junior with 4.55 speed is getting early interest from Mississippi and North Texas, but also keep an eye on TCU and SMU as Harper has major interest in the two Metroplex Division I schools.
"I think my leadership and playmaking ability are my two biggest assets right now and this summer I plan on working on my strength and speed," said the Wylie WR.
Harper plans on majoring in education will be busy this off-season with seven on seven and also a few camps, Colby will likely be at the scout.com/UnderArmour Combine this spring as well in Dallas.
With Wylie now having a target on their backs in 2009 Colby believes the Pirates will need to work even harder in 2009, "When we moved up to 5A three years ago a lot of people thought we didn't belong, now we are motivated to prove we aren't a fluke."