Navarro College Preview

It's a well-known fact, the state of Texas is loaded with special football players. Hundreds of "Lonestar" players sign D-1 letters of intent to play football all across the country, but sometimes a few are late bloomers and some don't qualify. When they look to the JC ranks to enroll, Navarro College is a destination that many have found appealing and head coach Ray Woodard is happy to have them.

"We've got some young talent coming in this year and we definitely have some talented players that are coming back," Woodard told recently. "We probably have the best athlete in the entire conference on offense and then we have a few good defensive lineman and a special couple of linebackers this year so we should be improved from 2006."

Here's a short list of players the Woodard says have the best chance to move on to a D-1 program and a couple to keep an eye on this fall.

QB Jeremy Sanders "He's probably the best athlete in the conference and I don't even think it's close. He's a dual-threat guy with huge D-1 potential and he's a guy that if a school decides what type of a quarterback they want then those are the ones that are going to go after him because he's such an incredible athlete.

"He's 6-2, 215 and he ran a 4.38 this spring for us in our testing. He's just an amazing player and athlete.

"He signed with Baylor out of high school and he's leaning to going back there, but some other big-time schools are after him as well so he's probably going to have some options and then he'll have to make a decision. He'll graduate in May next year pretty easily."

TE Gerald Harris "We moved him from defensive end to tight end because we needed to get his athleticism on the field. He played there this spring and did really well, but he's going to need to keep working hard and honing his skills before I can say he's going to be a big-time recruit.

"He's 6-5, 245 and he's got a great GPA – he's an honors student. He was a full qualifier so he can get out this December."

RB Tyrone Ross "If we can keep him healthy he's going to have an outstanding season. He's really talented as a runner and he can catch it just about as good as I've ever seen as a running back. He's a great receiver out of the backfield.

"He's 5-9, 200 and he can just fly. He doesn't run well in timings (4.5) but when he gets on the field he always seems to run away from people. He does most of his damage on the outside, but he can run inside too.

"He had a knee problem last year and so we redshirted him and he's two years removed from competition. If he can stay healthy he will be a 20 to 25 carry per game guy and he can also be a really good kick and punt returner."

"Tyrone already has his AA degree and will be able to leave in December."

DT Sharod Basey "Sharod is an interior defensive line guy and he's an excellent athlete with exceptional quickness and ‘get off'. He never quits.

"When he came to us, he had just finished high school where he played defensive end but he's 6-1, 295 now, so he sorta grew out of the position, but he's a very talented guy and just a really solid player."

LB Donald Booker "Booker played defensive end in high school, but we moved him to middle linebacker and he did enough on the field to get a lot of school interested in him for this year.

"We love his intensity and how physical he is. He's 6-0, 225 and he runs a legitimate 4.6. He can play outside if a team needs him to because he's pretty good in coverage too, but we have him in the middle and he's going to direct our defense from there. He's smart and has really good instincts."

LB Brandon Onu "He's a little on the small side (6-0, 200) but he is a heckuva player. He played cornerback in high school so he's got good speed (4.5) and he allows us to do lot of things out of our base 4-3 scheme even when a team brings in three or four wide receivers.

"We have him at outside linebacker, but he could play safety at the next level. It sorta depends on what type of scheme a team uses. We really like what he brings to our defense and he allows us to do a lot of different things that we might not be able to do.

"He's had a really good spring and summer and he'll graduate in May so he'll start to see his recruiting pick up here pretty soon."

DE Chasley Walker "Chaz signed with us after the San Antonio All-Star game in San Antonio in June (2006) and he's a real sleeper who could really pop up on teams this year.

"He's (6-2, 245) and we think he's going to have a really good sophomore year for us because he's just got that knack for getting to the quarterback and he's really an instinctual player.

"He was a full-qualifier out of high school so he will leave right after the season."

Other Navarro players to keep an eye on this fall: WR Jason Matkins

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