High School: Recruiting

11 area prospects taking stage at The Opening

July, 4, 2012

Dallas Jesuit receiver Jake Oliver and Plano Prestonwood Christian linebacker Mike Mitchell are among the players to watch at The Opening in Beaverton, Ore., this week according to ESPN Recruiting writers Tom Luginbill and Craig Haubert.

Click here (Insider) to see their entire list of players to watch, including their comments about Oliver and Mitchell.

The Opening, which runs Thursday-Sunday, consists of drills, workouts and competitions for some of the nation's top football prospects. The Elite Lineman Challenge, the SPARQ Rating National Championship and the Nike 7ON comprise the main competitions.

Click here for ESPNHS.com writer Christopher Parish's preview of The Opening, which will be broadcast on ESPNU and streamed on WatchESPN Friday-Sunday night at 7 p.m. CT.

The following nine prospects from North Texas high schools are joining Oliver and Mitchell at The Opening:

LaQuvionte Gonzalez, Cedar Hill ATH
Dontre Wilson, DeSoto ATH
Jake Raulerson, Celina OT
A'Shawn Robinson, Fort Worth Arlington Heights DT
Torii Hunter Jr., Prosper WR
Eldridge Massington, West Mesquite WR
Kameron Miles, West Mesquite S
Ra'Shaad Samples, Dallas Skyline WR
Colin Spencer, Dallas Woodrow Wilson CB

Opening invite for W. Mesquite's Kameron Miles

June, 7, 2012
West Mesquite safety Kameron Miles accepted an invitation Wednesday to be one of the 150 high school football players to attend The Opening, a training and competition showcase that will take place July 5-8 at Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.

Miles, who verbally committed to Tennessee two weeks ago, is ranked No. 12 among safeties nationally and No. 36 among all Texas players in the latest ESPN 300.

For Miles' reaction and more on The Opening, click here (Insider content).

Randle's team wins matchup of top two recruits

May, 28, 2012
ESPNHS senior editor Ronnie Flores covered Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League stop in Hayward, Calif., over the weekend, an event that included Plano Prestonwood Christian star Julius Randle.

Randle, the nation's No. 2 recruit for the Class of 2013 according to the ESPN 100, and his Team Texas Titans faced Mac Irvin Fire on Sunday night. Mac Irvin Fire is led by Chicago Simeon's Jabari Parker, the nation's top-ranked recruit.

Here is Flores' coverage of the No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup:
On Sunday night, Parker's Mac Irvin Fire squad took on Randle's Team Texas Titans in front of a standing-room-only crowd. The intensity matched the hype, as both teams played within the team concept. Team Texas Titans jumped out to an early double-digit lead (18-8), but Mac Irvin Fire bounced back and kept it close before falling 63-59.

The main difference in the game wasn't the individual play of the two stars, but perimeter shooting. Mac Irvin Fire missed all 16 of its 3-point attempts, while Team Texas Titans made 7-of-13.

Parker, the No. 1 player in the ESPN 100 and a recent Sports Illustrated cover subject, made 6-of-14 field goal attempts (0-of-5 from 3-point range) and captured five rebounds, two assists and 14 points.

Randle, ranked No. 2 in the ESPN 100, made 6-of-10 field goal attempts (0-of-3 on 3-pointers) and had 13 rebounds and 23 points.

You can find more coverage of the tournament here.

Julius Randle leads area in recruiting rankings

May, 25, 2012

The new basketball recruiting season officially started this week when ESPN Recruiting Nation released its annual prospect rankings.

Plano Prestonwood Christian forward Julius Randle becomes the area's most coveted recruited, checking in at No. 2 in the nation on the 2013 ESPN 100 list.

Randle is joined in the top 10 by Dallas Kimball guard Keith Frazier, who checks in at No. 9.

Four other DFW players cracked the ESPN 100: 19. DeSoto guard Matt Jones; 28. Arlington Grace Prep center Karviar Shepherd; 41. Arlington Grace Prep forward Jordan Mickey; and 93. Richardson Berkner guard Kendal Harris.

Jones, who is committed to Duke, is the only ranked area player who has made his college choice.

Grace Prep's prime talent isn't limited to its senior class. Guard Emmanuel Mudiay is No. 5 on the 2104 ESPN 60 list. One other area player is on the ESPN 60: Garland Lakeview Centennial center Elbert Robinson at No. 59.

Two players who will be sophomores next year are on the 2015 ESPN 25 list. Prestonwood Christian forward Mickey Mitchell is No. 2, and Rockwall forward Elijah Thomas is No. 22.

West Mesquite DB Miles commits to Tennessee

May, 22, 2012
West Mesquite defensive back Kameron Miles verbally committed to Tennessee on Monday, picking the Vols over Stanford, Penn State and Arkansas.

Miles explained to ESPN Recruiting's Damon Sayles that Mark Barron's play at Alabama steered him toward Tennessee. Read about Miles' decision here (Insider).

FW Southwest Rhodes receiver makes noise

May, 21, 2012
CEDAR HILL, Texas -- A friendly reminder to those trying to frustrate Fort Worth (Texas) Southwest's Robbie Rhodes with trash talk: Don't.

While you might think your verbal jabs are working, all you are really doing is hyping up one of the fastest and most explosive receivers in Texas. And you'll end up eating your words real soon.

"People talk trash but they are just making it harder on their defense," Rhodes said. "God bless them."

Dallas Skyline sophomore linebacker Cameron Hampton was the latest to figure that out during pool play of the Dallas Under Armour Sevens on Saturday.

Hampton, one of the state's top sophomores, engaged in a little friendly banter with Rhodes throughout the 30-minute game. Rhodes barked back a few times but made his biggest statement with three touchdowns in Southwest's victory.

Read the full story here.
Dallas Woodrow Wilson big man Zach Coleman officially selected Missouri as his destination for the fall of 2013.

The 6-foot-8 senior said the Tigers' move to the SEC played a big role in his decision.

"I like the style of play," Coleman said via text Monday. "I have a great relationship with the staff, and they are making the move to the SEC. A player like myself would thrive in that conference."

Coleman's coach, Patrick Washington, said Missouri recruited Coleman very well, making what can be a stressful process kind of fun.

"I think he enjoyed having those guys recruit him," Washington said. "They showed him how he would fit into what they were trying to do, especially with them going into the SEC. It should be a great situation for him."

To Washington, Coleman's commitment proved the power forward's dedication to his school work even more than his success on the hardwood.

Coleman averaged 14 points and 13 rebounds during his junior season, helping the Wildcats win the 12-4A championship en route to a regional quarterfinal appearance.

Plano West DE Bryce Cottrell on picking Texas

May, 1, 2012
HornsNation's Max Olson did a Q&A with Plano West DE Bryce Cottrell, who switched his commitment from Oregon after being offered by Texas. He'll be a freshman for the Longhorns in the fall.

Here's an excerpt:
HornsNation: How did you end up a Longhorn?

Bryce Cottrell: Well, I've always wanted to play for the Longhorns since I was a little kid. My mom and my grandma and all them were Texas Longhorns, so it was kind of meant to be. I remember getting a phone call from Mack Brown a week and a half before signing day and they told me they were offering a scholarship. It was one of the happiest days of my life. That's a dream come true.

Read the entire interview here.

SL Carroll QB Kenny Hill commits to A&M

April, 28, 2012
Southlake Carroll quarterback Kenny Hill told ESPN Recruiting Nation's Damon Sayles Saturday that he has committed to Texas A&M, after announcing the selection on twitter.

"Offically committed to Texas A&M!!! #AggSwagg," Hill said on his twitter handle, @Kennyhill13.

Hill led Carroll to the 5A Division I state title last December and was a finalist in the Elite 11 competition that took place at Cowboys Stadium last month, which was won by Skyline's Devante Kincade.

Hill turned down offers from nine other schools, including Missouri, Ole Miss, Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech.

Here is Sayles story on Hill's decision (insider only).

Cedar Hill ATH tops area recruits on ESPN 150

April, 17, 2012
It's a big day in the football recruiting world, with the initial ESPN 150 for the Class of 2013 being released.

Texas is well represented on the list of the nation's top recruits, but the Lone Star state's numbers have slipped from last year. There are 19 Texans on the new list, down from 24 on the final ESPN 150 for 2012.

This year's list has eight players from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The final 2012 list had 12 DFW recruits, led by Denton Ryan's Mario Edwards Jr. at No. 1 and Aledo's Johnathan Gray at No. 2.

The top-rated area recruit among next year's seniors is speedy Cedar Hill athlete LaQuvionte Gonzalez, who already has committed to Texas A&M. Gonzalez lined up at running back, receiver, defensive back, punt returner and kick returner last season for coach Joey McGuire.

Right behind Gonzalez at No. 53 is another speedster, DeSoto's Dontre Wilson. The running back, being recruited as an athlete, has a dozen BCS offers but remains uncommitted.

Here are the area players on the list:

50. LaQuvionte Gonzalez, Cedar Hill, Athlete, Texas A&M
53. Dontre Wilson, DeSoto, Athlete, uncommitted
78. Jake Raulerson, Celina, OT, Texas
85. Justin Manning, Dallas Kimball, DT, uncommitted
87. Kent Perkins, Lake Hollands, OT, Texas
101. Joas Aguilar, Birdville, OG, Texas A&M
133. A'Shawn Robinson, Fort Worth Arlington Heights, DT, Texas
138. Mike Mitchell, Plano Prestonwood Christian, OLB, uncommitted

Find the full list here. Loganville (Ga.) Grayson defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, who is uncommitted, is No. 1.
As unrest surrounds the University of Arkansas football team following the firing of head coach Bobby Petrino, a local recruit has spent the last day trying to unify the 2012 signing class.

Allen running back and four-star recruit Jonathan Williams spent most of Wednesday calling fellow recruits to make sure they were still on board to play in Fayetteville next fall.

“I just really wanted to talk to all the other commits and try to calm them down because the reason we all committed to Arkansas is because how great their school is. Their football program is great, but the academics are great and the campus is great, too. I just tried to talk to those guys and make sure they stayed a part of the Arkansas football team.”

The majority of the signees he spoke with felt the same as he does -- what Arkansas has to offer as a school outweighs the scandal surrounding the football program. Williams said none of the recruits he spoke with said they were reconsidering their college selection.

Williams initially heard of the scandal from friends attending Arkansas and players currently on the football team, but said he didn’t hear of Petrino’s firing until it was in the news.

“I wasn’t thinking much of it, but when it got the media attention that it got -- that’s when I started feeling nervous. I was just shocked,” Williams said of Petrino’s firing.

In the end, Williams said it was the assistant coaches who did most of the recruiting and created more of a connection with the incoming class than Petrino did. While Petrino was a factor in Williams' decision to pick Arkansas, all the school has to offer is really what made Williams decommit from Missouri last season and choose the Razorbacks.

Moving forward, if Williams could pick a new head coach for his future team, he said he would bring back former offensive coordinator and current UAB head coach Garrick McGee, who left Fayetteville before last season to take the helm for the Blazers.

“He was one of the guys who helped recruit me, and he would keep the coaching staff that is up there because that’s the staff he worked with,” Williams said. “That would be a good possibility in my eyes at least.”
ESPNU 150 watch list defensive end Jay Arnold chose Texas A&M for his college career Monday, making him A&M's 14th recruit of the class of 2013, according to ESPN Recruiting Nation Midlands recruiting coordinator Damon Sayles.

The 6-foot 4, 255-pound end from Rockwall-Heath joined the the 2013 edition of the Aggie Swag Movement over offers from Baylor, Northwestern, Tulsa, SMU and Ole Miss.

Here is Sayles' account of Arnold's selection (Insider only).

Sayles also took a look at the talent surrounding standout Southlake Carroll quarterback Kenny Hill as the Dragons look to defend the 5A state title next fall, featuring Tanner Jacobson, Cam Manning, Ray Crockett and A.J. Ezzard.

Here is the Insider-only look at those returning Dragons.

Ring drives Carroll QB Hill to keep working

April, 4, 2012

SOUTHLAKE, Texas -- Every now and then, Southlake Carroll quarterback Kenny Hill will take a look at the state championship ring in his room. It's kind of hard not to stare at it and it serves as a constant reminder of the hard work and multiple sacrifices Hill's had to endure -- the kind of work that has made him a definite player to watch as his recruiting process heats up.

There are Super Bowl rings that take a step back from what Hill and the other Carroll players and coaches received. The face features 40 diamonds around and a part of the school's "SC" logo -- which resembles the USC athletics logo. Around the border are eight emeralds, which represent the school's eight championships. Carroll and Celina are the only Texas public high schools with eight titles in their school histories.

"When I first got [the ring], I was like, 'Man, we actually did it,'" Hill said. "Now when I look at it, I say, 'A second one would be even better.'"

Read the full story here.

Tony Romo takes part in Elite 11 HS QB camp

March, 27, 2012

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo talks about taking part in the Elite 11 camp for high school quarterbacks last weekend at Cowboys Stadium.

Skyline WR Samples hurt during Nike camp

March, 26, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- The excitement of the Nike Football Training Camp had the wind taken out of its sails momentarily when ESPNU 150 Watch List wide receiver Ra'Shaad Samples went down with a lower left leg injury Sunday at the Cowboys' training facility.

Samples, one of the nation's most highly touted receivers, sustained the injury at the end of a play against a camp defender. The severity of the injury is still unknown, but Samples was carted off and greeted by the cheers of receivers, defensive backs and onlookers.

"It looks like it's a severe ankle injury," said Reginald Samples, Ra'Shaad's father and the coach of the Skyline football team. "We'll know more on Monday or Tuesday. Everything is shut down for now, so we didn't get a chance for a full evaluation.

"He's got a plastic cast on for now. He's wearing a little wrap and some cloth on it. We will go in Monday and see what the doctors say."

Prior to the injury, Samples was having the kind of camp worthy enough to be considered the MVP of the receivers. He is currently balancing 33 offers from schools such as Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Cal, USC and Washington.

UPDATE: Samples is out 3-4 months with a fractured fibula. Read more here. (Insider)

Read more about the Nike camp here.