High-SchoolTexas: Florida State

Five days of List-Mas: Texas' A-list

December, 12, 2011

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: A-Listers

In the NFL, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are A-Listers. In the NBA, it’s LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. But who are the A-Listers in Texas? That’s where today’s list comes in. Regardless of sport, here’s our list of the top five A-List athletes in the state. Can you think of an A-Lister we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments.

5. Daniel Vertiz (SR), S.A. Reagan, Cross Country
Credentials: NXN runner-up, fifth at Foot Locker Nationals, second at 5A state meet

4. Marcus Smart (SR), Flower Mound Marcus, Basketball
Credentials: Oklahoma State recruit, nation's No. 11 player in ESPNU 100, reigning Gatorade State Player of the Year, led Marauders to Class 5A state title, adidas Super 64 MVP

3. Julius Randle (JR), Prestonwood Christian, Basketball
Credentials: Nation's No. 3 player in ESPNU 60, 2011 Elite 24 participant, tweeted by Kevin Durant

2. Mario Edwards Jr. (SR), Denton Ryan, Football
Credentials: Nation's No. 1 player in ESPNU 150, Florida State commit, 2010 Class 4A Defensive POY

1. Johnathan Gray (SR), Aledo, Football
Credentials: Texas recruit, No. 5 player in ESPNU 150, two-time Gatorade State POY, 2011 Gatorade National POY, 2010 Mr. Football USA, two-time Class 4A, Division II champion, nation's all-time career TD co-leader, state record holder in carries, touchdowns, points, 100-yard games and single-season rushing touchdowns

Click here to check out some of the other states in our Five Days of List-Mas.

Brandon Parker covers Texas for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter@brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Despite commitment to FSU, Mario Williams continues to look at schools

September, 15, 2011
As if Florida State didn't have enough to worry about with Oklahoma coming to town. Not only are the Sooners looking to steal a precious road victory, but the Sooners football program is also trying to steal the Seminoles' biggest high school recruit — Denton Ryan's Mario Edwards Jr.

In this article by ESPN's Mitch Sherman, the nation's No. 1 recruit in the ESPNU 150 admits that, even though he committed to the Seminoles back in March, he believes he's earned the right to look at other schools, including Oklahoma. Despite his wandering eye, the senior defensive lineman still makes clear that Florida State is his number one school.

Edwards Jr., whose dad starred at Florida State, was scheduled to travel to Tallahassee for this Saturday's game between FSU and Oklahoma, but he recently cancelled because it's his high school's homecoming weekend. During the Raiders' 3-0 start, Edwards Jr. has racked up 5.5 sacks, 21 tackles, including 11 for loss, and two forced fumbles, pushing his team to No. 36 in the POWERADE FAB 50 and seventh in the state.

Brandon Parker covers Texas for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Gray and Edwards Jr. go one-on-one

August, 23, 2011
Johnathan Gray and Mario Edwards Jr.Sean Gallagher/ESPNHSDenton Ryan senior DL Mario Edwards Jr. (left) and Aledo senior RB Johnathan Gray have already taken the Texas prep football scene by storm. Now the duo has its sights set on even more success.

Their names often inhabit the same sentence, and few would argue that they are top two prep football players in Texas. Still, Denton Ryan senior defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr. and Aledo senior tailback Johnathan Gray had never met ... until now.

The two sat down to interview each other for the ESPNHS September edition in Texas, discussing their hectic recruitment and many accomplishments on the gridiron.

For Gray, a Texas commit and the reigning ESPNHS Mr. Football USA, that includes setting the state record for touchdowns in a season with 59 last year while leading the Bearcats to the Class 4A, Division II state title. And for Edwards Jr., who has pledged to Florida State, the top ranking in the ESPNU 150 and a Class 4A Defensive Player of the Year award are just a few of the accolades under his belt.

Click here to read more about the toast of Texas high school football.

Brandon Parker covers Texas for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.