- May 29, 2001
While recording this week's Orangebloods Modcast, @Alex Dunlap and I found ourselves stuck in a discussion about the value of high school wide receivers from the state of Texas.
On one hand, no position translates into NFL success at a lower rate. From 2002-2016, only 6 of the top 30 wide receivers in the Rivals rankings in this state played in the NFL.
20 percent. That's bad.
On the other hand, 38 different in-state prospects played receiver last season in the NFL, meaning every franchise likely had at least one.
That's kind of incredible.
But, how the hell can that be possible?
Before we get too far in, let me just hit you with a few data points to file away:
* 0 of the 3 (0.0%) five-star prospects from 2002-16 played in the NFL
* 4 of the 15 (26.7%) high four-star prospects from 2002-16 played in the NFL
* 2 of the 12 (16.7%) mid four-star prospects from 2002-16 played in the NFL
* 4 of the 40 (10.0%) low four-star prospects from 2002-16 played in the NFL
So, where are those 38 current NFL players coming from? Check it out...
* Was listed as an "Athlete" or at another position in the Rivals Database
6.1 Five stars (1)
* Russell Shepard (Cy Ridge - 2009)
6.0 High Four Stars (2)
Devin Duvernay (Sachse - 2016)
CeeDee Lamb (Richmond Foster - 2017)
5.9 Mid Four Stars (1)
Tyrie Cleveland (Houston Westfield - 2016)
5.8 Low Four Stars (4)
Marcell Ateman (Wylie East - 2013)
Corey Coleman (Richardson Pearce - 2012)
Quartney Davis (Langham Creek - 2016)
Jalen Reagor (Waxahachie - 2017)
5.7 High Three stars (7)
KeKe Coutee (Lufkin - 2015)
Marquise Goodwin (Rowlett - 2009)
Jalen Guyton (Allen - 2015)
* Lil'Jordan Humphrey (Southlake Carroll - 2016)
Marcus Johnson (Clear Springs - 2012)
Denzel Mims (Daingerfield - 2016)
James Proche (DeSoto - 2015)
5.6 Mid Three stars (4)
Josh Gordon (Houston Lamar - 2009)
Jakeem Grant (Mesquite Horn - 2011)
Chris Lacy (DeSoto - 2014)
Laviska Shenault (DeSoto - 2017)
5.5 Low Three stars (8)
Danny Amendola (The Woodlands - 2004)
Josh Doctson (Mansfield Legacy - 2011)
* Mike Evans (Galveston Ball - 2011)
* Courtland Sutton (Brenham - 2014)
* Greg Ward, Jr. (John Tyler - 2013)
James Washington (Stamford - 2014)
Dede Westbrook (Cameron - 2012)
Antoine Wesley (Cibolo Steele - 2016)
Two stars (8)
Cole Beasley (Little Elm - 2008)
Ryan Grant (Beaumont Westbrook - 2009)
Rashard Higgins (Mesquite - 2013)
Zay Jones (Austin High - 2013)
Darvin Kidsy (FB Elkins - 2013)
Josh Reynolds (SA Jay - 2013)
Emmanuel Sanders (Bellville - 2005)
Steven Sims (FB Travis - 2015)
Taylor Gabriel (Mesquite Horn - 2009)
David Moore (Gainesville - 2013)
Damion Ratley (Yoakum - 2013)
No. 2 - Ok, let's talk about what it all means ...
* Five stars make up 2.4% of the list, while four stars (18.4%), three-stars (50.0%), two stars (21.1%) and unrated (7.9%) players make up the majority of the players on the current NFL list. To give you some perspective on a very broad level, the distribution of star rankings each year looks a little like this: 5 stars (1.0%), 4 stars (9.0%), 3 stars (35.0%) and two stars (55.0%).
* The easiest way to process all of the info is that four-star wide receiver prospects from the state have produced at the levels of three-star receiver prospects, while high three-star receiver prospects have performed like high four stars in a two-year window from 2015-16. A freakishly absurd number of two-stars/unrated players from 2013 (6) caused an anomaly similar to the week of ice/snow we witnessed recently.
* Beyond those two quirks, there's not a lot that stands out about the three- and two-stars on the list. For instance, the sheer volume of three-star receiver prospects each year (between 20-25) from Texas help produce when you consider that the rates are otherwise fairly in line with the national numbers. For instance, I could tell you that Texas should offer all high three-star prospects based on five of 14 emerging (35.6%) as NFL players in 2015-16, but only 1 of the previous 22 from 2010-2014 made NFL rosters. A quick glance at the 2017 class of high three stars reveals that it might prove to be an 0 for 7 group when it comes to producing NFL talent (or even decent college players).
* While the true five-star receiver prospect from the state of Texas has been pretty rare from 2002-16 and the production from the three we've seen is not good enough, the historical success rate will climb once 2018 star Jaylen Waddle is drafted in the first round. It'll be interesting to see what happens with 2019's Theo Wease and Trejan Bridges (both at Oklahoma), along with 2020's Demond Demas and Jaxon Smith-Njigba in the coming years because this group of four players will determine how the position is remembered in future years.
Note: 2017's CeeDee Lamb and 2019's Garrett Wilson were both rated as five stars in my personal rankings, while Rivals rated them both high four-stars.
No. 3 - Holy Aledo! ...
The recruiting momentum for the 2022 class continued on Sunday when Aledo defensive back Bryan (B.J.) Allen Jr. gave his verbal commitment to the Longhorns.
A few things that stand out.
* I currently have Allen rated as a 5.8-level four-star prospect. He's not a guy that jumps off the film all the time with wow moments as much as he constantly impresses with his physical frame, closing speed and flashes of playmaking skills in coverage on a play in and play out basis. I think the biggest impression that he makes on me is the potential that exists if he puts it all together at the next level. Off the hoof, he looks the part of a player that could emerge down the road as an NFL-level talent.
* No position group within the state of Texas produces more NFL talent from the top recruiting tier than the defensive back position. A four-star defensive back prospect from Texas in the last 15 years has developed at near five-star levels when it comes to reaching the NFL.
* As I mentioned last week, the numbers in the Texas DB class might get tight, especially when you consider that Bryce Anderson and Denver Harris will have spots reserved. Unless Texas decides to take six defensive backs, the Longhorns could be in a position where they are down to one spot left, unless they lose out on Anderson/Harris. If you want to be in Austin as a defensive back, you better get in soon.
No. 4 - Things I Thought This Weekend about Recruiting ...
* We might not be able to definitively say that Maalik Murphy is better than any of his peers at the top of the 2022 class until he plays more 11 vs. 11, but when it comes to pure arm talent, he's at the top of his class.
* Hudson Card is the quarterback prospect from the state in the last few years that warranted a sixth star in recruiting (if such a thing existed). None of the national recruiting services agreed with me in real time, but he's the best quarterback talent the state of Texas has produced since 2015 (Kyler Murray). I ain't scared. Put me on the record.
* In a world where Brenen Thompson is a legit 10.12 guy in the 100 meters, we're probably talking about a 5-star prospect. In a world where he's popping off a 10.4, we're still likely talking about a national top 50-level prospect. Over the weekend, he finished second at a meet with a time of 11.22. Consider me slightly perplexed. I'm fascinated at the rest of his track season. I'll be watching for his times weekly.
* Speaking of track times I'm dying to see, put new 2023 commit Reuben Owens II in that category, especially when you consider that he ran an 11.71 this weekend at the Needville Relays (also long jumped 20-7 and tripled jumped 42-2). When you look at his film, he's on a completely different level than all of the kids he's playing against. In fact, his film is so absurd at times that it's tough to quantify exactly what we're seeing when it comes to raw explosiveness. I'm just curious about what level of freak we're talking about. Back in the day, Adrian Peterson popped off a 10.33 in the Class 4A 100 Meter final as a junior. Reggie Bush was a 10.43 guy (fastest in California at the time). I don't know what my expectations are for Owens, but I'd certainly like to see him run better by the end of the year than 11.71.
* Evan Stewart is mega-talented.
No. 5 - About The Remaining Transfer Spots...
@Anwar Richardson's conversation with Alabama transfer target Ben Davis on Sunday was a reminder that what happens with the final three available transfer spots is really important.
(The cliff-notes on Davis is that he wants to take his time with his re-recruitment and will announce a top five at some point in March before making a decision at an undefined time later this spring. Texas is one of about a dozen schools that are showing interest.)
Texas coach Steve Sarkisian has mentioned that the program has four spots, but one of those will be taken by Notre Dame DE/OLB transfer Ovie Oghoufo, so we're really looking at three spots.
Although the Longhorns are likely going to have an open-minded approach, in a perfect world Texas would beef up the linebacker and offensive line situations if possible. The interest in Tennessee running back Eric Gray a few weeks ago showed that the Longhorns will take a player if the player is talented enough to justify using one of those three spots.
With players like Davis, who Alabama insiders described as non-impactful, the thing the staff has to consider is whether he's the best that they can acquire leading into the summer. It's possible that in May, Davis will be the best depth addition that Sarkisian and Co. can make, but for the next 6-8 weeks, don't be surprised if we're watching a bit of a slow burn.
Any player that they would take now is probably someone they view as a "no-doubt-about-it" kind of improvement on the depth chart, and based on the slow movement inside the portal, we're probably not going to see a lot of action take place for a few months.
No. 6 - Not tripping about what happened in Lubbock ...
Shaka Smart's team lost a game that it fought valiantly in because this team will just self-destruct in clumsy fashion sometimes.
It doesn't happen in every game, but it happened Saturday after it happened against West Virginia last week. Frankly, it’s frequent enough that whenever this season ends, I'm 85-percent certain it will be self-inflicted.
Consider it a matter of when and not if.
Yet, that's the Tournament and with all due respect to games like the one that was played yesterday... it doesn't really matter at this point in the season. The Longhorns can win the final three games of this season and then win the conference tournament, but if it loses in the second round of the Big Dance, the season will be a failure.
Likewise, if it loses its final three games and flames out quickly in the Big 12 Tournament, but then finds a way to make it to the Sweet 16, all the bitching and complaining from this week (and other weeks) won’t matter much.
So, I’m simply shrugging my shoulders this weekend. I can't take my eye off the real piece of conversation that will ultimately define this season.
It sure as hell won't be anything related to what happened in Lubbock.
No. 7 – BUY or SELL …
(Buy) Easily, IMO.Average star ranking of 2022 OL class is at least 3.6?
(Sell) But, a dreaded 5 vs. 12 type of match-up looms and unless the Texas guards get it together soon, I might change my mind.Shaka first round exit.
(Sell) He'll be fine.Maalik Murphy should move to Texas for his senior season, if that's what it takes for him to have one.
(Sell) Sark put together a No.1-ranked class at USC and hired a very good recruiting staff. There are a lot of things in play that have led to the momentum, but I wouldn't put the Ohio State game at the top of the list.Sark is recruiting so well because of the clinic he conducted against Ohio State in the Natty?
(Buy) But, don't underestimate the buzz of that week two game. It'll be a big deal.Louisiana is a tougher game than week 2 Arkansas?
(Sell) I don't think that can be taken for granted.Big 12 Championship for the good guys no later than 2022 season?
(Sell) I'm going to say it takes a little more time.We have an elite OL verbal commit in the next month?
(Sell) That would be an issue in year two, not year one. Just see Charlie Strong and Tom Herman for evidence.Texas needs to win min 9 games to hold most of these commitments?
No. 8 - Scattershooting on the world of sports...
... Ummmm... if Arik Gilbert is leaving Florida and possibly the SEC... Texas needs to go get him if at all possible. Texas does not want that dude at Oklahoma, that's for sure. Maybe he'll talk with Ray Thornton.
... It won't make much difference when the season is over, but the women's basketball team actually suffered a worse loss this weekend than the men.
... I have a feeling Jim Harbaugh might commit a homicide this fall with Alan Bowman as his quarterback over 12 games. Bowman can make a "wow" and "No, Danny, no" play within seconds of each other, and it'll be Harbaugh's job to harness the "wow" moments. NO offense to Tech, but Bowman just upgraded big-time.
... This kid is next-level amazing.
... Kansas beating Baylor this weekend reminded me of the second round of the fight between Rocky Balboa/Ivan Drago when Rocky cuts the Russian and Duke screams at him that Drago isn't a machine and that he's a man.
... Cade Cunningham did the damn thing in Norman on Saturday with a 40-point monster. The two teams play again on Monday, and it feels like must-watch stuff.
... I never thought I'd say this, but I wouldn't trade Dak Prescott for Russell Wilson.
... Thank you Sheffield United for serving as a mini slump buster for Liverpool.
... What do you even say about the Tiger Woods situation? I just hope he's able to have some sort of normal life and be able to play golf with his kid.
No. 9 - The List: Top 10 Jack Nicholson movies ...
It seems like the actor lists the last couple of weeks have been running hot, so I'll keep playing the hits this week.
10. Five Easy Pieces
9. The Last Detail
7. As Good As It Gets
6. The Departed
5. Terms of Endearment
3. A Few Good Men
2. The Shining
1. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
No. 10 - And Finally ...
With the Golden Globes taking place on Sunday night, I thought I'd give you 5 thoughts on this year's Oscar's race.
* The four best movies I've seen so far this year are: Sound of Metal, Judas and the Black Messiah, Nomadland and Minari.
* It's either Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom or Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) for me in the Best Actor Department.
* Alan S. Kim (Minari) gives the best performance by a little kid that I can remember in a while. I love him.
* Pound for pound, give me Yuh-Jung Youn (Minari) for best overall acting performance in any category.
* Promising Young Woman or One Night in Miami is next on my to-watch-list.