Tarrant County area full of top offensive, defensive linemen

Posted Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

Watch video


Simon Goines, Keller Central: Will decide between UCLA and Missouri

Kimo Tipoti, L.D. Bell: Committed to Texas A&M

Hiva Lutui, Euless Trinity: Will decide between UCLA, USC and Utah

James Prince, Carroll: Committed to Purdue

Michael Wilson, Aledo: Committed to Oklahoma State

Steven Baggett, Martin: Committed to Boise State

Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Haltom: Committed to TCU

Connor Trussell, Arlington Martin: Committed to UNT

Spencer Stanley, FW Trinity Valley: Committed to Rice

Daniel Montiel, Arlington: Committed to Memphis


Devonte Fields, Martin: Committed to TCU

Jessie Rogers, Arl. Bowie: Committed to North Carolina

Polo Manukainiu, Euless Trinity: Committed to Texas A&M

Hassan Ridgeway, Mansfield: Committed to Texas

Aaron Curry, Fossil Ridge: Will decide between TCU, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri

Demonte Hood, Arl. Bowie: Committed to Kansas State

Devonte Richardson, Arlington Seguin: Committed to UTEP

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

During the last recruiting cycle, it was the year of the wide receiver for Tarrant County and surrounding areas.

Now it's the big uglies' turn to take center stage as linemen have dominated the area recruiting scene for the class of 2012.

So much so that of the area's 15 top-rated recruits, according to Rivals.com, seven caught the eyes of college coaches playing with their hand in the dirt.

There are area linemen committed to Texas, UCLA, Texas A&M, North Carolina, Oklahoma State and TCU, just to name a few.

Of ESPNU's 100 top Texas recruits, 16 are Metroplex linemen.

"There's a ton of talent on both sides of the line," Rivals recruiting analyst Brian Perroni said. "This is a strong class across the country for linemen but especially in the state of Texas and DFW."

No one knows this more than Arlington Martin coach Bob Wager.

His defensive line included one of the nation's top-rated lineman in Devonte Fields, a Star-Telegram Elite 11 member committed to TCU who was named a 2011 AP first-team all-state and ESPN first-team all-American.

On offense, Wager boasted two FBS-bound linemen in Steven Baggett (Boise State) and Connor Trussell (North Texas).

But his team needed all the help from the big boys up front it could get, as Martin faced Euless Trinity's Hiva Lutui (AP first-team all-state with offers from Southern Cal and UCLA among others) and Polo Manukainiu (Texas A&M), as well as Southlake Carroll's James Prince (first team all-state committed to Purdue) in the playoffs alone.

Add in the district competition Martin faced in Arlington Bowie's Jessie Rogers (North Carolina) and Demonte Hood (Kansas State) and it was a full-time job figuring out how to handle things in the trenches.

"It doesn't take long to find where those guys are at," Wager said. "A stellar offensive or defensive lineman stands out even more so than a stellar skill player, and I think that was the case this year."

While Class 5A linemen dominated the ranks, perhaps the most foreboding in the area was Aledo offensive tackle Michael Wilson.

The 6-foot-6, 280-pound Oklahoma State commitment was a 2010 Associated Press all-state selection, helped Aledo to three consecutive Class 4A state titles and was the driving force, literally, behind record-breaking Aledo running back Johnathan Gray's road to the Texas high school football record book.

Wilson, who also considered Texas A&M and Texas Tech, said there was no better feeling than pancaking a defender while watching Gray fly by him.

"As an offensive line, we got together and decided we were going to lead [Gray] through that challenge and break those records."

Wilson did that and then some, handling the stout defensive lines of Stephenville, Austin Lake Travis and Manvel during Aledo's state title run this season.

He'll have a chance to continue to test his mettle against fellow area linemen as he and several others head to the Big 12 next season.

Matthew Reagan


Twitter: @reaganmatthew

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Saturday, October 25Full Scoreboard
Kansas City0Bottom 1st | Box
San Francisco0@theBallpark | TV: FOX
110th World Series, Game Four. Kansas City leads series, 2-1.
Full Scoreboard
Saturday, October 25Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
San Diego21Final | Box
Denver «35Gridiron Replay
Detroit 9:30 AM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Seattle 1:00 PM ET
Carolina TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
St. Louis 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
Chicago 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Oakland 4:25 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: NBC
Washington 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Saturday, October 25Full Scoreboard
Buffalo «2Final | Box
San Jose1
Boston12nd Prd 17:24 | Box
NY Rangers12nd Prd 18:45 | Box
Montreal1TV: CITY TV, MSG, TVA Sports
New Jersey02nd Prd 15:10 | Box
Ottawa0TV: SN1, MSG+2
Dallas32nd Prd 13:10 | Box
NY Islanders3TV: FSN-SW, MSG+
Detroit12nd Prd 10:49 | Box
Philadelphia0TV: FSN-DET, CSN-PHI
Chicago11st Prd 15:21 | Box
St. Louis0TV: FX-CA, WGN, FSN-MW
Pittsburgh11st Prd 13:21 | Box
Nashville0TV: ROOT-PIT, FSN-TN
Tampa Bay01st Prd 13:53 | Box
Minnesota0TV: SUN, FSN-N
Florida 10/25 9:00 PM ET
Arizona TV: FSN-FL, FSN-AZ
Washington 10/25 10:00 PM ET
Calgary TV: CBC, TVA Sports 2, CSN-DC
Full Scoreboard