August 26, 2012

Football recruiters march towards Fort Worth All Saints

Offers coming the private school's way.

When it comes to churning out high-volume classes of college football talent, local high school programs such as Euless Trinity and Southlake Carroll, as well as both the Arlington and Mansfield school districts, come to mind.

Big Class 5A schools with enrollments of 2,100-plus have long been a recruiting treasure trove.

Fort Worth All Saints, a private school with approximately 300 students in its upper school, is crashing the party.

The Saints boast at least seven Division I prospects on the roster with players verbally committed to schools such as Baylor, TCU and Texas.

"A Division I guy is a Division I guy whether he is at All Saints, Aledo or Crowley," coach Aaron Beck said.

Demetrius Knox, a 6-foot-5, 300-pound offensive lineman, is the highest-rated prospect on the team. The junior is a national prospect who has received scholarship offers from Alabama, Baylor, Ohio State, TCU, Texas and others.

Seniors Charlie Reid, a 6-4, 225-pound tight end, and Xavier Phillips, a 6-2, 220-pound defensive end, committed to TCU and Baylor, respectively. Junior fullback Daniel Gresham is the latest Saint to commit after giving his verbal pledge to Texas earlier this month.

Then there's 6-5, 210-pound junior quarterback Foster Sawyer, who played the past two seasons at Grace Prep before transferring to Aledo in the spring. Now he's replacing TJ Millweard, who left for UCLA, at All Saints.

Though Sawyer does not currently hold a scholarship offer, he showed up on the recruiting radar with an impressive performance at the Elite 11 Regional at Cowboys Stadium in March.

As with any Texas private school with an abundance of athletic talent, the Saints have been red-flagged by skeptics for recruiting players to their campus.

"Some people try and say All Saints recruits and blah, blah, but random people can't be recruited by All Saints," Gresham said. "I'm not trying to brag but most of us have like 85 [grade-point averages] and up to 90 GPA's. Xavier Phillips has like a 95 GPA and was inducted into all of these prestigious academic societies."

Beck pointed out that several of their players, such as Reid, have been at the school since kindergarten and that Gresham was thought to be more of a basketball and baseball player when he arrived.

"We don't have to [recruit]. Families are finding us. It's just a different niche in the marketplace."

All Saints is set up for the long haul, too, with a feeder system to rival any program in the area, starting with third-graders all the way up to middle school.

The four combined youth and middle school teams are coached by former Texas offensive tackle and nine-year NFL veteran Blake Brockermeyer, who also serves as the off-season strength and conditioning coach for the upper school.

Brockermeyer's four sons all attend All Saints. Jack, the oldest, is a 6-4, 230-pound freshman; Luke is a seventh-grader and twins Tommy and James are in fourth grade.

"We show them the right formations, show them the right place to line up, the different routes that we run and all of the fundamentals," Brockermeyer said. "All of these powerhouse football teams in the state, from what I can tell, have feeder systems, and I at least thought it would be a good experiment and see how it goes. This year's 10th-graders are the first group to go through some of it."

Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @JohnsonJarret

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