Six Tarrant County players got an early Christmas present on Thursday morning, finding their names on the first-team list of the 2013 Associated Press Class 5A All-State football team.
Headlining the list was Arlington Martin’s Myles Garrett, who was named Defensive Player of the Year.
“I’ve known Myles since he was in junior high,” Martin coach Bob Wager said. “I’m extremely proud of his performance on the field, but I’m equally as proud of the leader, teammate and young man that he has become over the course of the last five years.”
The awards keep piling up for the Texas A&M recruit and Under Armour All-American, Earlier this week he took home the Landry Award, given to the top high school football player in North Texas as voted on by a panel of former coaches, players and members of the media.
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“It feels great,” said Garrett, a senior. “I didn’t expect to win, but it’s something I’ve been hoping to get for four years. Ever since I was a freshman I’ve been dreaming that I would be the No. 1 player in Texas, the No. 1 defensive end in the nation. Those were my goals when I first stepped on the field, and it sure feels good to finally have achieved them.”
Garrett finished the regular season with 81 tackles, 19.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and four blocked kicks and is listed as the No. 5 high school recruit in the nation, according to ESPN.
“We’re in the greatest state in the country for high school football,” Wager said. “To have Myles receive that honor, it’s humbling for him and it’s humbling for the Martin Warriors.”
Fort Worth Paschal senior receiver Darrell James joined Garrett as first-team All-State, finishing with 97 receptions for 1,413 and 14 TDs.
James, who entered the season as a relative unknown, is the first Fort Worth ISD football player to be named first-team All-State since North Side punter Jorge Martinez made the 4A team in 2008. The last Paschal player to make All-State was second-team wide receiver Stanley Johnson in 1994.
“It’s such a crazy feeling,” James said. “It just really shows that through hard work, determination, concentration, and focus, if you put your mind to it, dreams really can come true.”
Paschal coach Matt Cook heaped praise on his receiver.
“I’m so proud of him,” Cook said. “He kept telling us all spring that this is what he was going to do. He said ‘Coach, I’m going to be the best receiver in the state’ and then he started having big games against big-time teams and we started realizing what a special player he was going to be.”
Also making first-team All-State was Arlington safety Jacob Nwangwa, who finished with 113 tackles and five interceptions; Keller Central linebacker Ethan Davidson, who led the area with 144 tackles; and offensive linemen Erich Sullins of Arlington Lamar and Evan Brown of Southlake Carroll.