When you ask Kevin Golden about 2018 wide receiver Erik Ezukanma, he’ll answer with his own question.
“Have you ever seen him play?” the Keller Timber Creek head football coach asked. “He’s the most exciting player I think I’ve ever coached. And I’ve been coaching for a while.”
Timber Creek’s football program had been mired in some obscurity for its few seasons of existence. But in 2016, the program clinched its first winning season and won its first playoff game.
Thank Ezukanma for playing a major role in that. He caught 88 passes for 1,494 yards. He averaged 17 yards per reception. He caught 20 touchdowns. He also rushed for 329 yards and three more scores.
Now Ezukanma has evolved into one of the top recruits in the country. He’s on the national and state lists of all the major recruiting services: Rivals, Scout, 247 and ESPN. The total package is there at 6-3 and 180 pounds. There are great hands and the ability to make people miss in space.
Sometimes, that’s not pretty for the opponent.
What I really hope happens is that when younger people see Erik play, they say, ‘I want to be a Falcon.’
- Timber Creek football coach Kevin Golden, on wideout Erik Ezukanma
These are the Division I programs which have offered him: Arkansas, Ole Miss, TCU, SMU Kansas, UT-San Antonio, Texas Tech, Washington and Wisconsin. Ezukanma just visited Baylor this past Thursday. Maybe it’s just a matter of time before the Bears extend. Maybe it’s a matter of time when other major programs will as well.
More offers could come during Timber Creek’s spring football season, April 24-May 18. College coaches can offer whenever they want. But the Division I football evaluation period runs April 15-May 31. Sufficed to say, a lot of programs will be coming to this part of Keller.
Ezukanma is the next big recruit to come through Northeast Tarrant County. That’s saying something, because there has been a pretty good run of those between Northeast Byron Nelson defensive end Brandon Bowen and Carroll defensive back Obi Eboh. The 2017 area signing class had such notable players in Justin Northwest wide receiver Gavin Holmes and Carroll offensive lineman Carson Green.
“When he was a freshman, he scored 30 touchdowns, so we knew then he had something,” Golden said. “When he was sophomore, he was not quite ready because he wasn’t strong enough. What was important is that he gained some confidence. He was stronger and was just accustomed to the game.”
Programs gain reputations because of their consistency. But they also have to have that transcending player who helps change the reputation. Hey, great players help coaches win. Every coach will admit to that.
Just look what happened with the Keller boys basketball program with R.J. Nembhard. He was a national figure who gave that program an identity and put it on the map. Keller went to its first Class 6A state tournament earlier this month.
Basketball plays with five. Football plays with 22, minus specialists. Time will tell what will happen with the Falcons in 2017 and how far Ezukanma can help take them. They are good enough to make another playoff push. Other storylines will develop.
“People know who we are now,” Golden said. “But what I really hope happens is that when younger people see Erik play, they say, ‘I want to be a Falcon.’ That’s what you hope for.”
From what we understand, look for construction to begin on Multipurpose Activity Centers (aka the indoor football practice facilities) at both Colleyville Heritage and Grapevine High Schools to begin before the end of March.