Boomer Sooner: OU commits connect on TD
We're a month away from the start of the Texas high school football season.
Before you know it, it'll be December and we'll be crowning 12 state champions.
But who has the best shot from Dallas Fort Worth?
We dive into the Top 10 teams for the 2018 season:
The Eagles won their fifth state title and fourth in six years in 2017. They’ve reached the state semifinals in six consecutive seasons.
Season opener: Home vs. Mesquite Horn, Aug. 31
Toughest challenge: Home vs. Coppell, Sept. 14
Players to watch: Allen might have the best QB-WR combo in the state in QB Grant Tisdale (Ole Miss) and WR Theo Wease (Oklahoma). Tisdale accounted for 3,000 yards and 45 TDs – 14 going to Wease, a 5-star athlete. Offensive lineman E.J. Ndoma-Ogar is also an Oklahoma commit.
2. Mansfield Legacy
The Broncos have the talent to top the program’s mark in playoff finishes the past two seasons – highlighted by last year’s trip to the state semifinals. They might have the most talent of any defense in the state.
District 6-5A Div. 1
Season opener: at Jenks (Oklahoma), Aug. 31
Toughest challenge: at Jenks (Oklahoma), Aug. 31
Players to watch: Legacy’s defense was good last years, but the Broncos got even better with the addition of CB Jeffery Carter, who transferred in from Aledo. He joins a lethal secondary alongside elite safety Jalen Catalon and Jared Hopper. It’ll be hard to run on them too with Taurean Carter (65 tackles, 16 for loss, 8 sacks) and Enoch Jackson (52 tackles, 19 for loss, 6 sacks) on the line.
3. Southlake Carroll
Can former Dragon great Riley Dodge lead his alma mater back to the glory days in his first season as a head coach? They’re coming off a state quarterfinals appearance.
Season opener: at South Grand Prairie, Aug. 31
Toughest challenge: Home vs. Denton Guyer, Oct. 5
Players to watch: 2020 DB R.J. Mickens is as good as they come. The 5-star recruit recorded 99 tackles, two interceptions and 13 deflections. RB T.J. McDaniel is just as talented on the offense. He rushed for 1,900 yards and 19 TDs. QB Will Bowers is underrated, and accounted for 3,400 yards and 38 TDs.
The Bearcats had a bit of a hiccup last season in the state championship game, but are hungry to get back on top. They’ve won six state titles in nine years and seven overall.
District 5-5A Div. 2
Season opener: at Denton Guyer, Aug. 31
Toughest challenge: at Denton Guyer, Aug. 31
Players to watch: 2020 RB and Oklahoma commit Jase McClellan has come off back-to-back sensational seasons where he’s rushed for 3,100 yards and 48 TDs, 28 coming in 2017. The star recruit was the MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year in 2016. DE Colt Ellison (96 tackles, 18 for loss, 13.5 sacks) is a QB’s worst nightmare. LB/DB Wyatt Harris is committed to TCU.
5. Highland Park
Will the Scots three-peat in 2018? They’ll have to do it without John Stephen Jones, grandson of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. They played in one of the best state title games of all time last season vs. Manvel, coming away with a victory fit for Hollywood.
District 6-5A Div. 1
Season opener: Home vs. Rockwall, Aug. 31
Toughest challenge: at Mansfield Legacy, Oct. 12
Players to watch: Looking to succeed Jones is Chandler Morris, son of former SMU coach and current Arkansas coach Chad Morris. WR Finnegan Corwin returns after making 11 TD catches last year. Prince Dorbah (81 tackles, 12 for loss, 10 sacks, 20 hurries), Hudson Clark (54 tackles, two interceptions, 14 deflections), Ryan Khetan (64 tackles, three interceptions) and Jon Jurgovan (80 tackles) will make it a tough match up for any opponent.
6. Denton Guyer
The Wildcats have gone 111-29 over the past 10 seasons with six trips to the state quarterfinals in that span and state titles in 2012 and 2013.
Season opener: Home vs. Aledo, Aug. 31
Toughest challenge: at Southlake Carroll, Oct. 5
Players to watch: 2020 RB Kaedric Cobbs (1,362 yards, 25 TDs) and 2019 DB Cade Ford (32 tackles, three interceptions, six deflections) will lead the Wildcats along with DL Grant Mahon (33 tackles, seven for loss, two sacks) and WR Seth Meador (402 yards receiving, 2 TDs).
7. Euless Trinity
The Trojans won a district title last season and went to the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2014. They averaged nearly 250 yards rushing per game.
Season opener: at Waco Midway, Aug. 31
Toughest challenge: at San Angelo Central, Oct. 5
Players to watch: QB Laki Ellis (11 TDs in eight games) is the projected starter and WR Lloyd Keanu Hill (500 yards, 5 TDs) is the leading receiver. Nigel Blount and Soti Leota also return and don’t forget the big boys up front.
8. Colleyville Heritage
The Panthers have gone 21-6 record the past two seasons with trips to the state quarterfinals and regional round, and have averaged 44.8 points per game. But they'll be without Oklahoma QB commit Drew Sanders, who transferred to Denton Ryan.
District 4-5A Div. 1
Season opener: North Forney at Dragon Stadium, Aug. 31
Toughest challenge: at Southlake Carroll, Sept. 7
Players to watch: 2019 WR Kam Brown, a Texas A&M commit, leads the way. Brown, an all-state selection, recorded 1,200 yards and 19 TDs, and had 100 or more yards in seven games. Others returning: Michael Young (65 tackles, eight for loss, four sacks), Trey Flint (56 tackles) and Brayden Gerlich (two interceptions).
The Eagles won their first state title two years ago before being bounced in the second round last season. The defensive unit allowed 15 points per game.
Season opener: at Odessa Permian, Aug. 31
Toughest challenge: Home vs. Mansfield, Oct. 12
Players to watch: DeSoto will present match up problems at WR with La’vontae Shenault (62 catches, 764 yards, 6 TDs) and Bryon Hanspard (489 yards, 2 TDs) returning. Shundarion Ward is the projected starting QB. RB Daryon Triche rushed for eight touchdowns last year. DT Viramontes Pippens recorded 47 tackles and 11 for loss.
The Eagles have won 10 or more games in nine consecutive seasons and have gone 118-11 in that span. They were state champs in 2013 and went to the state title game four other times.
District 7-4A Div. 1
Season opener: Home vs. Stephenville, Aug. 31
Toughest challenge: Home vs. Waco La Vega, Sept. 7
Players to watch: QB Hayden Clearman can play both ways (1,036 yards passing, 10 TDs, 71 tackles). RB Noah Lang (84 carries, 886 yards, 18 TDs) also returns. Chase Petter (113 tackles, 28 for loss, 15 sacks) and Blake Ramsey (32 tackles, five interceptions, six deflections) both made the all-state team. OT Preston Wilson is committed to Oklahoma State.
Honorable Mention: Mansfield, Arlington Martin, Sachse, Coppell, Duncanville, Mansfield Lake Ridge, North Forney, Lancaster, Denton Ryan, Frisco Lone Star, Kennedale, Midlothian Heritage, Celina, Brock, FW All Saints, Dallas Bishop Lynch, Dallas Bishop Dunne, Plano Prestonwood