They may not have stars next to their name and those lovely guys who write about recruits may not be knocking at their doors, or visiting with them before or after games, but it doesn’t mean these young men shouldn’t be on the recruiting radar.
It’s a hard list to put together and there a lot of high school football players worthy of being talked about, so we’ll have more names to add to this list as the season goes on and into the offseason. These are just a few players who are flying under the radar and are going to be fun to watch as this season wraps up.
Cameron Sir Louis – TE – Lindale HS
Height: 6’4″ Weight: 230
Scouting Report: Cameron reminds me a lot of another tight end here in North Texas, Brock Goddard, I had the opportunity to watch during the 2015 season during his senior season at Prosper High School. Big frame, has the ability run and pass block if asked, and has great hands. He’s a guy you can throw the ball up to and he’s going to go up and get it. Is he going to beat anyone in the 40? No. But neither is Jason Witten. Please understand I’m certainly not comparing Cameron to a future NFL Hall of Fame player only to say you don’t need a tight end to outrun anyone. You need a guy who can make a catch over the middle, a guy who can take a hard hit, and a guy who can jump over a smaller corner and make the catch.
Connor Houston – WR – Van HS
Height: 5’11” Weight: 165
Scouting Report: I’ll continue the trent of guys who remind me of a certain Dallas Cowboys player with this incredibly talented player out Van High School. Connor Houston reminds me of Cowboys’ wide receiver, and SMU alum, Cole Beasley. Cole wasn’t the biggest guy coming out of SMU and most weren’t even sure he would make the team out of training camp but he’s become one of the top options for now starting quarterback Dak Prescott. The same can be said for Connor Houston. He’s not the biggest guy on the field but the one thing that jumps out at me is not only his hands but his acceleration in the open field once he gets the ball. Once you get the ball to this guy and he gets into open space you may as well just watch because that’s all you’ll be able to do.
Kale Ridge – DE/LB – Lindale HS
Height: 6’2″ Weight: 220
Scouting Report: Kale Ridge was a linebacker for most of his high school career. That is until his senior season came around and he was moved to defensive end where he’s shown definite explosiveness off the ball. Normally players don’t pick up the change of positions that quickly but Kale has. His experience at linebacker has given him the ability to see the play develop in front of him so not only has he gained the ability to swim move past an offensive lineman but also keeping his eye on a running back and getting himself into position to make the play. He might interest someone at linebacker but don’t count this young man out making a name for himself at defensive end either.
Justin Benvie – MLB – Prosper HS
Height: 6’0″ Weight: 215
Scouting Report: What you don’t know about Justin Benvie is this young man use to be on the offensive side of the ball during the 2015 season but in the offseason he was transitioned to the linebacker position, opposite Texas State commit John Brannon. The physical side of him he showed as a fullback last season and really shined at the linebacker spot in 2016 and he could very well turn into one of the top defensive talents over the next two years as he’s only a junior. Keep an eye on Justin Benvie, he could be on a lot of radars before the start of his senior year in 2017.
Syrus Moore – RB – Justin Northwest HS
Height: 5’9″ Weight: 172
Scouting Report: This young man might be one of the more underrated athletes in the metroplex and, halfway through the season, he’s just over 100 yards shy (825) of a 1,000 yard rushing season and is averaging eight yards per carry and 10 touchdowns. He’s also added 134 yards on eight catches and a touchdown through the air. His speed and footwork once he hits the holes makes it difficult for defenders to slow him down. He’s been a one man wrecking crew for an extremely talented Northwest squad that already boasts one wide receiver headed to the Big 10 and a linebacker headed to the Mountain West. Maybe you can consider Moore a “hidden gem” but once that hidden gem is unearthed by a lot of different college coaches they’ll find that gem is actually a diamond in the rough.
Josh Jinning – MLB – The Colony HS
Height: 6’1″ Weight: 200
Scouting Report: There are some talented linebackers in this state and plenty are already getting their fair share of attention, but when you see talent and ability in someone like The Colony middle linebacker Josh Jinning you pay attention. When you watch Josh’s film you see a guy who keeps the play in front of him, and a guy who can wrap up on a tackle. The other thing that jumps out at me is his ability to run down a running back or wide receiving getting to the sideline and not letting him get that corner. You talk about intangibles and potential and Josh has both.
Nate Hayden – QB – Nolan Catholic HS
Height: 6’0″ Weight: 170
Scouting Report: You know when you see a sophomore QB already playing at the varsity level that they see something in him that makes them think he’s going to be more than just a one year wonder or more than just a “because we have no depth” type quarterback. Watch his ability to roll out of the pocket and find an open receiver, watch his arm action while he stands in the pocket. He carries himself like someone who has been playing more than just a few weeks at the varsity level. This young man might start coming across a lot of radars over the next few years.
Miles Williams – FS – Mansfield HS
Height: 5’11” Weight: 160
But even though Mike may have said it first it doesn’t mean I can’t add to it. For only being a sophomore, Miles is already showing incredible ability to read the quarterback’s eyes and to keep himself in a position to make a play on the football. Not only that but he shows off incredible speed that allows him to run down a quick quarterback or running back in the open field to make a tackle. Incredible athlete and it won’t take long before he’s on someone’s radar.
Xzavion Epps – MLB/FB – Bonham HS
Height: 5’11” Weight: 215
Scouting Report: If you want to see what I like so much about Epps just watch where his “First Four Games” film starts around the 35 second mark and watch the hit he lays on the ball carrier. That’s the kind of physical player coaches would love to see at that position. Say what you want about his height, but his physical play should be enough to get some people interested in bringing him in for a look. The other thing you have to like about his size is the ability to be a ball carrier out of the fullback position. A guy that’s going to be hard to bring down, a guy not afraid to go right at the defensive line or at another linebacker and be able to be the guy giving the hits instead of the one taking them.
Bonham might be a small school up in the northern part of Texas, but keep an eye out on Xzavion Epps because once coaches start getting a look at them I think they’ll like what they see.