February 5, 2007

Rivals5: Top five stories in Texas

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In a talent-rich state like Texas, recruiting storylines seem to surface on a daily basis.

During coverage of the 2007 class, there were plenty of hot topics in the Lone Star State.

The Texas Longhorns had incredibly successful junior days last year. Four-star athlete William Cole's playoff run vaulted him up the state and national rankings.

Those stories are just a few that dominated the talk in Texas during the recruiting season for the 2007 class. Below, we break down the top five stories in the state of Texas.

Rivals5: Top five stories in Texas

1) Texas starts fast

The first junior day for the Texas Longhorns last February was a success - to say the least. Just weeks after Signing Day for the class of 2006, Texas hosted several top juniors for the class of 2007. The Longhorns ended up reeling in a large quantity of commitments within hours of the prospects being on campus. Before the month had come to a close Texas had already added nine commitments, including future Rivals100 prospects Ben Wells, Keenan Robinson, Michael Huey, Curtis Brown, and Andre Jones. The early start for Texas set up the Horns for the state's top class and helped them finish in the top five nationally.

2) Cole puts himself on the map

No one in the state improved his recruiting stock more in the last month of high school football than four-star athlete William Cole. Originally rated as a three-star prospect, Cole gained more than 300 yards of total offense in the state semifinal. He also ran for 290 yards and three scores in the state championship game. At quarterback, Cole led his school - which had yet to win a playoff game - to the Class 5A Division II state championship. Cole, who committed to Oklahoma State, vaulted from the middle of the pack to No. 14 in the final Texas top 100 for 2007.

3) Year of the athlete

One quick glance at the Texas state rankings shows that it was a good year for athlete prospects. Led by the state's top athlete, John Chiles, there wasn't a shortage of versatile and talented players. William Cole, Earl Thomas, Ron Brooks, Brandon Williams, Gilbert Moye, and Jeremy Kerley were all four-star rated prospects in the final rankings. Moye, Cole, Kerley, and Brooks were prospects that played quarterback for their high school team, but will likely move elsewhere in college.

4) Cowboys continue Lone Star success

Over the last few years, Oklahoma State has boosted its recruiting success by landing top talent from the state of Texas. The 2007 class was no different. The Cowboys again received commitments from some of the Lone Star State's top players, including two of the Texas' top-10 prospects (Dez Bryant and Richetti Jones). Oklahoma State's 2006 haul in Texas was considered impressive. However, after landing eight of Texas' top 100 players, it may be a better haul for the Cowboys this season.

5) Top receiver debate

One of the most talked-about positions in Texas during the 2007 class was wide receiver. The debate about which receiver is the best in the state centers on Terrance Toliver and Dez Bryant. Toliver, though he didn't have great season statistics, was very impressive at the NIKE Training Camp, Florida's Friday Night Lights camp, and at the U.S. Army All-American game. Bryant is a prospect who has worked hard in the classroom to get academically qualified. On the field, he had no problems racking up nearly 2,000 total yards in his 2005 and 2006 seasons. Toliver was the top receiver in the final state rankings.


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