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September 30, 2009There's a new No.1 in the state of Texas.
For much of the last year, much of the discussion in recruiting has centered on three players from the Lone Star State that have been ranked five stars and haven't yet committed - Plano West defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat, Fort Worth Dunbar wide receiver Darius White and Temple running back Lache Seastrunk.
Depending on the day and the direction of the wind, all three have been mentioned as strong candidates for the No.1 overall spot in the Lone Star Recruiting Rankings. Yet, as we enter the second month of the high school football season, a new name has entered the discussion and jumped to the front of the pack.
Introducing the new No.1 in Texas - Haltom defensive end and current Texas commitment Reggie Wilson.
Overall, the top four players in the updated Lone Star Recruiting Top 100 were given five-star grades, but the discussion for the title of No.1 centered on Wilson and Jeffcoat. In talking with more than a half-dozen college coaches and scouts that have seen both play this season, the opinions were split evenly.
"Both are big-time, big-time players," one Big 12 coach that recruits the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex area told me this week. "Jeffcoat does everything really well and there's no question in my mind that he's going to play early wherever he goes. Most of the things you have to teach young players are already a part in his game. When you look at Wilson, he's such an instinctive player and that's surprising because he hasn't been playing for very long. We're talking about a guy that a little different than anyone else I've seen this season from an athletic standpoint. He has the physical tools to disrupt any offense."
With both players ranked exactly the same, the first tie-breaker was raw pass-rush ability and explosiveness off the ball.
"You have to give that edge to Wilson," another coach said. "He gets off the ball a little quicker and his first step is just a little better."
Still, another college coach wasn't so sure.
"Jeffcoat has so many things to work with that he doesn't always have to get to the corner. He can go around, through, over - whatever you need him to do. He scares the crap out of every lineman he plays. If he gets single blocking, he'll embarrass the guy."
The debate for the top spot will certainly continue throughout the season, but there were a number of other major changes that took place, including several new arrivals in the state top 50 that deserve mention as well.
Southlake Carroll cornerback Kacy Rodgers saw his stock soar this spring, but we've taken a wait-and-see attitude with the physically dynamic player and his play throughout the first month of the season has pushed him into the state top 20 (No.17 overall) and into the discussion of the state's best cornerback.
The other huge jump came from Katy offensive lineman Shep Klinke, who went from unranked to No.23 overall based on a string of dominant performances to begin his senior season.
Other notable moves include:
• Garland linebacker Tevin Jackson moving into the top five.
• Fort Worth Dunbar wide receiver Darius White is no longer ranked as a five-star, but did not fall out of the top five.
• Galena Park North Shore offensive lineman Trey Hopkins is now the state's top-rated offensive lineman and ranked No.7 overall.
• Denton Ryan quarterback Scotty Young surged from No.34 to No.10 and is currently ranked as the state's top quarterback prospect.
On the college front, the Texas Longhorns lead the way with five of the top 10, 11 of the top 25, 16 of the top 35 and 19 of the top 100 players on the list.
Oklahoma is second with 14 commitments, but only one ranks as a top 25 prospects, with five ranking in the top 50.
Texas A&M currently third with 11 commitments on the list, but their class has more impact in-state prospects with one in the top 10, four of the top 25, eight of the top 50 and 11 of the top 100 players on the list.