Overlooked and/or underrated 2017 athletes

Discussion in 'Recruiting the State of Texas' started by Jonathan Wells, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. Jonathan Wells

    Jonathan Wells Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    This whole forum has been pretty neglected over the past couple of months. I think @Eric Nahlin envisioned it being a go-to place to discuss our favorite non-Longhorn recruits and various and sundry unheralded kids, with its "free" status allowing fans of other schools or just random high school fans to chime in or read about players other users here are fans of. It's a bit late in the game to be discussing lesser-known 2017 recruits, with only one week left before Signing Day and it being too late in most cases for schools to contact someone they've had no previous relationship with and recruit them, but I still wanted to throw out names of some players whose film has impressed me in some way but whose recruitments just never took off for one reason or another.

    I'll use individual posts in this thread to mention different players, so if anyone cares to respond or comment on someone, or list some names of your own, they'll be easier to specifically reply to.

    I'll start with El Paso Parkland athlete Patrick Sullivan, who is listed at 6'3" 171. He played wide receiver and safety for Parkland last fall and made 1st team all-district at both positions. He caught 59 passes for 1,045 yards and 16 TDs, was credited with 117 tackles, 8 interceptions, 15 passes defensed, 3 tackles for loss, and one forced fumble. In his highlights he looks like a very natural receiver and makes some great catches, and shows some playmaking ability and closing speed at safety. A coach I know from another school in that district thinks his highest upside is at safety.

    Take a look for yourself: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/6577384/5804ef240aff7a7da82afd4d

    This is an El Paso recruit we're talking about, and even in the best of circumstances the most talented kids from that area are rarely as widely recruited as they should be. On his Twitter account, Sullivan has reported offers from UTEP and Incarnate Word. That's it. If you watch the first minute of his film and think that a kid with his height doing that kind of work at a DFW school would have a dozen offers easily, you're not alone.

    Aside from geography, reasons for his recruitment being so minimal are probably that he's either a late bloomer or very inexperienced, as he only played in four varsity games his junior year, caught only one pass, and his team as a whole produced barely 400 passing yards all season.

    In 2016, Sullivan and the rest of his team blew up in a big way, leading Parkland to an 8-4 overall record, its first playoff appearance since 2013, and its first postseason win since 2009. Sullivan will be moving on but Parkland returns some key skill position guys in 2017 who will be players to watch, most notably 2019 running back Deion Hankins, who gained over 3,100 yards from scrimmage, scored 25 TDs, is ranked near the top of his class academically, and has been labeled an elite D1 prospect by college coaches that have visited Parkland, according to head coach Josh Kirkland. See Hankins's 2016 highlights here: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/6087456/5805897f0aff7a8f38a1234a

    Also returning will be 2018 athlete A.J. Briggs, a quarterback in a fullback's body who passed for 2,424 yards, 29 TDs and 11 INTs as a junior after missing his sophomore season with a leg injury, and Hankins's older brother Davontay Hankins, a junior who led the team in tackles in 2016 with 151 total stops.

    Hankins could be a very highly sought-after recruit in a year or two, maybe even a player Tom Herman and the UT staff pursues, but for now the school's top senior recruit is Patrick Sullivan, and UTEP being his only FBS offer is disappointing but not exactly surprising. He'd be a good get for G5 programs looking for length and playmaking ability at receiver, or ball skills and potential to be a real physical force at safety if he fills out his frame in the next few years.
  2. Eric Nahlin

    Eric Nahlin Recruiting Editor

    The bottom fell out of the Texas season and I got tied up with information that pays the bills.

    We're going to get this forum going in February.
  3. Jonathan Wells

    Jonathan Wells Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    He's not a Texas kid but Monta Thomas (Hampton, AR) looks like a raw small school athlete who could blossom in a good S&C program at the next level. Before his senior year he transferred from Hermitage, AR to nearby Hampton, a school that had to cancel its 2015 football season due to low numbers. With Thomas and a few other transfers added to the roster, Hampton won its first 13 games, upset the #1 team in Class 2A (England, whose senior athlete B.J. Thompson Eric mentioned this morning), and lost by one point in the state championship game.

    Thomas, who played QB for Hampton as a senior, accounted for over 2,800 total yards and 49 TDs for the season, including 2,143 yards and 38 TDs on the ground, and an overall average of 13,8 yards per carry. He's listed at 6' and 200 on MaxPreps, and though I doubt he's quite that big he seems to have a build that could play at multiple positions. His highlights aren't the easiest to watch due to terrible angles and editing by the videographer, but he shows some explosiveness and speed. In track he has run a 10.9 100 meters, recorded a 6'3" high jump, and had a 21'9" long jump at last year's state meet to win the 2A gold medal in the event. What kind of coaching he has gotten or equipment he has been able to work with at a 2A Arkansas school one can only guess, but I'll take a leap and say he could be a dynamite D1 athlete waiting to happen.

    I've read no real news on his recruitment and don't know who is or has been pursuing him.

    Senior highlights: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/6826751/580d553190f9932a3c485a61
  4. PearlandHorn

    PearlandHorn Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Tyler Page. @Turnbo828 Case Closed. SMU got a steal.
    Turnbo828 likes this.

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