- Sam Khan Jr., ESPN Staff Writer
Each week, GigEmNation reporter Sam Khan Jr. will bring you five things he learned from watching high school football action in the Midlands region that week, including observations of Texas A&M commitments and targets and other players that catch his attention. Here's this week's installment:
1. Whoever lands 2014 inside linebacker Zac Whitley will be getting a hard-hitting, driven player who consistently plays hard. The ESPN Watch List prospect, who has offers from Texas, Texas A&M and Houston, showed each of those traits during Houston North Shore's 17-10 playoff win over Houston Elsik on Saturday at Reliant Stadium. Some of the hits he delivered to opposing players were impactful, he was almost always around the ball and showed he can get from sideline to sideline quickly and he showed leadership. When his team's offense turned it over, he could be seen firing up his teammates and they got a stop on the ensuing possession.
2. The race for La Porte (Texas) High School linebacker Hoza Scott is all but over with Scott openly saying that he wants to go to Texas A&M and that he will commit there soon. It was the third time I've had the opportunity to watch the 2014 ESPN Watch List outside linebacker, and Saturday, when he and his teammates took a 55-10 defeat to Texas Class 5A No. 1 Katy, it was by far the toughest challenge for the 6-foot-3, 225-pound prospect. Early on, Scott was in on several tackles and was near the ball often but as the game went on, Katy imposed its will on the entire Bulldogs' defense, running it at will. Still, he's a big, fast, strong linebacker who will be a nice addition to the 2014 Texas A&M class when he makes his commitment official.
3. SMU might be getting quite the steal with Houston Lamar defensive end Zelt Minor. The 6-3, 260-pound, three-star prospect was flat-out dominant in his team's 24-7 playoff victory over Richmond (Texas) Travis. He was consistently in the offensive backfield, disrupting Travis' pass plays, and he blocked two punts and recovered a fumble. Minor was once committed to Houston but switched when teammate Cedric Lancaster pledged to the Mustangs. If he plays the way he did on Saturday at Reliant Stadium, SMU will be pretty happy.
4. Katy (Texas) High School defensive end Matt Dimon is fun to watch. It's easy to see why Oklahoma was turned on to the 6-3, 250-pound, four-star prospect, who is ranked No. 284 in the ESPN 300. La Porte tried to pin Dimon on the edge, double-teaming him with a tight end at times, but he was still able to get into the backfield on several occasions. He's active and he can chase down ballcarriers, evidenced by one tackle for loss that he recorded on a wide receiver screen pass. He had 2.5 tackles for loss and a half-sack in the win and he'll be an asset to the Sooners when he arrives in Norman.
5. 2013 running back Adam Taylor was explosive, fast and physical in Katy's win over La Porte on Saturday. He romped over the Bulldogs to the tune of 216 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries. He has the speed to break long runs, is strong enough to run over people and is hard to bring down. The Nebraska commit has long been known as one of the Houston-area's more talented backs since he was a sophomore backing up Donovonn Young (now at Illinois), and though he missed 2011 with an injury, he looks as strong as ever in 2012.
3dJeremy Crabtree and Brandon Chatmon