- Sam Khan Jr., ESPN Staff Writer
This is a special time for the Houston Lamar Redskins. They're making history as the first Houston ISD team to make a Texas Class 5A state championship game in 20 years. The last team to do it was Houston Yates in 1992.
And the Redskins ar doing it with defense.
Leading the way are two SMU commits, defensive end Zelt Minor and cornerback Cedric Lancaster, and rising 2014 prospect John Bonney, a safety. They'll lead the Redskins into a battle with Allen (Texas) High School for the Class 5A Division I championship Saturday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
The trio has helped the Redskins to unprecedented heights -- Lamar is making its first title game appearance since 1948. While Lancaster and Minor are committed prospects, Bonney is picking up a lot of attention on the recruiting trail, most recently from Oklahoma State.
The 6-foot, 175-pound prospect, who also plays cornerback, spoke with Oklahoma State safeties coach Van Malone on Monday and Malone extended a scholarship offer, Bonney's sixth to date.
"It's really great," Bonney said. "I got a chance to talk to coach Van Malone and he seems like a real down-to-earth guy. He was talking to me about how they play three safeties in their system and that was pretty cool, especially with me playing both safety and corner. They were telling me that, since they do that, by my freshman or sophomore year I would be able to have a good chance of playing. So that was pretty cool."
In addition to Oklahoma State, Bonney has offers from Baylor, Houston, LSU, Northwestern and SMU. He's also receiving interest from Oklahoma, TCU and Texas A&M. Texas defensive backs coach Duane Akina watched Bonney in Lamar's state semifinal win over San Antonio O'Connor last weekend. It was a game in which Bonney played well, getting a game ball from the coaching staff.
Bonney is humbled by the accomplishments of his 15-0 team this year.
"We just have to stay disciplined and listen to our coaches and stay focused every week," Bonney said. "Every day in practice we always talk about how much we wanted to go to state, but we had to work for it. Now that it's finally here, we have to take it one day at a time. We have to think about all the two-a-days and everything that we went through and it'll pay off."
He said the team takes a lot of pride in carrying the banner for Houston ISD.
"HISD is one of the biggest districts in Texas, so we represent a lot of people," Bonney said. "We take a lot of pride in that because we know a lot of people are happy if we do well."
4dSam Khan Jr.
6dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough