Every week through the football season, HornsNation’s William Wilkerson and Max Olson will break down five things they learned while on the road at Texas high school football games. From the latest on Longhorn commits and offers to game observations to players who caught their attention, they've got you covered. Here’s what they saw this weekend:
William’s game: Lake Travis vs. Westwood
Max’s games: Dallas Lake Highlands vs. Rowlett, Beaumont Ozen vs. Stephenville
1. Kent Perkins is one big dude
You couldn’t miss him when he took the field on Friday night against Rowlett.
This was my first time watching Texas offensive tackle commit Kent Perkins play in person.
At 6-foot-5 and 295 pounds, he was the biggest guy on the field on Friday night. He’s got that imposing first-guy-off-the-bus frame that makes him hard to mess with in the high school game.
But the Perkins I saw on Friday wasn’t all that mean. Sure, he racked up his fair share of pancake blocks. He pushes people around because it’s easy. But I didn’t see a mauler-type mentality.
Now, I don’t mean that as a major slight. What stood out more than anything was that Perkins looks like he’s becoming more of a technician as a right tackle. His form and footwork made an impression on me.
Plus, this was a game played almost entirely in the rain. The ends he faced were slippery, but I didn’t see Perkins give up any sacks.
When the game was on the line in a close 30-28 Lake Highlands victory that came down to the final minute, Perkins got the job done. Overall, I was came away impressed. Perkins showed me why he’s one of the nation’s 100 best prospects, no doubt about it. -- Max Olson
2. Lake Travis does it again
If you know anything about Lake Travis and the legacy it now has as one of the state’s most dominant programs, you start to question if the Cavaliers ever get worried.
Take Friday for instance, when a very capable Austin Westwood team scored 17 unanswered points in the second quarter to erase a 16-0 deficit, and held a 24-22 lead into the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
This was a grudge match of the truest kind for a Lake Travis team used to having 22 points by the end of the first quarter, not with a few minutes left in the game ... while trailing.
The Cavaliers couldn’t muster any points on their two previous drives but had one last shot when it got the ball on its own 23 with 5:57 left. Senior quarterback Baker Mayfield led Lake Travis on a 12-play drive, converted a fourth-and-3 along the way, before capping things off with an 18-yard game-winning touchdown pass to junior running back Shaun Nixon.
The win was Lake Travis’ 25th in a row. -- William Wilkerson
3. Nixon shows off versatility
Playing for Lake Travis can do many things for ones football career with all of its exposure, state titles and recruiting inquiries.
It can also make for some very well rounded running backs, which must be able to catch the ball out of the backfield in order to be a part of the offense.
Class of 2014 running back Shaun Nixon showed off that part of his repertoire by hauling in 10 receptions for 121 yards, including touchdown catches of 53 and 18 yards. The latter score ended up being the game winner with 2:24 left in the fourth quarter.
Nixon also rushed 13 times for 71 yards.
Baylor, Clemson, SMU, Texas A&M and Texas Tech have offered him. -- William Wilkerson
4. Top 2014 DB lives up to hype
We’ll have more on Tony Brown up on HornsNation later this week, but know this about his showing against Stephenville on Saturday: The kid’s play merits all the hype.
Even in a losing effort, the 2014 cornerback from Beaumont (Texas) Ozen showed why he’s considered perhaps the state’s top cover corner for next year’s class.
There were no big interceptions on this day, but the ball wasn’t thrown Brown’s way much. He took on one of the better receivers he’ll face this fall in Brice Gunter and didn’t allow a catch when he was covering Gunter.
Brown didn’t do much on offense, which was a bit of surprise considering Ozen ended up losing 31-6 and could’ve used more firepower on offense. On defense, though, he showed why he earned such a strong reputation at camps this summer.
Brown told me not much has changed in his recruitment of late. LSU, Texas and a handful of other schools are in for quite a battle for one of the state’s best for 2014. But he’s worth it. -- Max Olson
5. Gunter worth a look at WR?
So Texas is in need of one more wide receiver for its 2013 class now that Ricky Seals-Jones is off the table, right?
If that search expands beyond Torii Hunter Jr. and Devon Allen, you’d have to assume committed in-state prospects become the next group to evaluate.
Might Brice Gunter be an option? The ESPN 300 receiver is bigger than both Hunter Jr. and Allen at 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, and the Longhorns are trying to replace a big-bodied possession receiver.
I watched his Stephenville (Texas) team take on Beaumont Ozen on Saturday. Big kid. Didn’t get the ball thrown his way much, and that might have something to do with the fact Tony Brown was on him.
But he did make as impressive a one-handed, diving catch as I’ve seen in a long time in that game. Athleticism is not an issue for Gunter.
He’s been committed to Texas State since June. He told me he’s never heard from Texas coaches. Baylor has shown interest recently, but the only other offer he has is from Air Force.
Despite being ranked No. 180 nationally by ESPN, Gunter is still not getting much attention on the recruiting trail. As far as committed receivers go, though, he might be worth a look. -- Max Olson