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Saturday, July 13, 2013
Lessons learned: Texas State 7-on-7

By Damon Sayles

LEANDER, Texas -- The 2013 Texas State 7-on-7 Tournament saw a number of college football targets put on a show. It also saw some of the lesser-known players make a case for more publicity.

Graham (Texas) High School won the Division II (small-school) competition, while Southlake (Texas) Carroll claimed the Division I (large-school) prize. Carroll won the first 7-on-7 state tile 15 years ago in College Station, Texas.

Here are five things we learned from the state tournament:

2015 has one over former Carroll QBs

Ryan Agnew
Class of 2015 QB Ryan Agnew showed poise in leading Southlake Carroll's aggressive passing attack to the Division I title.
Southlake Carroll has a tradition of producing quality quarterbacks. Chase Daniel, Greg McElroy and Kyle Padron all have NFL experience, and Daniel, McElroy, Chase Wasson, Riley Dodge and incoming Texas A&M freshman Kenny Hill have won state championships. Ryan Agnew hopes to follow those footsteps.

The 2015 quarterback did something that the others hadn’t, and that’s lead Carroll to the state 7-on-7 title. Agnew connected with receivers such as Luke Timian and Keaton Duhon en route to an undefeated run in the tournament.

Agnew, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound quarterback, has early looks from Northwestern, Iowa State, Texas Tech and Ole Miss.

Ian Sadler: Better than advertised

Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury was one of the first to see something in wide receiver Ian Sadler (Argyle, Texas/Argyle) -- way before he became a four-star player. Sadler’s tournament performance not only justified his four stars but also showed that the Red Raiders picked up a recruiting steal.

Sadler, a 5-10, 194-pound receiver, seemed to catch everything thrown his way and led Argyle to the Division II championship game. Together, he and three-star teammates Sam Sizelove and Connor Wilson -- two Kansas State commits -- gave the fans something to watch throughout the tournament.

Sadler caught 49 passes for 1,004 yards and 12 touchdowns last season and averaged better than 20 yards per catch. He’s expected to be even more of a dangerous threat for the 2013 season.

Future rivals working together for Lufkin

It’s the right thing to do for the time being. Three-star receiver Jamal Jeffery (Lufkin, Texas/Lufkin), a Texas A&M commit, and 2015 teammate Keke Coutee, a Texas commit, worked well together as reliable targets for 2015 quarterback Trey Cumbie.

That Texas-Texas A&M rivalry? Forget about it.

Jeffery was impressive as he helped lead Lufkin through a 7-on-7 schedule that included only one loss the entire summer. When Jeffery wasn’t the go-to player, Coutee was stellar at receiver, using his speed and quickness to frustrate opponents.

Two years from now, they may see each other as rivals. This past weekend and the upcoming season, however ... a different story.

New starting QB Stidham passes the test

Last season, 2015 Jarrett Stidham (Stephenville, Texas/Stephenville) won a Texas Class 3A Division I state championship as a wide receiver. This spring, he took over the starting quarterback duties, and he will enter the 2013 season with five offers before even taking a snap as the full-time starter.

The 7-on-7 state tournament was his first grand stage, and he not only put on a clinic but also silenced many of his critics asking if he was capable of running the offense. Stidham threw crisp passes and managed to complete several passes in a row on multiple occasions.

Stidham, a 6-3, 183-pound quarterback, has offers from Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor and Kentucky. Oregon, Florida and Oklahoma also are showing interest.

Pups hold their own against the big dogs

There were quite a few players from the Class of 2016 who were put into big-time situations and consistently made man-sized plays. Two of them played for Manvel (Texas) High in wide receiver Reggie Hemphill and safety Deontay Anderson -- two players who have been approved for scholarship offers by Texas.

Hemphill and Anderson were playmakers throughout the tournament, as were safety Collin Wilder (Katy, Texas/Katy) and cornerback Bailey Phillips (Mesquite, Texas/West Mesquite). Wilder already has a Texas Tech offer and visited Texas after his team was eliminated from the tournament. Phillips has looks from Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Nebraska and several other programs.

The 2016s are incoming sophomores. One incoming freshman who made plays was 2017 athlete Anthony Hines III (Dallas/Episcopal School of Dallas), who reports offers from Mississippi State, Akron and Montana.