Texas Longhorns: Paul Whitmill

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: Lancaster vs. Tyler John Tyler
Max’s game: Bastrop vs. Gonzales

1. Fantastic finish in Lancaster
The Tigers felt disrespected coming in to this one. There were some out there, they said, that had them losing to Tyler (Texas) John Tyler by over 30 points on their home field. But Washington State athlete commitment DeMarcus Ayers, Washington defensive end commitment Daeshon Hall and 2014 athlete Nick Harvey, who has a Texas offer, proved doubters wrong with a thrilling 26-21 victory.

Long story short, Lancaster held that lead in the final minutes of the fourth quarter as John Tyler inched closer to the goal line. The Lions converted a fourth-and-2 with 28 seconds left inside the 15 and looked like their running back may have crossed into the endzone as time expired on the scoreboard. But one side referee marked the ball down at the inch line, which prompted Lancaster to rush the field thinking the game was over.

Nick Harvey
William Wilkerson/ESPN.comNick Harvey, a 2014 defensive back with an offer from Texas, had a strong game in the win over Tyler (Texas) John Tyler.
However, the main official cleared the field and announced that he had given John Tyler a timeout with two seconds left. Lancaster’s sideline went from overjoyed to nervous in the snap of a finger.

All John Tyler had to do was move the ball an inch forward for the game-winner but Houston-bound quarterback Greg Ward fumbled the snap in the shotgun prompting Lancaster to celebrate all over again.

– William Wilkerson

2. Davis making most of senior season
We’ll have more on Antwuan Davis on HornsNation later this week. For now, know this: He’s back.

The ESPN 150 cornerback and Texas commit did a little bit of everything for Bastrop in the Bears’ 28-27 win over Gonzales on Friday night.

Davis grabbed a critical interception in the fourth quarter, on the first play after Gonzales had recovered a Bastrop fumble. It was only the second pick he’s made since the start of his junior year, at it came at a big moment.

The 6-foot, 180-pound corner also recovered a fumble and recorded four tackles. And he got four carries for 16 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown run on a key fourth and goal.

After a back injury cost him much of his junior season, Davis says he’s 100 percent healthy and highly motivated to make the most of this year.

With all the Texas commits or target that have suffered injuries lately, though, I had to ask Davis how much he worries about his health.

He admitted he hadn’t heard about Ricky Seals-Jones, Darius James and Erik Huhn going down. Davis was a bit taken aback by the news. But he’s not going to play cautious or fearful. Not after missing so much time last season.

Every snap matters to him this year, and he’s as motivated as ever to prove he’s one of the nation’s best cornerbacks.

- Max Olson

3. Alexander goes catchless
It’s no secret to the type of talent Class of 2014 wide receiver Nick Alexander possesses. He wouldn’t have offers from the Longhorns and Sooners if his abilities as a playmaker were in doubt.

But his numbers at the end of this season might not be what you would expect from one of the best receivers in the state given Lancaster’s offensive philosophy.

The Tigers are predicated by the run, which often stems from DeMarcus Ayers’ quarterback keepers or the bruising running ways of Joseph Paden, who rushed for 125 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown.

They don’t throw the ball much at all. In fact, through two games, Lancaster has put it in the air 28 times.

Alexander didn’t catch any passes against Tyler (Texas) John Tyler and only had two receptions for 14 yards a week earlier.

There wasn’t any noticeable frustration on Alexander’s face after the game. He was as excited as anyone that Lancaster had survived a late scare from the Lions.

You just wonder if that will continue to be the case if he doesn’t get more involved as the season progresses. I expect he will. He’s too good not to become a major factor, especially if Lancaster wants to fulfill its goal of contending for a state championship.

– William Wilkerson

4. Hall a haul
You can’t help but look at the somewhat slender frame of Class of 2013 defensive end Daeshon Hall (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster) and just imagine what kind of speed-rushing demon he can become once he spends some time in a college weight room.

I say “somewhat slender frame” even though he is 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds. But if you’ve seen Hall in person you’d probably agree with me. He’s going to be a headache for years to come.

Think about this for a second: Hall isn’t from Texas. He’s from Washington. So unlike the majority of the players that grew up in the Lone Star State with a football in their crib, Hall grew up as a basketball player.

This past offseason was his first full offseason devoted to football. It was his first true summer spent in a weight room. He’s only just beginning to tap into his talents, which goes to show just how naturally gifted he is at defensive end given his performance on Friday.

Hall bullied John Tyler’s defensive line. He had at least three sacks and countless quarterback hurries. Washington is going to have to fight to keep him committed. But if it does Steve Sarkisian is going to be one happy coach.

May is nearly over, and as we head into June, it's time to update the Big 12 recruiting scorecard. You can see each full class by clicking on the team name, but you'll need ESPN Insider access to see the full coverage.

Here's where the Big 12 stands for the respective 2013 classes, which can't sign letters of intent until next February.

Remember, this card is in pencil. Players are free to switch commitments until they sign a letter of intent with a school.

1. Texas Longhorns

Total commits: 14
ESPN 150 commits: 8
Key commits: QB Tyrone Swoopes, WR Ricky Seals-Jones, C Darius James, OT Jake Raulerson
Class update: Texas added just one players since our last update, cornerback Antwuan Davis. The Bastrop, Texas, native is the nation's No. 13 cornerback and the No. 19 player in Texas. He checks in at No. 147 on our ESPN 150.

2. Oklahoma Sooners

Total commits: 9
ESPN 150 commits: 3
Key commits: RB Greg Bryant, RB Keith Ford, DE D.J. Ward
Class update: Oklahoma has added five commits since our last update, but no ESPN 150 commits. The biggest pickup was pro-style QB Cody Thomas, a native of Colleyville, Texas. The Sooners also added ATH Stanvon Taylor, kicker Jack Steed and offensive lineman Dalton Rodriguez. It's a nice bounce back from a slow start on the trail for the Sooners.

3. Baylor Bears

Total commits: 9
ESPNU 150 commits: 1
Key commits: QB Chris Johnson, OLB Raaquan Davis, RB Johnny Jefferson, WR Quan Jones
Class notes: Baylor has added three commits since our last update, but no ESPN 150 recruits. Davis pledged his intent to come to Waco from Heath, Texas. DT Tanner Thrift is also on the way, and OLB D.J. Green is one of the class' top talents as the nation's No. 27 outside linebacker.

4. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Total commits: 7
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: ATH Devin Lauderdale, WR Dylan Cantrell, OG Baylen Brown
Class notes: Texas Tech added two commits since we last updated the scorecard. Brown is the top recruit to join the fold. The 6-foot-4, 280-pounder is from Helotes, Texas. Safety Stormy Butler is trying to crash both Lubbock and my All-Name Team.

5. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Total commits: 5
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: WR Fred Ross Jr., WR Marcell Ateman, OT Zach Crabtree
Class update: OSU has been a big mover since our last update, picking up four commits, giving the Cowboys two four-star players and helping OSU leap over Kansas State. Crabtree joined the class on Tuesday, and Ateman gave OSU a second receiver earlier this month.

6. Kansas State Wildcats

Total commits: 4
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: ILB Tanner Wood, DE Jordan Willis, WR LeAndrew Gordon
Class notes: Guard Chance Allen is the only addition to the class since we last checked in with the SnyderCats. He's a 6-foot-4, 295-pounder from Spring, Texas, a Houston suburb.

7. TCU Horned Frogs

Total commits: 4
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: OLB Paul Whitmill, OLB Sammy Douglas, OG Patrick Morris
Class notes: TCU added two commits since our last update, but only two of the class members are ranked. Whitmill was the biggest addition, and takes a place as the top recruit in the class. The 6-foot, 200-pounder is the nation's No. 21 outside linebacker and hails from Bastrop, Texas. ATH Ty Slanina also committed last week.

8. West Virginia Mountaineers

Total commits: 4
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: QB Chavas Rawlins, OT Marcell Lazard, RB DeShawn Coleman
Class notes: WVU didn't have a commit the last time we checked in, but has the weakest class of those with just four commits. Only one, Rawlins, is nationally ranked. It's early, but WVU's got to pick it up. Worth noting: Three of the commits are from Pennsylvania and one is from New Jersey. The recruiting strategy switch hasn't paid off just yet. It's very, very early, though.

9. Kansas Jayhawks

Total commits: 3
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: QB Montell Cozart, TE Ben Johnson, LB Kellen Ash
Class notes: Kansas hasn't added anyone since our mid-April update, but the program is branching out its recruiting strategy to a national stage, not just the Kansas City area and Texas. That's nothing new for former Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis. Can he convince them to commit, though? We'll find out soon.

10. Iowa State Cyclones

Total commits: 0
ESPNU 150 commits: 0
Key commits: None
Class notes: Still nada on the board for the Cyclones, who are the lone Big 12 team without a commit in the fold yet.

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BIG 12 SCOREBOARD

Thursday, 11/27
Saturday, 11/29