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What I learned from this weekend

12/19/2011

Three milestones set in Texas

At the conclusion of the Texas state high school football championships, fans were treated to two state team records and one national record – all in a 24-hour span.

On Friday, Fab 50 team Lake Travis (Austin, Texas) defeated Midway (Waco, Texas) to claim an unprecedented fifth-consecutive state title. No team under the University Interscholastic League had accomplished that feat. Lake Travis features tight end and TCU commit Griffin Gilbert, rising 2013 quarterback Baker Mayfield and versatile athlete and SMU commit Colin Lagasse, who was named the game’s Offensive MVP.

Saturday afternoon featured five-star running back and Texas commit Johnathan Gray (Aledo, Texas) scoring his 205th career touchdown, as Aledo defeated Manvel (Texas) to claim its third straight title. Gray surpassed Mike Hart (Nedrow, N.Y./Onondaga), who went on to star at Michigan. Gray also rushed for 241 yards for the game and finished with 3,891 rushing yards and 65 touchdowns for the season.

Another Fab 50 team, Carroll (Southlake, Texas), highlighted Saturday evening by winning its eighth state championship overall. The Dragons beat Hightower (Missouri City, Texas) and became the first team in Class 5A – Texas’ highest classification – to win eight titles. Led by linebacker and Kansas State commit Will Davis, receiver and Baylor commit Sabian Holmes and rising 2013 quarterback Kenny Hill, Carroll tied with Celina (Texas) for most state titles by a Texas program affiliated with the UIL.

No DGB, no Diggs at OU weekend

Five-star wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham (Springfield, Mo./Hillcrest) and high four-star athlete Stefon Diggs (Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel), two of the country’s most sought after uncommitted players, were no-shows for the much-anticipated banquet weekend at Oklahoma.

Green-Beckham is the top-ranked receiver in the country. Diggs is ranked the No. 1 player in Maryland and the No. 2 athlete in the nation behind Eddie Williams (Panama City, Fla./Arnold).

Both players were in New York earlier in the week, partaking in U.S. Army All-American Bowl festivities. They are two of six finalists for the U.S. Army Player of the Year award, which will be presented the week leading up to the bowl game on Jan. 7 in San Antonio.

Both Green-Beckham and Diggs have Oklahoma as one of their final choices. Green-Beckham also is considering Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri and Texas. Diggs also is considering Auburn, Michigan, Maryland, Ohio State, USC and Virginia.

Harger to play for D-II champion

Some have questioned whether or not three-star quarterback Darrack Harger (Sand Springs, Okla./Charles Page) sold himself short after committing to Pittsburg State (Kan.) a couple of weeks ago.

Many of Harger’s critics simply didn’t know about Pittsburg State’s football pedigree. The Gorillas are considered an NCAA Division II power, and they put themselves at the top of the list once again by defeating Wayne State (Detroit, Mich.) and winning their second national championship.

“I just pretty much wanted to play football,” said Harger, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound, pro-style quarterback. “I didn’t really care where.”

Harger, who threw for 2,300 yards and 12 touchdowns in his senior year at Charles Page, chose playing at Pittsburg State over interest from Kansas, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri.

Missouri QB Demos gets first offer

It took the end of the season – and a near Missouri Class 6 championship – for Dalton Demos (St. Louis, Mo./Christian Brothers College High) to receive his first scholarship offer, but he can now boast about it.

Murray State became the first school to offer Demos, an all-state selection who set multiple season and career records for CBC. He threw for 2,764 yards and 34 touchdowns to lead CBC to the Class 6 title game.

“I got a call from [head coach Chris] Hatcher, and we were just talking man to man,” Demos said. “He then told me he wanted to offer me a full ride. I started smiling, and then my mom started smiling. It’s my first one. This is something my dad really wanted for me.”

Demos has an official visit set for Jan. 13 to check out the Missouri campus. Additionally, Demos said he is receiving major interest from Division II power Northwest Missouri State.

Who will coach the Houston Cougars?

Tony Levine was introduced as the interim coach of Houston on Dec. 10, the same day that former head coach Kevin Sumlin accepted a similar position with Texas A&M.

Levine was the assistant head coach and inside receivers coach for the Cougars. Whether or not athletic director Mack Rhoades hires a coach outside of the current circle is still to be determined, but one thing’s for certain: The Cougars’ 2012 commits need an answer – and quickly.

Currently, Houston has 21 commits from the 2012 class, including eight three-star players. Offensive tackle Mac Long (Edna, Texas) is the only four-star athlete in the class. He committed in May over offers from Wake Forest, Rice and Louisiana Tech.

Long and the rest of the Cougars will continue to monitor the coaching search. Receivers such as three-star Jaydrick Declouet (Patterson, La.) and junior college sophomore Jordan Jolly (Corsicana, Texas/Navarro College) may prefer that Levine take over head coaching duties full-time.