Five things to watch this weekend


Revenge for Gray?

Five-star running back and Texas commit Johnathan Gray (Aledo, Texas/Aledo) has been waiting for Saturday since the first week of the high school football season.

On Aug. 26, two-time defending Texas Class 4A champion Aledo opened its season against Stephenville (Texas) and came up a 2-point conversion short in a 48-47 loss. All Gray and his teammates wanted was a second shot, and they’ll get it Saturday in a Class 4A Division II state quarterfinal.

“We have some unfinished business, and we can’t wait to get after it,” said Gray, the nation’s top-ranked running back. “The team is doing great, and we are working hard. I have to change gears because it’s playoff time, and anything can happen.”

Gray rushed for 220 yards and four touchdowns against Stephenville. He has rushed for 3,308 yards and 58 touchdowns on the year and needs two touchdowns to break the single-season record he set last year.

Recruits scheduled for Bedlam

As Oklahoma State hosts Oklahoma in Saturday’s Bedlam Series, several major 2012 and 2013 recruits are expected to be in attendance. Among those standouts are four-star receiver Keon Hatcher (Owasso, Okla.) and four-star running back Barry Sanders (Oklahoma City, Okla./Heritage Hall).

An Arkansas commit, Hatcher is ranked No. 4 in the state. He is solid with the Razorbacks but picked up an offer from Oklahoma State earlier this week. Sanders, ranked No. 3 in the state and No. 6 nationally among running backs, has Oklahoma State – his Hall of Fame father’s alma mater – as one of his final four teams.

Also expected to take in the game are 2013 Watch List athletes defensive end D.J. Ward (Lawton, Okla.) and quarterback Brayden Scott (Tahlequah, Okla./Sequoyah). Ward has offers from both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, while Scott has received major interest from both schools.

Chance to prove Fab 50 reward

For weeks, Martin (Arlington, Texas) was looked at as just another decent team in Texas.

Amazing what a win over Trinity (Euless, Texas) can do for a team’s national reputation.

After knocking off Trinity last week, the Warriors went from unranked to No. 38 in the latest Fab 50. Trinity, now No. 41, was No. 7 in the nation before running into a Martin team that put together one of its best defensive performances in program history.

Martin will play for a spot in the Texas Class 5A Division I state semifinals Saturday against Carroll (Southlake, Texas) a postseason power in the Lone Star State. The Warriors feature five BCS commits, including four-star defensive end Devonte Fields (TCU) and three-star twin defensive backs Eric Amoako and Stephen Amoako (Oregon).

Top 2013 QBs to square off

As the Texas high school playoffs enter the fourth round, a spot in the state semifinals is available for teams this weekend. Two of the state’s top quarterbacks in the Class of 2013 will collide, as J.T. Barrett (Wichita Falls, Texas/Rider) will battle against Jordan Darling (Waco, Texas/Midway) in a Texas Class 4A Division I state quarterfinal.

Both quarterbacks have interest in Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor and TCU. Darling also is getting looks from Florida, while Barrett has Alabama, UCLA, Texas A&M and others interested.

Darling has been a very sound pro-style quarterback for Midway, and he has nearly doubled his 1,083 yards from his sophomore season. Barrett, a legitimate dual-threat quarterback, has thrown for 1,461 yards and 12 touchdowns and run for 1,188 yards and eight touchdowns.

Showcasing the next great ‘Citizens’

The 2009 Citizens Bank Bowl featured the biggest name in national junior college football in Cam Newton, then at Blinn College (Brenham, Texas) before going on to win a national title and the Heisman Trophy at Auburn.

Could the next big BCS star come from this bowl game? Fans will be treated to two of the best junior college teams in the country on Sunday, as Butler County Community College (El Dorado, Kan.) will play Trinity Valley Community College (Athens, Texas) in a clash of two teams ranked nationally in the NJCAA top 10. While Butler County is No. 3, Trinity Valley is No. 10.

One of several intriguing matchups to keep an eye on will be Butler County defensive end Demarcus Lawrence against the Trinity Valley offensive line. Lawrence, who has 67 tackles and 11 ½ sacks on the year, has offers from Oklahoma, Boise State, Minnesota and Indiana, among other schools.

The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Lawrence will take on a Trinity Valley offensive line that makes holes for its rushers and protects quarterback Tucker Carter in the pocket. With the help of linemen Nate Richards and Travon Carter, Trinity Valley is averaging roughly 480 yards and nearly 40 points per game.