Lancaster (Texas) High school out of the greater Dallas area had one of the top secondaries in the entire nation – if not the best – in 2008. With prospects out of the 2009 class already committed to major colleges and more just waiting to commit and sign, it would seem that teams can breathe easier in 2009, but more talent remains.
Tyler Stephenson managed to sneak his way onto the field this season among the highly touted group and more than held his own. In fact, Stephenson has a chance to be the best of the lot, strong words to say the least. He made the most of his fall with the seniors.
"It was real good because over the course of the season we got closer and the older guys would help the younger guys," Stephenson said. "When we were in certain situations they would always give us advice."
Now that those players are gone, Stephenson is ready to take over the leadership role that he is expected to fill.
"The majority of the team, they were seniors," he said. "So me and some of the other guys need to step up and be leaders on and off the field."
While Stephenson knows there are a lot of areas that he needs to improve on in the future, he also knows that he has plenty of athleticism to spare. Just look at his track times for proof. Stephenson is already one of the top track athletes in the state of Texas and finished second in the state as a sophomore in the 300 meter hurdles.
"I run the 110 and the 300 hurdles and the 4x400 this year," he said. "In the 110 my best time is a 14.04, in the 300 hurdles it's a 37.08."
Those elite times will make Stephenson a hot commodity for college track coaches but college football coaches are already showing him plenty of attention as well. Stephenson has been invited to junior days at Nebraska and LSU and he already has one offer.
"I already have one offer and that's from North Carolina but I have been getting a lot of mail," he said. "I'm receiving the most interest from Miami, LSU, Nebraska, NC State and Oregon."
Stephenson is still rapidly improving as a corner and should develop into one of Texas' best at that position. He also hopes to do both track and football in college, something he looks more than capable of accomplishing.