North of Dallas on U.S. Highway 75 is a blue-chip factory called Allen High School. In 2005, the school sent seven players to the Division I rankings – including four-star defensive end Marcus Shavers.
The class of 2006 doesn't appear to be loaded with as much top-level talent, but the 2007 class is simply loaded and is lead by safety Chima Nwachukwu. The 6-foot, 180-pound Nwachukwu will be next in line at Allen, joining teammate Nathan Dick as two of the Lone Star State's better prospects for 2007.
"We know what playing big-time football is all about," Nwachukwu said when talking about what it's like to play at Allen. "We know what to expect and what the head coach wants out of us every time.
"Some times there is a lot of pressure on us to win every year, and there is a big target on our back. Everybody is gunning for us, and we think that only makes us better in the end."
And that pressure has transformed Nwachukwu one of the state's top underclassmen.
"I see the coverages and see some of the routes before they develop," he said. "I like to come downhill and tackle. I'll hit you hard, and that's one of the best things I like about being a free safety. I like being able to hit, cover and be part of the defense.
"The free safety is the quarterback of the defense, and I like that responsibility."
While it's very early for Nwachukwu to think much about recruiting at this point, he said he's visited local schools SMU and TCU unofficially already. But he does have a dream school in mind.
"I love the Gators," he said. "I've always loved the Gators. I just like their program, their style of play and how they always win."