A 5A state championship in 2006 and a solid 12-2 season in 2008 with a lot of youth on the roster has people keeping close watch of Cedar Hill going into the fall of 2009.
Head coach Joey McGuire doesn't want to get too caught up in potential. He's more interested in the details this spring. As the Longhorns march towards the end of their spring next week, McGuire also has several recruits on the roster that have either committed or are still weighing an ever-growing list of options.
"The three that are committed are really special," McGuire said. "Aaron Benson going to Texas, he's having a great spring. The things we've asked him to do is really be a leader out there on the field and be a little more vocal. Everybody respects him. He has done that. He's had so many older linebackers around him and he's been on varsity for so long since playing as a freshman. So he really hadn't had to do that."
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McGuire is excited about his other two commitments for a lot of similar reasons, but also because they're the first two players to commit to Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
"I'm really excited about Adam Shead because I haven't had a Sooner yet," McGuire said. "I haven't had an Aggie yet with Ben Malena. Those are my first two and I'm really excited about both of those guys. Malena is probably 205 pounds right now. He played last year at about 193 and man, he's really had a great off-season.
"He's stronger, he's faster, and he's going to be tough to handle. A&M is getting a special back."
Shead, who made a commitment to Oklahoma just last week, is certainly not lacking in size.
"Adam is a guy who is a real physical guard," McGuire said about the future Sooner. "He's somebody right now that has probably had his best spring. He's about 315 right now, but I've asked him to really work on getting down to 295. I think lineman, the better shape that they are, then the better leaders they can be. I want him to do that and be able to play and be vocal."
Things don't stop there in terms of prospects. Three other prospects already have scholarship offers in hand, but have yet to make a commitment. Those include defensive tackle LarryJr Moore who has one offer from Tulsa, safety Elisha Olabode who has multiple offers, and rising prospect Josh Allen who is really being projected all over.
"Josh Allen is an interesting kid because he's 6-3, we were playing him at left tackle and people were coming in saying, 'well, he's going to have to play center' or 'maybe we can look at him at defensive end.' We've moved him to center. So he's gone from kind of an undersized, athletic tackle to a good size center. He's 6-3, about 270 pounds. We were really excited about that move.
"Kansas' offensive line coach was here today to watch practice, Nebraska is coming back to watch practice," McGuire said. "Those two are really interested in him. He has one offer from Minnesota."
Last but not least is a kicker that McGuire feels is on the verge of big looks. Miami was recently by to check this prospect out – Eduardo Camara.
"…I'm anxious to see if they pull the trigger on him," McGuire said. "I feel like, he hasn't been offered yet, but I feel like he's the best kicker in the nation…"
Overall, there is "potential" for a lot of big things for Cedar Hill in '09. McGuire doesn't want to get too caught up in that aspect, but rather on making sure all the little things are done right.
"Potential can be an evil word because you start assuming a lot of stuff as a team," McGuire said. "That's something we really emphasize in the off-season. Just because we had a good year last year, and we have a lot of people coming back, we don't just want to assume we're going to be a good team.
"We're putting a lot of pressure on them during spring football. Anything, any little thing they're not doing right, we're hammering on because this could be a special team."