New 2019 State Rankings: The Lone Star State
The Texas state rankings expanded from 75 to 100 total players in 2019 with its most recent release on Sunday. Movement was abundant coming out of the spring across several positions, and now a number of players could be primed to make critical jumps in the summer after making the rounds on the college camp circuit. For now, here is a look at some of the themes that emerged in the most recent release:
1. Movement at wide receiver
The move that may garner the most attention here is the drop of Arjei Henderson from a five-star to a high four-star prospect, tucking in behind Jordan Whittington – who is listed as an athlete, but expected to play wide receiver in college. In several events this spring, the extra effort and concentration seemed to be lacking with Henderson, who was already coming off an early exit to an otherwise nondescript Future 50 showing in January. His explosive talent should keep him in the conversation of recapturing his previous status in the fall, but he has some ground to make up.
Meanwhile, Garrett Wilson and Trejan Bridges made big moves forward after consistently proving that they are both not only increasingly consistent, but still growing as players while dominating competition each time out. Elijah Higgins is such a big wide receiver that many have floated the idea that he might grow into a tight end, but he made a climb in the rankings because he’s been so strong since his recruitment took off following a jaw-dropping performance in the Army Combine, followed by frequent monster showings at camps and 7-on-7 tournaments ever since.
Kam Brown and Tamauzia Brown more or less held serve where they were, but be on the lookout for Jaylen Ellis, T.Q. Jackson and Langston Anderson – all of whom made their debuts on the most recent list – to continue their charge by the end of the summer.
2. The gap is closing at quarterback
Behind Grant Gunnell, the next tier of quarterbacks in the state consists of Grant Tisdale and Roschon Johnson – both of whom have been solid four-star prospects, but could be losing ground to the trio of Jacob Clark, Jacob Zeno and Maverick McIvor. Clark and McIvor weren’t even in the previous rendition of the rankings, but after convincing springs, could really shake up the final order of where the quarterbacks fall in the state's coming updates. Shae Suiaunoa also makes his debut in the rankings, and though he is still listed as an athlete, he has maintained that those recruiting him have been considering him as a dual-threat quarterback and he could be due to throw his name into the mix as well.
With big senior seasons, Chris Herron and Terrance Gipson could possibly find their ways into the conversation as well. Gipson just missed the rankings cut, and Herron held steady. Both have impressive physical elements to the their games as dual-threat QBs and if they can tighten up some other aspects, could position themselves to make some noise as well in future updates.
3. Running back depth is beginning to show itself
Isaiah Spiller dropped a bit in the Rivals250 , but is the at the top of the state’s running back class in 2019. Titus Swen’s overall ranking fell as well in this update, but moving him over to running back from athlete bolstered the overall quality of the group. Even though he’s built to be a physical force, he’s a great pass-catcher and joins a group of other backfield prospects that are clear receiving weapons. Darrin Smith has been one of the most notable names in that regard and made a nice move up in this go-round.
Darwin Barlow slipped a bit, but Deondrick Glass and Qualan Jones have stayed well in the top half of the rankings and King Doerue is inching his way up the rankings as well. Sincere McCormick is the final name in the rankings and benefits from the added spots in this release. In similar fashion to the quarterbacks, running backs are starting to set the table for some possible shuffling with the fall approaching.
4. Position switches at defensive end pay dividends
A number of players moved to weakside defensive end in this rankings release, and in the process moved up within the state rankings. Colt Ellison picked up his fourth star and was an obvious mover forward, as he benefited the most in the rankings. Meanwhile, NaNa Osafo-Mensah and Steven Parker made modest moves in the rankings but benefited moving into their new group.
Although the moves in actual ranking may not be quite as dramatic player-to-player as some of the other positions, the stable increased to six players ranked overall, and the defensive end group as a whole is starting to blossom a bit as the summer rolls on. Peter Mpagi has become a likely player to shift to weakside defensive end as well by the end of summer, but moved up the state rankings as an individual thanks to strong camp performances all spring.
5. Notable debuts
In addition to the previous players mentioned to making their first appearances at various other points in the state rankings, several other players are making the list for the first time. Zach Zimos is among the highest as a rangy outside linebacker and a new four-star prospect. High three-star athlete Peyton Powell has been a popular name after impressing college assistants all spring and is a name to know going forward as well. Corey Williams has been as impressive a slot receiver prospect as there has been in the state this spring and punishing offensive tackle Blake Trainor is starting to flesh out the position’s ranking strength as well.
TCU commit Donovann Collins makes the list for the first time after having a strong season last year. Two players in particular that have made their mark this spring as wide receivers, Calvin Wiggins and Jaylen Hearst, have enjoyed seeing their recruitments ignite – Hearst as a 7-on-7 star and Wiggins after an incredible performance in the Dallas Rivals 3 Stripe Camp presented by adidas following his call back in the Rivals adizero combine on the previous day.
RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK COVERAGE
Monday: Top 10 players revealed | Who was the hardest to rank? | Making the case for the top 10 | A closer look at who is No. 1 | Adam Gorney's Take Two | Stingley's rise to No. 1 | Godfather & Gorney Podcast
Wednesday: New Rivals250 released | Who did each analyst go to bat for the most? | Five schools that should be most pleased with new rankings | Rivals Rankings Podcast | Rivals250 by the numbers | Should Gunnell have dropped that far? | Take Two
Saturday: Team rankings breakdown