Nick's Pick Six: Names you should know this season and next
As the halfway mark of the football’s regular season approaches, there are a number of players that Rivals.com analyst Nick Krueger is intrigued by in the state of Texas. Many of the top prospects in the state are already accounted for, but here is a quick look at three quarterbacks and three offensive linemen whose recruitment has yet to start in earnest, but shouldn’t be overlooked by FBS programs.
Chase Griffin is an interesting story going back to last year in terms of his development as a player. Prior to the months leading up to his junior season this year, he struggled with consistency and accuracy, but by the end of this past summer, he’s made great improvement as a passer and is making a name for himself in central Texas. Griffin is going to have to work through the stigma of his sub-six-foot stature, but he’s started the season as one of the top QB’s in 5A, with 1,376 yards passing and 12 touchdowns to just one interception through his first four games. The pacing and touch he’s shown on his passes to start the year has stomped out most of the criticisms of his game heading into this season.
Bonus Pick: 2019 running back and teammate of Griffin’s Chux Nwabuko is another interesting prospect from Hutto. Like Griffin, Nwabuko is somewhat of an undersized prospect at his position, but on any given play, he can be shot from a cannon and towards the end zone in the blink of an eye.
Robert Turner is a 2019 quarterback that is likely going to continue flying under the radar a little bit, and as time passes, may see his interest come as much as an athlete as a passer. However, he showed at numerous events over the spring and summer that he is a decisive and dynamic quarterback, and for now, that can’t be discounted. Hurricane Harvey has disrupted the start to his season - along with many other schools in the Houston area - and in last week’s 55-0 win over Klein Forest, teammate Dexter Johnson had an exceptional day running the ball, so Turner has yet to really have an opportunity to really take center stage on offense this season. He has great vision as a ball-carrier, a tight and snappy delivery as a passer, and an in-control attitude when it comes to making plays from any position on the field.
Ken Seals is a 2020 prospect that has already generated some degree of interest from those keeping track of up-and-coming prospects, but he is worth mentioning again in a group of underclassmen Texas QB’s that should be watched. 2018 hasn’t quite yielded as inspiring a group of passers as the previous year, but 2019 and 2020 have some names to know. So far through four games this season, Seals has thrown for 904 yards and 10 touchdowns to just one interception for a Weatherford team that isn’t doesn’t have an excess of talent offensively. Seals is a little more of
Bonus Picks: Two other underclassmen names that have really created a buzz to start this season are 2019 Houston-St. Thomas quarterback Peyton Matocha and 2021 Dallas Parish Episcopal passer Preston Stone. Matocha recently camped at Notre Dame and Stone has started the season with some gaudy numbers in Parish Episcopal’s first few games this season.
Maybe it’s the glasses, but there is definitely something of a Clark Kent/Superman thing going on with Joshua McCulloch after this past offseason. Despite showing out at numerous events - including the Rivals Three Stripe Camps presented by adidas, offers haven’t really materialized for the big man. Perhaps the hangup is that physically, he is shaped a little differently than other top offensive linemen, or that he’s too pleasant of a guy when talking to him off the field. However, when the whistle blows, and it’s his turn to move the person in front of him, his ferocity comes out and it’s hard to argue with his effectiveness as a blocker.
Izeya Floyd caught my attention this summer at the Dallas leg of the Lone Star Prospects Showcase. The camp didn’t feature a particularly deep group in terms of linemen, but Floyd would have been a standout regardless of the level of talent around him. With thick arms and a powerful base, Floyd showed the ability to square up and stonewall pass-rushers with ease. His feet were surprisingly quick, and after watching his film from the first four games of this season, it’s clear he’s a force as a run-blocker and capable of paving the way for running backs on screen passes. Floyd is an athletic interior lineman that shouldn’t go unoffered.
Gilmer is a 4A power that isn’t sneaking up on anyone as a team, but a number of the Buckeyes players aren’t such a known commodity - particularly 2020 offensive lineman Devon King. King showed me last week in his game against Carthage that he was the most powerful - and most athletic - offensive lineman for either team. He’s quick off the ball, does a great job of anchoring down against opposing linemen, and looks to make multiple blocks on plays rather than trying to get his pancake and leaving things at that.