DALLAS - On Saturday afternoon, Rivals.com kicked off its Five-Star Academies in Dallas, Texas and "The Big D" lived up to its name. With over 250 of the top juniors in Texas in attendance, Rivals.com got an up-close and personal look at some of the future household names of 2008.
Among those in attendance for the event held at SMU were players from east Texas, west Texas and inner-city Dallas, along with some inter-state travelers from Oklahoma and Arkansas. The Academy hosted a slew of speedy skill players and some players from the trenches that could barely fit through the doorways.
One of the top names on the list was a player that wasn't on many teams radars not too long ago. Ryan Mossakowski out of Frisco (Texas) Centennial turned a lot of heads at the U.S. Army Combine in San Antonio and recently found his name on the newly amended Rivals100 for the class of 2009. Mossakowski proved that he has the size to play quarterback at the next level, measuring in at 6' 3 ½'' and 201 pounds.
Another player that made a name for himself at the U.S. Army Combine that decided to appear at SMU was Denton (Texas) Guyer offensive tackle Kyle Clark. The athletic lineman tipped the scales at 267 pounds and measured in at 6-foot-5 even.
Chris Williams made the trip to Dallas from Abilene, Texas and it was easy to see why schools such as Baylor, Arizona and Texas Tech have already extended offers to the athletic outside linebacker. At 6-feet even, Williams weighed in at a healthy 230 pounds of lean muscle and carries the weight very well.
A pair of Wichita Falls, Texas teammates was on hand following their 12-1 campaign this season. Jurell Thompson and Shavodrick Beaver was a runningback-quarterback duo that proved hard to stop this season. Thompson rushed for nearly nine yards per carry and 15 touchdowns as a junior while Beaver passed for 31 touchdowns and over 2,600 yards.
Though Beaver and Thompson had to come quite a ways to make it to the SMU campus, one group of athletes just had to go up the street. Dallas (Texas) Skyline finished of a wildly successful season in 2007 thanks in large part to a host of major Division I prospect. It looks as though 2008 will have its fair share of Skyline talent as well.
Jonathan Rivers, Chris Frazier James White, Steve Williams and 2010 prospect Corey Nelson all made an appearance. White is an all-purpose running back with several early Big 12 offers. Williams is likely to be a highly-recruited prospect as well and Nelson is the name to know for the future at Skyline.
Another local recruit with some offers in his back pocket was Terdema Ussery. The Dallas (Texas) St. Mark's prospect is a big strong wide receiver that looked the part on Saturday. He measured in at 6' 3 ½'' and 185 pounds and sports an offer from Jim Harbaugh and Stanford.
Among several players that passed the eyeball test on the day was Killeen offensive lineman Rhontae Scales. At just under 6-foot-6, Scales weighed in at 299 pounds and should be a name to watch in the 2009 class.
With too many big names to list, the Dallas event once again brought out some of the top players in the state and the country and set the bar high for the future Five-Star Academies, including the Sunday event just South at the University of Houston.