A sleeping giant is stirring in Houston’s inner city.
Jack Yates High School, a one-time legendary football machine, enters 2004 with a new a den of Lions who may resurrect Yates back to “King of the Jungle” status.
Linebacker Tyrell Graham anchors a defense that could be one of the best in the talented Houston Independent School District. Graham (6-3, 210-pounds) played his junior season with a broken wrist and a concussion, and looks forward to a healthy senior season.
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He enters the 2004 campaign with offers from Oklahoma State and Grambling State University, as TCU, LSU, UCLA, Miami and Nebraska wait to see Graham’s test scores.
“I’ve always like Miami, but it is so competitive for playing time,” he said. “I really like Oklahoma State, LSU and UCLA. I’d like to play out of state and don’t have much interest in Texas or Texas A&M.”
Schools project Graham as an outside linebacker – unless he improves his 40-yard-dash and moves to safety.
“I’m trying to get my time down under 4.6, but I’ve only run it once,” he said. “I’m also retaking the SAT to get my score up. That is what I’ll be doing this summer.”
Moving to defense after two all-district seasons at offensive line, Quentin Smith combines the size and speed necessary to play defensive end.
Smith (6-4, 240-pounds) has offers from Arkansas, Iowa, Houston, Louisiana Tech, Grambling and Alcorn State to date, while favoring Houston, Texas A&M, Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.
“Schools talked to my coach about moving me to the defensive line because they like my size and speed,” he said. “They see me putting on some weight in college and keeping my speed down.”
Patrolling the secondary is Quinte Williams – a 6-1, 180-pound hard-hitting safety. Williams had four interceptions last season and doubles as a wide receiver for the Lions.
“I’ve been asked by a few schools if I’d like to play as a big cornerback,” he said. “I’d be happy to make the move if I can get on the field.”
Williams has an offers from Oklahoma State, Houston and Grambling State and is being hotly pursued by Oklahoma and Iowa.
“I really like Oklahoma State – they are my favorite right now,” he said.
Offensively, Dante Higgins will be reeling in the receptions in 2004. Higgins (5-11, 175-pounds) is a first-team, all-district selection with 4.4 speed. He has also been offered by Grambling State and is getting serious looks from Oklahoma State, Houston, Arkansas and Iowa.