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March 7, 2005

A lasting impression

HOUSTON - So much of the recruiting process is about making a great first impression and often that first impression is based upon passing what college coaches call the eyeball test.

Simply put - do you look like a Division I player?

At the Rivals.com Junior Day last Saturday at Rice University several players definitely passed the test with flying colors, especially Houston Clear Brook standout Kevin Whitaker. The 6-foot-3, 219-pounder looked like he was physically ready to step on the field right away.

With early attention coming from Texas, LSU, Oklahoma, Iowa, Texas AM and Florida, don't be surprised if Whitaker's name moves up the charges as the spring evaluation period kicks into gear. Whitaker will camp this summer at LSU, Oklahoma and at Texas A&M.

"I'm an aggressive, smart and hard-hitting player," Whitaker said. "I'm also smart enough to read my keys and know where the ball goes."

Another player that definitely passed the eyeball test was Pasadena (Texas) Dobie receiver Xavier Bowman. Using Rice University's official measuring equipment, Bowman came in at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds.

As a junior, Bowman earned second-team all-district honors as a receiver, but he also spent time at quarterback but most are projecting him as a solid possession receiver on the next level. There are already a few colleges that have stepped to the plate as Bowman said he's picked up offers from TCU and Iowa and he's also interested in Texas A&M, N.C. State, Oklahoma and Texas Tech. He plans to camp this summer at A&M and Oklahoma.

Grand Prairie (Texas) South Grand Prairie defensive tackle Brodrick Monroe also impressed physically coming in at 6-foot-1 and 307 pounds. With his frame it was easy to see how he was able to bench press 355 pounds and squat 475.

As mentioned in previous articles about the Houston Junior Day, star receiver Artrell Woods and Jarrod Johnson were impressive looking. Woods officially measured in at 6-foot and 183 pounds and Johnson was 6-foot-5 and 219 pounds. Woods has an early offer from Texas A&M and Johnson is committed to the Aggies in both football and basketball.

Corpus Christi (Texas) Carroll standout Pryce Macon, Aldine (Texas) Eisenhower safety Mister Alexander and LaMarque, Texas, receiver Jared Perry also all impressed with their frames and build. Macon was 6-foot-1 and 258 pounds, Alexander was 6-foot-2 and 183 pounds, and Perry came in at 6-foot and 156 pounds.

While there were plenty of talented good looking athletes at the event, there were some very impressive looking offensive and defensive linemen, too.

Houston Worthing defensive lineman Eric Smith tipped the scales at 6-foot-5 and 329 pounds. He earned first-team all-district honors as a junior and could be a name to watch in his senior season. Will Pekar of Shiner (Texas) St. Paul plays small private school ball but with a 6-foot-5, 303-pound frame, he's bound to be looked at by somebody. Jersey Village, Texas, offensive guard Daniel Seahorn has been talked about quite a bit so far early in the process and he measured in at an impressive 6-foot-3 and 274 pounds.

Several skill positions were loaded with quality looking kids.

The most impressive from a physical standpoint looked like Bay City, Texas, athlete Da'Marcus Griggs (6-0 , 158), receiver Leon Mickens (6-0 , 167) of Palestine, Texas, Jordan Walker (6-0 , 184) of San Marcos, Texas, and Sam Proctor (6-0 , 194) of Pasadena (Texas) Dobie. There were countless others that also passed the test but these were the ones that stood out the most from the skill positions.

There were others that also looked impressive physically:

-Houston Westside linebacker Jeff Edwards, a first-team all-district pick that is getting attention from Texas A&M, LSU and Kansas State, measured in at 6-foot-2 and 218 pounds.

-Houston Westfield outside linebacker Joshua Ellison, a second-team all-state selection, measured in at 6-foot-1 and 206 pounds.

-Defensive tackle Dan'Tay Ward of Waco, Texas, is a name to keep an eye on in Central Texas. Ward, an all-district pick in 2004, measured 6-foot-2 and 291 pounds.

-Houston Madison teammates James Dancy and Donnell Williams were quite impressive physically. Dancy came in at 6-foot-1 and 249 pounds and it was easy to see why he earned second-team all-district honors as a junior.

Williams was probably the better looking of the two physically as he came in at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds. With that frame and build it's easy to see why he's considered one of the best hitters in inner-city Houston.

-Pflugerville (Texas) Connally athlete Antwon Williams (6-3, 202) was also a very impressive prospect from Central Texas.


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