Who stood out at the ETSN.fm + APEC Football Recruiting Combine?
The second annual ETSN.fm + APEC Football Recruiting Combine was held this Sunday and featured over 100 of East Texas’ top prospects. Here is a quick roundup from the combine.
Recruiting heating up for Arp RB
East Texas always seems to produce quality small-school recruits, and 2015 is no exception.
Arp running back Marcalas Johnson was one of the top standouts at this weekend’s ETSN combine and is already attracting interest from an array of schools. Colorado State was the first to offer, and more should be on the way.
“Colorado State came to me and said I was the No. 1 man on their board, and they offered me, so that was really exciting,” Johnson said. “I’m really interested in them. I went up there a summer ago, and the campus is pretty awesome. It’s a really nice place.”
Johnson added that he plans on camping with Colorado State this summer. Other programs showing interest in the dynamite ball carrier include California, Stanford, Ole Miss and SMU.
The two Pac-12 schools have really caught his attention, and Johnson hopes to make a trip to the West Coast at some point this offseason.
“Cal and Stanford have been sending me some letters recently,” Johnson said. “It would definitely be really cool to play in the Pac-12. I’m also trying to play out of Texas, so it would be great to play over there. But Colorado State is the school that’s offered me, so I’m focused on them right now.”
With recruiting starting to heat up, Johnson knows he can’t lose focus on the task at hand — winning a state title. Last season, the 5-foot-9, 185-pounder rushed for 1,838 yards and 25 touchdowns and helped lead Arp to the area round of the playoffs.
“Spring went pretty good. Coach Irwin has us working really hard. We have a few spots to fill, but I think we will be all right though,” Johnson said. “We just have to keep working hard. State is our goal every year, and I’m hoping we can go undefeated.”
Johnson adding interest
Aside from have one of the coolest nicknames in the state, Waskom running back Justin ‘June Bug’ Johnson can flat out ball.
Last season, Johnson was part of one of the most prolific rushing attacks in the state tnat included four 1,000-yard rushers. In Waskom’s Flexbone offense, Johnson put up monster numbers — 1,429 yards rushing, 17 touchdowns — while playing quarterback, running back and kick returner.
His electric play on the field helped Waskom go from 4-6 to falling just one game of reaching the state championship.
“We should make it to state this year. There is no doubt in my mind because we got everybody back except two people,” Johnson said. “It’s a good thing that we have a lot of 1,000-yard rushers and a great offensive line. We should put up similar numbers this year.”
While Johnson, who stands at 5-foot-6, 150-pounds, isn’t your typical FBS recruit, his name has been popping up on some college radars as of late. North Texas and UTSA are two in-state programs showing interest, and Johnson hopes to nab offers when he makes it to their camps this summer.
“I plan to camp at North Texas with my cousin Kevin. My favorite color is green, so I wouldn’t mind playing for the Mean Green,” Johnson said with a laugh. “I just have to work on my footwork, and hopefully I can impress them, so I can walk away with an offer.
“I don’t know too much about UTSA, but I want to play in Texas, and I like that they are in San Antonio. One of their coaches came by this spring, and I hope to go down there this summer for one of their camps.”
Johnson said he would also be heading to camps at Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe and Tulsa over the next couple of months.
Five Quick Hits
- A sleeper to keep an eye on is Lindale defensive back Deandre Williams. Named the combine’s Defensive MVP, Williams checked in at 5-foot-9, 168 pounds and ran a 4.43 laser time. Williams picked off four passes in 2013 and is receiving interest from UTSA.
- The Offensive MVP went to Jacksonville quarterback Carter McCown. If his last name looks familiar, it is. His cousins, Josh and Luke, both played in the NFL, and McCown has the potential to follow in their footsteps. Last season, he passed for 2,289 yards, rushed for 853 yards and scored 26 total touchdowns. McCown has no offers but says Central Arkansas is his current leader.
- Van guard Wyatt Santos came away with the Offensive Line MVP. At 6-foot-2, 330-pounds, Santos is a force to be reckoned with in the trenches. He put up 19 reps on bench press (225 pounds) and just looks the part of an FBS-caliber offensive lineman. Santos, whose older brother Dalton plays linebacker at Texas, has no offers but is hearing from Arkansas, Houston and TCU.
- Waskom running back Kevin Johnson didn’t come away with any hardware, but that doesn’t meant he wasn’t just impressive as the MVP’s. Johnson ran a 4.42 laser time, a 4.19 shuttle and had a 127’ broad jump. At 5-foot-10, 165-pounds, Johnson is also getting some looks at defensive back and plans to camp at North Texas and Tulsa this summer. Johnson rushed for 1,860 yards and 26 touchdowns last season.
- Two 2016 prospects that turned some heads were Nacogdoches defensive back Corey Lane and Frankston wide receiver Kendrick Rogers. Lane, the younger brother of highly touted 2015 prospect Jaylon, holds a Louisiana Tech offer while Rogers, who is an intriguing wideout at 6-foot-4, 185-pounds, has offers from North Texas and SMU.
EJ Holland is the associate editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.
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