Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Class 5A spring football: Ennis, South Oak Cliff brimming with DI talent in spring ranks
With the school year coming to a close, and families trying to figure out what to do over the summer, the start of the 2014 football season seems miles away. In truth, the first kickoff is in less than 90 days.
With the close of spring football practice, the SportsDayHS staff put its head together to give its best approximation of how the top teams in Class 5A stack up.
Terence Williams and Nick Gabriel carried Ennis to the state semifinals with a combined 3,466 yards of total offense and 54 touchdowns in 2013.
The standout duo will graduate out of the program, but coach Jack Alvarez is confident Ennis can put together a similar run without them.
“As far as speed, every back we put back there will be faster than the ones we are replacing,” Alvarez said. “They’re not as big. But they’ll all be faster.”
Alvarez said he looked at four running backs this spring: Taylor Thompson, Tae Robinson, Dee Wilson and Issac Montemayor.
Thompson played cornerback last year, and Robinson was a wide receiver. Wilson was a junior varsity running back, and Montemayor had 44 carries for 359 yards.
Ennis also has holes to fill on its offensive line, but sophomores-to-be Devin Collins (6-2, 295) and Trendon Rolen (6-3, 305) should fill in nicely.
Quarterback Devin Smith is a key returnee who threw for more than 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns. He’ll be the source of continuity on an offense lacking experience at skill positions.
The defense, on the other hand, is full of returners, including one of the area’s top-10 recruits in defensive lineman James Lockhart. Ennis has two corners, a safety and two linebackers back in the fold, as well.
“Defense is our strength,” Alvarez said. “It’s going to give [the offense] the chance to catch up, and they’ll be good enough to catch up.”
South Oak Cliff
South Oak Cliff has nine players on SportsDay’s Top 100 area recruiting rankings, blowing away every other school in the area.
All of that talent attracted “anywhere between 70 and 85” college recruiters this spring, South Oak Cliff coach Emmett Jones said.
“Some days I couldn’t leave the building from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. because as soon as two scouts leave, two more show up,” Jones said. “It’s a good deal, but it sometimes takes you out of your normal routine.”
Two standout South Oak Cliff athletes committed before spring football: wide receiver J.F. Thomas to TCU and defensive back Prentice McKinney to Notre Dame.
Jones estimated up to 35 new offers were made to his players this spring.
Four defensive backs have already committed or have major college offers, including McKinney. Jamile Johnson is an Oklahoma pledge, and Takadrae Williams and X’zaviaen Ausborne have offers from Wisconsin and Louisville.
Running back Jordan Stevenson, a Texas pledge, is ranked No. 16 in the area.
“Texas is very lucky to get that guy,” Jones said. “He’s the best running back in the state, if you ask me.”
CLASS 5A SPRING RANKINGS
2. Mesquite Poteet
4. South Oak Cliff
6. Mans. Timberview
7. West Mesquite
9. McKinney North