Written by Matt Wixon
Xavier Washington, Kent Myers know pressure of waiting for late offer
Undersized playmakers don’t always get early attention from schools
The last six weeks have been exciting, tiring and confusing for Cedar Hill defensive end Xavier Washington.
The exciting moments came on the field, where Washington was named the Defensive MVP of the Class 5A Division II title game in December and played in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl on Jan. 5.
Then came the tiring process of taking recruiters’ calls. “All day, every day,” Washington said last week.
And then the confusing part:
Why weren’t those calls ending with scholarship offers?
“Especially after the state championship,” Washington said, “I was really, really surprised that I didn’t have everyone knocking on my door.”
There were quite a few knocks, or at least phone calls, for Washington (6-1, 235). But until this week, his best offers were from North Texas and Houston.
Good schools. Good opportunities. But not as grandiose as Washington envisioned when he was capping a dominant season with nine tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in the championship game.
Sachse quarterback Kent Myers can empathize. Over the last two seasons, Myers piled up more than 6,000 yards passing, threw for 70 touchdowns with only 12 interceptions, and also ran for 27 scores. The 6-1, 180-pound senior orally committed to Utah State on Sunday.
Again, it’s a good school and a good opportunity. Myers will get to learn from Utah State star quarterback Chuckie Keeton, who played at Houston Cypress Creek and will be a senior in the fall.
But Myers’ first hope was to stay close to home and play for a Big 12 school.
“It was frustrating,” Myers said. “A lot of the [recruiters from] big schools would say we’re going to talk to the coach and keep recruiting you and let you know. It kept on going and going, and I haven’t gotten those offers.”
Myers, like Washington, would have more offers if he were a couple of inches taller. He chose Utah State over New Mexico, Navy and Air Force.
“I feel relief,” he said, “that I do have a spot and I’m all set.”
At least 99 percent set. Myers is also a standout baseball player and would like to play football and baseball in college. Utah State doesn’t have a Division I baseball program, so what if a Big 12 school swooped in with an offer before Wednesday’s national signing day?
I wouldn’t expect Myers to answer that question. But I don’t think anyone could criticize a player, especially one who feels under-recruited, from considering late offers from bigger programs.
And those last-minute offers are coming. It happens every year as players change commitments, starting a domino effect that opens up scholarships.
Last year, DeSoto linebacker Taylor Young, who many recruiters passed over because he was 5-10, bumped from Louisiana-Monroe to Baylor in the final weeks of recruitment. Cedar Hill quarterback Damion Hobbs was committed to Utah State before Oregon offered a scholarship a week before signing day. Lancaster defensive back Dakota Austin, who made campus visits to Nevada and UNLV late in the recruiting process, ended up signing with Oklahoma.
Until a player signs, the recruiting race — or chaos, madness or whatever — isn’t over. Early this week, as Washington was weighing whether to sign with UNT or Houston, Northwestern offered a scholarship. He’s planning a visit to the Evanston, Ill., campus this weekend.
The offer comes in the wake of Frisco Wakeland defensive end Noah Westerfield switching his commitment from Northwestern to California.
One domino falls, another recruit rises. For Washington, who produced a lot of late-game excitement on the field, it’s the late recruiting push he had been hoping for. The excitement is back.
“Wherever I go, I’m going to produce,” Washington said. “And if you don’t sign me, you’re going to have to play against me.”
Three area players whose recruiting stock rose in the last few months
SMU, Rutgers, other schools interested, but Griffith says he’s solidly committed to La.-Monroe
Elliott (6-4, 275) was lightly recruited until after season, when TCU and Texas Tech made pushes
Keller Fossil Ridge
Skipped football soph. and jr. years to focus on basketball, but starred as senior
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