Few Class of 2024 prospects have made as big of an impact on the field or as much noise in recruiting circles as Duncanville hybrid linebacker Colin Simmons.
Simmons has been one of the top sophomore standouts throughout Texas high school football during the first half of the regular season, and he’s stepped up as one of the Panthers’ most dependable, versatile defenders in his first year as a full-time varsity starter.
His production has started to pay dividends on the recruiting trail now with Simmons landing his first SEC offer from Arkansas on Sunday, one day after the Razorbacks made a seismic impact on the Texas high school football recruiting landscape by notching back-to-back wins against Texas and Texas A&M.
Simmons’ teammate, senior linebacker Jordan Crook, committed to the Razorbacks in late July.
His offer from Arkansas was one of three from Power Five programs after being offered by Kansas on Tuesday and the Longhorns after Week 4. He now holds six DI offers from a list of programs that also includes Marshall, Michigan State and SMU.
Simmons, a four-star prospect, is regarded by 247 Sports as one of the top 50 Class of 2024 recruits nationally, a top-five linebacker prospect nationally and one of the top 10 sophomores in Texas.
He’s been one of the most reliable defenders in Class 6A this season and has provided Duncanville with an ultra-versatile playmaker defensively. His athleticism, strength and 6-foot-1, 210 pound frame make him a powerful pass rusher and relentless run stopper who can also drop back in coverage.
He played a key role in the Panthers’ back-to-back wins over DeSoto and Waco Midway to start district play. Simmons and Duncanville’s defense held Midway to 27 total yards in a 76-0 win in Week 5.
“It’s big, but it’s really nothing. We’re trying to get that state championship honestly. That’s our main focus: trying to get that chip and that ring,” Simmons said after the Panthers’ victory against DeSoto in their district opener. “We’ve been getting more disciplined. We need to keep the energy great. If we keep that high energy, everyone is going to keep on rolling and doing good.”
Simmons and Duncanville (3-1, 2-0), the No. 6 team in SBLive’s Texas Top 50 rankings, enter a bye week with their sights set on picking up their fourth straight victory on the road against Mansfield Lake Ridge (0-5, 0-2) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 8.
PORT ARTHUR MEMORIAL’S JAYLON GUILBEAU COMMITS TO HORNED FROGS
Port Arthur Memorial defensive back Jaylon Guilbeau became the latest standout Class of 2022 recruit to announce his commitment in the Lone Star State.
Guilbeau verbally committed to TCU on Sunday, becoming the 10th member of the Horned Frogs’ 2022 recruiting class and the program’s fifth commit from Texas. He joins Gladewater wideout DJ Allen, Klein Cain receiver Matthew Golden, Mansfield Summit defensive lineman Joseph Adedire and Everman offensive lineman Seth Martin.
Guilbeau, a four-star prospect and Adidas High School All-American, committed to Texas in September 2020 but reopened his recruitment in July. He’s considered one of the top 30 seniors throughout the state and a top 20 cornerback recruit nationally by 247 Sports.
He’s also the Horned Frogs’ highest-rated commit of the current recruiting cycle and picked TCU after being offered by two dozen DI programs including Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Texas A&M and USC among others.
Guilbeau, a third-year starter, has established a reputation as one of the state’s hardest-hitting, lockdown corners and an explosive special teams contributor.
He earned first team all-district honors for the second straight season as a junior in 2020 after tallying 40 tackles and four interceptions. This season he returned the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown in the Titans’ Week 3 loss to Crosby.
Several of Guilbeau’s teammates at Port Arthur Memorial also announced their college commitments this week.
Senior defensive end Christian Thomas verbally committed on Sunday as well and chose Northwestern State after receiving offers from the Demons and Texas Southern. Senior quarterback Jah’mar Sanders, meanwhile, chose to stay close to home by announcing his pledge to Lamar on Saturday.
Thomas racked up 12 sacks en route to winning District 9-5A DI’s Defensive Player of the Year award as a junior last season. Sanders, one of top dual-threat quarterbacks throughout Class 5A, was named the district’s most valuable player for the 2020 season after throwing for 2,057 yards and 17 touchdowns and running for 1,163 yards and 20 TDs.
Guilbeau, Sanders, Thomas and Port Arthur Memorial (3-1, 1-0) return to the gridiron to face Baytown Goose Creek Memorial (1-3, 0-1) at 7 p.m. Friday at Baytown’s Stallworth Stadium.
BURLESON SOPHOMORE QB DYLAN RAIOLA RECEIVES OFFER FROM TEXAS
Another one of the Class of 2024 prospects that’s already blowing up on the recruiting trail like Duncanville’s Simmons has been Burleson quarterback Dylan Raiola.
Raiola, son of former Nebraska All-American and longtime Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola, has already garnered offers from top-tier programs across the country representing every Power Five conference.
He’s rated as a high-end four-star prospect by 247 Sports, which also considers him one of the top 10 sophomores around the state and the third-ranked Class of 2024 quarterback recruit nationally.
After a busy summer Burleson’s signal caller earned a trio of offers from San Diego State and West Virginia after passing for 503 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a Week 3 shootout loss to Azle. He added his biggest offer yet to his growing collection earlier this week, though, when he was officially offered by Texas.
Raiola visited Austin on a recruiting trip this past weekend for the Longhorns’ home win against Texas Tech, where he was extended an offer from Texas on Saturday before leaving campus.
In his first season as Burleson’s varsity starter at quarterback, Raiola has thrown for 1,505 yards and 11 TDs on 105-of-166 passing and run for 46 yards and four rushing scores.
His 6-foot-3 frame gives him the arm strength to be a prolific pocket passer and his football IQ will only continue to increase under the guidance of Elks’ head coach and former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna.
Raiola and Burleson (3-2, 1-1) will get back to work against Cleburne (3-2, 1-1) in an important District 5-5A DII contest after a bye week at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8 at Burleson Stadium.
ROCKWALL’S LEADING RECEIVER NOBLE JOHNSON DRAWS OFFER FROM MISSISSIPPI STATE
Johnson has been piling up DI offers since the high school football season kicked off in Texas a month ago. Rockwall’s junior wide receiver has picked up nine offers from DI programs since then, but none has been as compelling as his latest.
He was offered by Mississippi State on Monday, giving him his second from an SEC program and 12th overall. It marked his ninth offer in the last two weeks after receiving one from Baylor on Saturday hours after the Yellowjackets’ 79-71 double overtime loss to Rockwall Heath in the I-30 Classic.
Johnson previously landed six offers in two days from Arizona, Miami, Pittsburgh, USC, Utah and Virginia after going off for 241 yards and four touchdowns on 11 receptions in a 59-35 win over Lake Travis in Week 3.
The Bulldogs’ offer, though, carried extra significance since Rockwall senior quarterback Braedyn Locke committed to Mississippi State in May and Johnson is his favorite target.
Johnson has caught 26 passes for 496 yards and a team-high six receiving touchdowns through five games this season. He, Locke and the No. 13 Yellowjackets (3-2, 0-1) will face Mesquite (3-2, 1-0) in their return to action at 7 p.m. Friday at Rockwall’s Wilkerson-Sanders Stadium.
FORT BEND RIDGE POINT TRIO OFFERED BY BUFFALO WITHIN 24 HOURS
A trio of Fort Bend Ridge Point junior standouts earned offers from the same out-of-state DI program within 24 hours of one another.
Ridge Point teammates Taylor Davis, Ezell Jolly and DK Kalu were each offered by Buffalo on Tuesday, as the Bulls attempt to make a splash on the recruiting trail in the Lone Star State.
Buffalo is searching for the first Texas commit in its 2023 recruiting class and its first high school signee from Texas since 2009.
The Bulls’ offer represented the first from a DI program for Davis, a second-year starter at safety who was named the District 20-6A Defensive Newcomer of the Year after tallying 59 tackles, three interceptions, two pass deflections, a forced fumble, a tackle for loss and a defensive touchdown as a sophomore.
Davis has seven tackles and three picks through five games for the Panthers so far this season.
Jolly, a three-star Class of 2023 RB prospect, is rated by 247 Sports as one of the top 65 juniors throughout Texas and a top 25 running back recruit nationally. The offer from Buffalo gives him three from DI programs so far after garnering offers from Baylor in February and Colorado in August.
Jolly has taken over as Ridge Point’s featured back after running for 304 yards and two scores on 39 carries in limited action as a sophomore last year. He’s the team’s second-leading rusher halfway through the regular season with 285 yards and four rushing TDs in three games.
Kalu got off to an impressive start in his second season starting on the Panthers’ defensive line with three tackles, a pair of tackles for loss and an interception in two games.
He also notched PRs as a thrower in discus (129-1) and shot put (48-11.5) during track season as a sophomore and earned first team all-district honors last year after racking up 34 tackles, four tackles for loss and a sack in 11 games.
Kalu, son of former Rice defensive end and NFL veteran N.D. Kalu, has been tabbed a three-star defensive line recruit as well as one of the top 50 juniors in Texas and a top 55 D-line prospect nationally.
His offer from Buffalo currently gives him seven total from DI programs which include Baylor, Georgia Tech, Kansas State and TCU among others. The Bulls were the first team to present the Panthers’ 6-foot-2, 270-pound pass rusher with an official offer since the Horned Frogs and Wildcats in late April.
Davis, Jolly, Kalu and No. 27 Fort Bend Ridge Point (4-1, 1-0) will have the week off before hosting Fort Bend Dulles (2-3, 0-2) in their return to district competition at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8 at Missouri City’s Hall Stadium.
DENTON GUYER JUNIOR QB JACKSON ARNOLD PICKS UP TWO IN-STATE DI OFFERS
Another junior prospect in the DFW who has been tearing it on and off the field in recent weeks is Denton Guyer quarterback Jackson Arnold.
Arnold entered his first season as Guyer’s full-fledged starter behind center after backing up Texas A&M signee Eli Stowers as a freshman and sophomore, but had already picked up some significant game reps.
He was forced to step in as relief during the 6A DII state championship game as a freshman in 2019 after an injury sidelined Stowers. The Wildcats’ QB also threw for 140 yards on 15-of-26 passing and ran for 227 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 18 carries in limited action as a sophomore.
Arnold picked up two DI offers within 72 hours of one another, his first since the season began, after back-to-back big games against No. 11 Humble Atascocita and McKinney.
SMU extended him an offer last Thursday following a 29-of-41 performance for a career-high 337 passing yards and four total TDs in a victory against Atascocita.
He also earned an offer from Baylor on Sunday, two days after he threw for 296 yards and two TDs on 22-of-29 passing and ran for a team-high 73 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries in a win over McKinney.
Arnold, who has accounted for 1,156 passing yards and 14 total TDs through five games, has been ranked as a four-star recruit in addition to a top 10 quarterback prospect and one of the top 25 juniors throughout Texas.
His offers from the Bears and Mustangs gave him his 12th and 13th overall to date and four within the state of Texas including North Texas and TCU. They’re also the first offers extended to Guyer’s junior QB since Notre Dame and Tennessee in August.
Arnold and No. 4 Denton Guyer (5-0, 1-0) — the 19th-ranked team nationally in SBLive’s Power 25 — will look to keep rolling in Week 6 when they host Prosper (3-2, 0-1) at Denton’s C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.
FORT BEND MARSHALL’S JACOBE CHESTER DECOMMITS FROM KANSAS, REOPENS RECRUITMENT
Fort Bend Marshall senior safety Jacobe Chester became one of the most talented Texas high school football prospects to reopen his recruitment in recent weeks.
Chester announced his decision to decommit from Kansas on Tuesday after originally committing to the Jayhawks in March and visiting in June.
It’s a move that puts one of the state’s premier defensive backs back on the recruiting market.
Chester anchors a strong Marshall secondary alongside fellow senior safety Adari Haulcy, a Texas Sports Writers Association 5A honorable mention all-state pick in 2020, and has provided lockdown pass coverage for the Buffaloes’ air-tight defense.
Chester recorded 12 tackles, two tackles for loss and a pass deflection during his freshman campaign at Fort Bend Ridge Point in 2018. In his first year at Fort Bend Marshall, he tallied 23 tackles, two interceptions, two TFLs, two pass breakups, a sack and a fumble recovery as a junior.
Haulcy racked up 20 tackles, seven INTs, four pass deflections and a defensive touchdown last year. This season Chester and Haulcy have combined for 12 tackles and a forced fumble.
Chester, a three-star recruit, has been labeled as one of the top 200 Class of 2022 prospects throughout Texas by 247 Sports. He currently holds 11 offers, six of which have come since his commitment to KU in March, from FBS and FCS programs including Colorado, Houston, Liberty and Sam Houston State among others.
Chester, Haulcy and No. 20 Fort Bend Marshall (5-0, 3-0) will look to move one step closer to a District 11-5A DII championship and perfect regular season finish when they host Houston Sharpstown (1-3, 1-1) at 11 a.m. Saturday at Missouri City’s Hall Stadium.
MOUNT PLEASANT RECEIVER MILLER MCCRUMBY COMMITS TO ARKANSAS STATE
Mount Pleasant senior receiver Miller McCrumby was the latest Texas high school football star who decided to take his talents to the next level at an out-of-state program.
McCrumby announced his verbal commitment to Arkansas State on Tuesday to become the program’s first Texas commit and the highest-rated prospect in its 2022 recruiting class.
He also held offers from eight other FBS and FCS programs that included Colorado State, Lamar, Louisiana-Lafayette and New Mexico among others. His Arkansas State offer was his first from an FBS program since May and he took just seven days to make his pledge to the Red Wolves.
McCrumby, who’s listed as a 6-foot-4 tight end prospect by 247 Sports, is considered a a three-star recruit and one of the top 100 Class of 2022 players throughout Texas high school football.
He tallied 150 total yards on seven touches as a sophomore in 2019 and rushed for 325 yards and five touchdowns last year. He has 11 catches for 181 yards, both team highs, and a touchdown three games into his senior campaign.
McCrumby and Mount Pleasant (1-3, 0-1) will search for their first victory in district play when they host Whitehouse (0-4, 0-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday.