Each week, GigEmNation reporter Sam Khan Jr. will bring you five things he learned from watching high school football action in the Midlands region that week, including observations of Texas A&M commitments and targets and other players that catch his attention. Here's this week's installment:
1. Allen (Texas) High School 2015 quarterback Kyler Murray is a well-rounded talent. Son of former Texas A&M quarterback Kevin Murray, Kyler has a lot of appealing traits. One of the first that strikes you is his speed and elusiveness. He chewed up 122 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns on 21 carries in Allen's 37-17 win over talented Dallas Skyline in the Class 5A Division I quarterfinals. Murray wasn't his best as a passer on Saturday, but he showed arm strength, good touch on his deep passes and the ability to thread the needle, finding receivers in coverage. He's shorter than your ideal college quarterback (5-foot-11) but he just turned 15 and has time to grow.
2. Texas A&M 2013 defensive tackle commitment Kerrick Huggins (Dallas Skyline) is a relentless player. In the Raiders' loss to Allen on Saturday, the 6-3, 285-pound three-star prospect used his consistent effort to get into the backfield on several occasions and pressure quarterback Kyler Murray. He collected a sack and with his overall effort, showed why he appealed to the Aggies and other schools that recruited him.
3. Gilmer (Texas) High School linebacker Josh Walker puts in a lot of work. He plays full time on the defensive end as a pass-rushing outside linebacker for the Buckeyes and also spends time at running back, often entering the game on third downs and also in short-yardage situations. He did both of those things on Friday, helping the Buckeyes to a 41-34 come-from-behind win over Henderson (Texas) High School in the Class 3A Division II quarterfinals. And despite showing fatigue as he walked off the field at the end of the game, he made two huge tackles on back-to-back plays on the Buckeyes' final defensive stand against Henderson, tackles that forced a fourth-and-15 in which Henderson eventually turned it over on downs.
4. Dallas Skyline has a lot of talent, and even in a loss, it was on display on Saturday. Among the players that caught my eye were 2015 receiver Carlos Strickland and 2014 safety Derrick Dixon. Strickland caught a 55-yard pass from quarterback DeVante Kincade that eventually set up a Skyline score. Strickland already has good size for a sophomore, standing 6-2 and weighing 180. Dixon, who is 5-11, 180 and already has a West Virginia offer, had an interception in the game. Also it's clear that Mississippi is getting a good one in Kincade, the 2013 quarterback. He has a good arm, he's accurate, mobile, tough to tackle and manages Skyline's offense with authority.
5. Henderson quarterback Patrick "Monsta" Brown is a talent. He ran for 123 yards in the loss to Gilmer, but helped his team take a 31-14 lead at one point with his elusiveness and ability to escape. Eventually, Gilmer's defnese slowed him down as the game went on, which ultimately helped turn the tide, but even as the defense stiffened and Brown tired, he continued to make plays for his team. The 5-10, 175-pound athlete has offers from Central Arkansas, Louisiana-Monroe and New Mexico State.