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. It's easy to see why Plano (Texas) Prestonwood linebacker Mike Mitchell is such a coveted prospect. The ESPN 150 outside linebacker, who has a final four of Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas A&M, is skilled, athletic and seems to be around the ball constantly. The Lions' opponent on Friday, Tomball (Texas) Concordia Lutheran, ran a triple-option offense that was well executed and hard to defend because of that. As Mitchell got in a groove he made an impact, recording 12 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. He's also quick and athletic enough that the Lions used him as a kickoff return man and he even lined up on offense a couple of times. He limped off the field late in the fourth quarter and left the game the stadium with his leg wrapped in ice after suffering an injury that he played most of the night through, but the nation's 10th-ranked outside linebacker appears to have plenty of tools. According to his father Ken Mitchell, the injury could keep the linebacker out for Prestonwood's next playoff game.
2. Prestonwood has plenty of other worthy prospects. Obviously Christian Morgan, the three-star tight end prospect, is one of them. The Mississippi commitment is big, athletic and relentless when chasing the quarterback (he plays defensive end in addition to tight end for Prestonwood). Also, 2016 prospect Michael Irvin Jr., the son of Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin, has impressive size for his age (6-2, 190). Look for him to emerge as a prospect on the radar of many colleges in the future. The Lions also have a 2015 prospect in quarterback Mickey Mitchell, who excels on both the gridiron and the basketball court, but he did not play and will miss the remainder of the season because of a torn ACL suffered on Nov. 2.
3. Rosenberg (Texas) Terry receiver Derrick Griffin's statistics won't be impressive at the end of this season because the style of offense and the injuries at quarterback haven't helped the Rangers get him the ball as often as a 6-foot-6, 228-pound receiver might usually. But when he gets the ball, he makes things happen and when he wants to block downfield, he excels at it. On Thursday night in Terry's 47-35 playoff win over Baytown (Texas) Goose Creek Memorial, Griffin had some moments where he was really good blocking downfield but others when it didn't look like he was that much involved in the game. At the next level, a focused effort for four quarters -- whether he's getting the ball or not -- will be necessary.
4. Another Terry High player to keep an eye on is 2014 athlete Kishawn McClain. The 5-11, 190-pound athlete has played several different roles for the Rangers this season, from running back to quarterback to return specialist. He ran for two touchdowns and even showed the ability to run between the tackles in Terry's playoff victory over Goose Creek Memorial. He said he's receiving correspondence from a few schools, including Arkansas, LSU and Oklahoma State, but doesn't have an offer or heavy interest from coaches yet. For a stretch this season he served as the Rangers quarterback after injuries occurred at the position and he was able to engineer Terry's veer offense.
5. Terry running back Eugene Wright continues to produce when the Rangers need him most. He finished with 123 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries, caught a pass for 25 yards and also returned two kickoffs for 105 yards. For the night, he compiled 253 all-purpose yards. Right now, only Northwestern State has offered the 5-8, 160-pound speedy back but he has interest from Boise State, Houston and Texas Tech among others.