Every week through the football season, HornsNation’s William Wilkerson and Max Olson will break down five things they learned while on the road at Texas high school football games. From the latest on Longhorn commits and offers to game observations to players who caught their attention, they've got you covered. Here’s what they saw this weekend:
William’s game: Pflugerville Hendrickson vs. Round Rock
Max’s game: Katy Seven Lakes vs. Katy Cinco Ranch
1. Benenoch playing through pain
Caleb Benenoch shook his head when asked how it felt to play through an injury all game long. He has gotten used to it by now.
The top Texas offensive line target from Katy (Texas) Seven Lakes suffered a high-ankle sprain before his season opener and has been playing on it ever since.
Benenoch had considered taking a few games off to be ready for the playoffs, but he couldn’t do it. He tested the ankle out in pregame, played the first drive to see how it felt and then kept going.
Even when he went down at the end of the second quarter and had to be helped off the field, Benenoch didn’t miss a snap the rest of the game against Cinco Ranch.
Not much is new in his recruitment since Texas A&M removed itself from contention. In fact, the process is really on hold at this point.
He’ll take an official visit to UCLA after the season. He might take one more unofficial visit to a Texas game. But once he gets back from Los Angeles, he’ll be ready to decide.
Things are still looking very good for the Longhorns in this recruiting battle, but we’re likely still a couple months away from a decision. - Max Olson
2. Perine more than OK
Anyone with questions as to whether or not ESPN Watch List running back Samaje Perine (Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson) has fully recovered from his knee injury got definite answers on Friday.
Perine, who tore his ACL and MCL late last season, rushed for 297 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries in Hendrickson’s 36-14 victory over Round Rock. He scored on runs of 2 and 81 yards in the third quarter to put the game out of reach.
I was thoroughly impressed with Perine and his ability to cut laterally on that knee without any signs of weakness.
He has rushed for 1,576 yards and 12 touchdowns on 186 carries this season surpassing his totals of 1,468 yards on 160 carries from a season ago when he shared snaps with Texas commitment Daje Johnson.
Perine only holds offers from Purdue and Tennessee right now but I’d imagine that number will rise in a hurry now that programs see that he has fully recovered from his injury. - William Wilkerson
3. A 2015 RB to remember
File this name away for the future: Braeden West.
The Katy Seven Lakes 2015 running back rushed for 108 yards on 26 carries against a stout Cinco Ranch defense on Friday night.
That was his sixth straight 100-yard rushing performance this season. For a guy his size, that’s quite a feat.
West might be tiny right now at a shade under 5-foot-10 and 166 pounds, but he is only a sophomore. Lots of time to bulk up in the weight room.
He has been getting some early buzz from folks who are taking notice of those stats, but West told me he has yet to hear from any colleges yet.
Right now, he’s interested in any school that shows interest in him. In a year or two, there could be lots of schools lining up. - Max Olson
4. Starks impressive as usual
Las Vegas Bishop Gorman finished first in Southwest League play on Thursday for the sixth straight season in large part to junior running back Nathan Starks.
The ESPN Watch Lister, who has a Texas offer, rushed for two touchdowns in a 72-21 victory against Desert Oasis.
Back on Oct. 20, against a much more game Centennial team, Starks broke loose for 191 yards and four touchdowns on 21 carries. - William Wilkerson
5. Around the state
In what should’ve been his big matchup with J.T. Barrett, Denton Guyer’s Jerrod Heard rushed for 107 yards and a touchdown and threw for 64 yards in a 21-10 win over Wichita Falls Rider. … Kyle Hicks rushed for 139 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries in a 42-21 Arlington Martin victory over Arlington Lamar. … Jake Oliver caught seven passes for 85 yards and two touchdowns as Dallas Jesuit beat Richardson Pearce 45-7. … Fort Worth All Saints’ Daniel Gresham rushed for 49 yards and two scores in a 29-9 win over Cistercian. … Chevoski Collins rushed for 40 yards and two scores in a 28-20 Livington win over Beaumont Central. … Brenham 2014 ATH Darrion Johnson rushed for three touchdowns and recorded a safety on defense in a 46-7 win over Magnolia. - Max Olson