HOUSTON -- With his starting quarterback sidelined with an injury, Kirk Eaton really had no choice.
The Houston Cypress Falls coach knew there was no moving the ball without a big night from Jacorey Warrick. So he and his coaches spent the week preparing Warrick to take some Wildcat snaps.
“We couldn’t really get him the ball by throwing,” Eaton said, “but you don’t want to let that fact take the ball out of No. 11’s hands."
The receiving stats Warrick put up might’ve looked pedestrian to the untrained eye: Five catches, 44 yards, one touchdown.
But Eaton knows Cy Falls couldn’t have knocked off Houston Cypress Creek 27-9 on Saturday night without Warrick’s play under center. His 45-yard touchdown dash out of that set midway through the fourth quarter shut the door on Cy Creek.
“When I was in Pee Wee football, that’s pretty much what I did -- line up at quarterback, take the snap and run,” Warrick said. “It was kind of fun going back to those days.”
Typical Jacorey Warrick. The ESPN 150 receiver prospect and Texas commit knows he isn’t too highly ranked by the other recruiting services. Though he has racked up offers from all over the country, he can’t help but feel a bit overlooked.
As long as Cy Falls keeps winning, though, he doesn’t pay much attention to those judgments.
“We’re not really about the stats game,” Warrick said. “We’re about whatever it takes to win. If I have to draw a double coverage or a triple coverage and another receiver takes my highlights, I’m OK with that.”
At 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, Warrick knows his size plays a role in that. He figures that’s why some consider him more of an athlete than a wideout.
“I’m not the tallest receiver or the biggest receiver. My stats were OK, they were average,” he said. “I feel like people get caught up in stats. If you actually come to a game, you’ll see how much more I contribute than just a catch and yards and a touchdown. But people just want to see numbers.”
The numbers this year speak for themselves. He put up 197 yards and three scores in his second game this year. He’s now up to 424 receiving yards, 104 rushing yards and six touchdowns.
That’s more than 16 yards every time he touches the ball. If teams actually kicked to him, that number would be even greater. Eaton has a hard time understanding what everyone else is missing. Why isn’t Warrick regarded as one of the state’s best receivers?
“He’s doing exactly what I thought he would,” Eaton said. “I though every week he would be the best player on the field, and that’s exactly what he’s been.”
The best example his coach can give: Cy Falls had a three play, 85-yard drive in its game against Houston Cypress Springs this year. Each play was a pass to Warrick behind the line of scrimmage.
“The only surprise to me is he’s as good as advertised, with all the attention and people doubling him and doing everything else,” Eaton said. “Texas is getting one hell of a player who’s also a great kid. He’s never a distraction, never an ego guy, never a grade risk.
“There’s not a negative to him right now, other than I can’t get him the ball every play. I wish I could.”
When Warrick committed to Texas in February, some were initially puzzled. Were the Longhorns taking him as a receiver or a defensive back?
He gets why some may question where he belongs, but he’s glad Texas never has.
“I’m very happy with that,” Warrick said. “They’re the only people who matter, the Texas family and coaching staff. They’re the ones who are going to get me on the field. Other people’s opinions are not too important.”
He also understands why Seals-Jones and his absence from this Texas class gets much more attention. Warrick had a feeling Seals-Jones wasn’t going to come back to the Longhorns.
After spending time with Oliver this summer at The Opening in Oregon, he’s confident Texas will be OK without the state’s No. 1 prospect. That confidence was only bolstered when he visited for UT’s first two home games and saw the four freshman Longhorn receivers in action.
“I still think Texas is in pretty good shape. Jake and I are great complement to each other,” Warrick said. “He’s a bigger receiver and sure-handed, and I come in with the speed and the quickness. It’d be nice to have Ricky, but I don’t think we’ll be missing a beat.”
Need someone to vouch for Warrick’s potential as a Longhorn? Just ask Cy Falls secondary coach Trampas Goodwin.
Yep, Goodwin. He’s the uncle of Marquise Goodwin, Texas’ speedy senior receiver. He knows a thing or two about good slot receivers. He’s been comparing Warrick to his nephew ever since seeing Warrick participate in Cy Falls’ track season last year.
“Trampas grew up around him and knows him, and he thinks Jacorey is every bit as explosive as that guy,” Eaton said.
Though Warrick doesn’t have a berth in the Olympics on his mind for his college career, he does appreciate the comparison. Not bad company, if you ask him.
“That would be cool if I went in and kind of filled the Marquise Goodwin role,” Warrick said.
Eaton has no trouble envisioning that. While others are fixating on Seals-Jones and who will replace him in the class, the Golden Eagles coach hopes Texas fans start paying more attention to what they’ve already got.
“He just makes plays, I don’t know what to tell you,” Eaton said. “They need to be excited about the guy they’ve got coming. He’s going to do everything the coaches ask. He’s going to impact Texas. I hope it’s at slot receiver, but it could be as a DB or in the Wildcat. No matter what, he’s going to produce.”