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September 14, 2011
Rivals.com Southwest analyst Brian Perroni looks around his region at some of the emerging underclassmen, a promising sleeper prospect and also previews the upcoming weekend of game coverage.
Remember these names
A breakdown of game tape on three impressive underclassmen prospects in the Southwest:
PQB Brayden Scott, Tahlequah (Okla.) Sequoyah (2013)
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound junior has a very solid build and actually looks thicker than his current weight would suggest. He has a strong arm and surprisingly good touch on his deep balls. Scott tends to push the ball out of his hand every once in a while but that is something a number of high school quarterbacks revert to doing when they get tired so it's really not a huge concern.
Scott has early offers from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Clemson and Tulsa. He lived in Arkansas until the eighth grade and his grandfather played football for the Razorbacks so they will certainly be a player in his recruitment. The in-state trio of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Tulsa also has an advantage due to distance from home and will all be a factor as well.
OT Andy Bauer, St. Louis (Mo.) DeSmet (2014)
The 6-foot-5, 280-pound offensive lineman did something a year ago very few players have a chance to do - he started on varsity as a freshman. It is even more impressive that he did it as an offensive tackle, manning the right side of the line. Bauer is relatively lean for being 280 pounds and still has plenty of room to fill out his frame. He moves his feet well in pass protection but most impressive is how he gets to the second level when run blocking.
Bauer picked up two very early offers from Miami and Missouri this spring and summer and his total will be much, much higher after his sophomore season. He plays on the same team as Rivals100 wide receiver and current Oklahoma commit Durron Neal so the Sooners will be a player with Bauer as well.
TE DeSean Smith, Lake Charles (La.) Barbe (2013)
The 6-foot-4, 222-pound junior actually plays outside receiver for his high school but projects to a pass-catching tight end in college. He has very, very good hands and comes down with almost everything thrown in his direction. He is able to use his size in the red zone but is also a surprisingly effective deep threat.
Smith camped at LSU and Texas A&M this summer and both wasted no time in extending offers to him. He will be a national recruit next year but those two are the early frontrunners for his signature. The Aggies were the first to offer and Smith enjoyed his time on campus but it is always hard for a prospect from Louisiana to turn down the in-state school.
Sleeper of the week
This week's under-the-radar prospect that won't be unknown for long:
DQB Kyle Romano, Hurst (Texas) L.D. Bell
Romano did not play much last year and he was behind current Western Kentucky freshman James Mauro. However, schools started to notice his play during spring ball. In fact, Air Force offered the 6-foot-1, 181-pound dual-threat quarterback during the spring? before he had ever started a game. Most schools wanted to wait to see how he performed as a starter though.
Three games into his senior year he has the L.D. Bell offense atop the Dallas/Fort Worth area standings. Romano has thrown for 679 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions and has also rushed for 310 yards and 11 scores. Colleges are taking notice and he has been offered by Texas State and Eastern Kentucky in the past week. With film of his first three contests being sent out this week it will not be a surprise to see the senior's offer total double over the next 14 days.
This weekend Perroni will attend a Thursday night game in the Houston area as The Woodlands College Park hosts Bryan. He will then head to Louisiana for the weekend to watch Shreveport Woodlawn battle Bastrop and Archbishop Rummel go against St. Augustine.
1. Is Johnson a QB?
Bryan, Texas, quarterback Chris Johnson is one of the more talked-about members of the class of 2013. However, there is a question as to whether the 6-foot-5, 195-pound junior will be a quarterback or end up playing another position such as wide receiver. Through two games this year his stats as a passer are not great as he is 9-for-19 for 181 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He has run for 234 yards and three scores on 33 carries, though. Baylor and Utah have both extended Johnson early offers and there is talk he could be a target of Texas' as well. Hopefully he will get a chance this weekend to prove he is more than just a very good athlete playing the quarterback position.
2. Talented defenders
The Woodlawn-Bastrop matchup features two of the top three class of 2012 prospects in the state of Louisiana in Torshiro Davis and Denzel Devall, the No. 2 and No. 3-ranked players respectively. Both are high school defensive ends that could transition to linebackers in college, depending on the scheme. Davis is an LSU commit while Devall has a top three of LSU, TCU and Texas A&M. Woodlawn also has a very good junior defensive tackle in Christopher Robinson, who has an early Mississippi State offer.
3. Young talent on display Though Rummel has offensive guard Dominick Bilich and St. Augustine has Tulane wide receiver commit Lorenzo Doss, most of the eyes at the game will be on a pair of younger prospects. St. Augustine running back Leonard Fournette is only a sophomore but the 6-foot, 210-pound bruiser already has close to double-digit offers after rushing for 1,734 yards and 22 touchdowns last year as only a freshman. Rummel junior quarterback Damian Williams is also receiving plenty of early attention from colleges.