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May 21, 2013

Tarp's take on the Rivals 250

The big thing that jumped out at me was the fact that there is far more defensive talent in the state of Texas this year than on the offensive side of the ball. In fact, that's unusual in comparison to past years as well. For example, 12 of the 33 Rivals250 prospects from the state of Texas in 2013 were on defense. Eleven of the 28 Rivals250 prospects from the state of Texas in 2012 were on defense. This year, 19 of the 28 Rivals250 were on defense.

It's a year that bucks the trend and it's been a long term trend in the state of Texas due to so many high schools now using the spread offense, playing in 7 on 7 tournaments during the summer, and for the most part putting their best players on offense. However, the majority of the 2014 Rivals250 defenders from Texas are pass rushers and defensive backs….in other words, the people that are responsible for stopping those spread offenses. It's a deep group (especially at defensive back) and you have to wonder if high school coaches are reversing trends in order to place their best athletes on offense.

A&M has commitments from five of the 250: Hoza Scott, Nick Harvey, Dylan Sumner-Gardner, DeShawn Washington, and Armani Watts. In addition, A&M has a shot at about ten of them both in and out of the state. With the Aggies already sitting at ten commitments, there's a good chance that once again that Kevin Sumlin and his staff will have 10 to 15 four stars in the fold by signing day.

As far as the rankings themselves, Beaumont Ozen's Tony Brown is the top prospect in the state. It's hard to argue with putting a shut down corner in that spot although I would lean toward Arlington Martin's Myles Garrett because he's an edge rusher and you can never have enough of those front seven guys. Nonetheless, you can make a case for any one of five guys…the three above names, Coppell's Hebron's Jamal Adams and Mansfield Timberview's Edward Paris being named the top player in the state. Those five stand alone relative to the remainder of the field.

A&M commit and Nederland DT DeShawn Washington moved into the Rivals250 and he's only DT in the state ranked so high. He's explosive and can make plays from sideline to sideline. A&M commits Cedric Collins of Dallas Skyline and Varshaun Nixon of Lake Travis fell out of the 250. Collins probably would be there in a "normal" year except for the fact that this is an exceptional year for DBs across the state. However, I would make a case for Collins over Alief Taylor's Chris Hardeman who is ranked 213th in the 250 but is smaller than Collins.

Otherwise, you've got Harvey ranked as the third best corner in the state, Sumner-Gardner ranked as the second best safety behind Jamal Adams, Scott as the best linebacker, Washington as the best DT, and Watts behind most of the bigger CBs and safeties. As the Rivals250 indicates, A&M isn't just loading up on four stars…it's loading up with not just it's own top targets and but everyone else's as well based upon the offering lists for those players.

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