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July 11, 2013

An Aggie-centric view of state 7-on-7 tourney

Here's a quick look at some of the Texas A&M commits and targets taking place in the State 7-on-7 Tournament starting today in Round Rock:


Gilmer 2014 outside linebacker Josh Walker (Texas A&M Commit)
Pool: Gilmer, La Marque, Rockdale, Wellington
Key Game: Rockdale
What To Look For: Walker is a big outside linebacker at 6 foot, 1 inch and 220 pounds. 7-on-7 is an event that is usually a disadvantage for linebackers, but Walker is a 4.5 guy who can move well laterally. If Walker can dominate pool play and be all over the place, he could be bumped to a four star next cycle.

Stephenville 2015 quarterback Jarrett Stidham (Texas A&M Offer)
Pool: Edna, Fairfield, Melissa, and Stephenville
Key Game: Fairfield
What To Look For: After an impressive performance at the Rivals Underclassmen Challenge presented by Under Armour, Stidham hopes to continue his summer of success at the 7-on-7 state tournament. However, with a system and receivers he is familiar with, there is no excuse for Stidham to throw behind them, a problem that plagued him at times last weekend. Stidham is the only Aggie target at quarterback at the tournament this year so a lot of eyes from Texas A&M will be on him.


Lake Travis 2014 running back Varshaun Nixon (Texas A&M Commit)
Pool: Arlington Seguin, El Paso Coronado, Houston Stratford, and Lake Travis
Key Game: Houston Stratford
What To Look For: This event should bode well for Nixon. He is a versatile running back who can line up in the slot, run routes and get open. Lake Travis should not be challenged too much in this pool, so we expect big numbers from Nixon.

Arlington Bowie 2014 safety/outside linebacker Edwin Freeman (Texas A&M Offer)
Pool: Arlington Bowie, Mercedes, Spring Westfield, and Temple
Key Game: Spring Westfield
What To Look For: Freeman will be lined up at the safety position, even though he's being recruited at linebacker by A&M. It will be interesting to see if he has gained weight during the off season and how he fares going against some fast players. Spring Westfield should be a good test; otherwise, Saturday will be better indication of how good of a coverage safety he could be.

Cedar Hill 2015 wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge (Texas A&M Offer)
Pool: Arlington Lamar, Cedar Hill, Katy, and Lufkin
Key Game: All of them
What To Look For: First off, this is the proverbial group of death. It's hard to pick one game that is not going to be easy for Cedar Hill. Lodge has been an animal on the combine circuit and will probably be the top wide receiver in the state for 2015. It will be interesting to see how he does with a quarterback he is familiar with in this difficult pool.

Lufkin 2014 wide receiver Jamal Jeffery (Texas A&M Commit)
Pool: Arlington Lamar, Cedar Hill, Katy, and Lufkin
Key Game: All of them
What To Look For: Similar to Cedar Hill's situation, as far as why every game is key to Lufkin. Jeffrey has not been in any camps, so nobody has really seen him play competitively since end of last season. Lot of questions will be answered in how good he really is. He's a football player who uses his elusiveness and vision to be much more productive than his speed would indicate.

Hebron 2014 safety Jamal Adams (Texas A&M Offer)
Pool: Hebron, Houston Lamar, John Tyler, Midlothian
Key Game: Houston Lamar
What To Look For: Adams has been to just about every camp possible this summer and has gone against some of the best talent in the nation at previous 7-on-7 competitions. Adams will have high expectations this tournament, as he will be one of the top players at the event. He has great range, but he'll have to limit his physical style of play.

Manvel 2014 tight end Koda Martin (Texas A&M Commit) and 2016 wide receiver Reggie Hemphill (Texas A&M Target)
Pool: Hendrickson, Manvel, San Antonio Johnson, Southlake Carroll
Key Game: Southlake Carroll
What To Look For: The only team this tournament with multiple A&M players of interest is Manvel. Martin will be lined up at tight end and this event can showcase how good of an athlete he really is. Hemphill will be one of the top wide receivers in the state for 2016 and it will be interesting to see how he does against upperclassmen at the tournament.

Whitehouse 2015 safety Justin Dunning (Texas A&M Offer)
Pool: Cy Ranch, Plano West, Weslaco, and Whitehouse
Key Game: Cy Ranch
What To Look For: Dunning will be one of the best safeties in the 2015 class for the state and it will be interesting to see him in action for the first time live. He should get some challenge from Cy Ranch; otherwise his greatest challenges might have to wait until Saturday. He's a rangy centerfielder who reads offenses well and had multiple interceptions last season.

Port Arthur Memorial 2016 running back Kameron Martin (Texas A&M interest)
Pool: El Paso Montwood, Frisco Centennial, Pearland, and Port Arthur Memorial
Key Game: Pearland
What To Look For: Martin has expectations of being a thousand yard rushing running back this season as his goal is to break Jamal Charles' rushing record at the school. This event will show if he can perform out of the backfield catching the ball and if he is as good a receiver as he is a runner.

Mesquite Poteet 2015 outside linebacker Malik Jefferson (Texas A&M Offer)
Pool: Arlington Martin, Houston Reagan, Lubbock Monterey, Mesquite Poteet
Key Game: Arlington Martin
What To Look For: After an impressive performance at the Rivals Underclassmen Challenge presented by Under Armour where he proved he could turn and run with smaller players, Jefferson heads to state 7-on-7 as the only prospect who could possibly unseat Daylon Mack as the top player in the state for 2015. Jefferson is a very good coverage linebacker and this event should go well for him. The Martin-Poteet game will be one of the most interesting games of the day as Martin's speed will be a challenge for him.

West Mesquite 2014 safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner (Texas A&M Commit)
Pool: Langham Creek, The Woodlands, West Mesquite, and Edcouch-Elsa
Key Game: The Woodlands
What To Look For: Sumner-Gardner had an impressive showing at The Opening and hopes to continue to build on that momentum. Sumner-Gardner, like a few other players may have to wait until Saturday before he gets a challenge, as West Mesquite should have little problems winning this pool. He can cover a lot of ground and also can cover in the short zones.

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