Let’s start with the leader of last year’s 6-a runner up. Ja’Quinden Jackson of Duncanville is one of the most well-rounded quarterbacks in the state. The Panthers gunslinger only threw 3 picks while completing over 60% of his passes, but his legs were the most dangerous last year. Jackson ran for almost 15 hundred yards and 23 touchdowns as he was impossible to get a handle on in the open field. Look for Jackson to throw more often this year as he gets ready to head to the University of Texas in 2020.
Chandler Morris will have to have another stellar season if Highland Park hopes to win four titles in a row. Morris is an extremely accurate passer with a laser fast delivery. In his first year as the Scots signal caller, Morris threw for over 4000 yards and 46 touchdowns while rushing for 647 yards and 20 more scores. Morris will play for his dad, Chad Morris, at Arkansas next year.
Aledo’s Jase Mcclellan has had an amazing prep career and he’s not done yet. Mcclellan has run for 52 hundred yards and 95 touchdowns in his three years as the Bearcats workhorse. Mcclellan is a smooth runner who invites the contact. He also has deceptive speed and if he makes that first cut, he could be heading to the house. Mcclellan is verbally committed to Oklahoma but hopes to lead Aledo to their 9th state championship.
At Mesquite Poteet, running back Seth Mcgowan has been a menace for Pirate foes. Mcgowan is more of a tackle breaker then he is a joker and his physical style enabled him to rush for over 16 hundred yards and 25 touchdowns last year. He’s got a college ready body already and along with Mcclellan, could give the Sooners a nice 1, 2 punch as Mcgowan is also verbally committed to Oklahoma.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba has 188 catches thru 3 years of varsity ball at Rockwall. Last year the receiver caught 97 balls for over 18 hundred yards and 20 touchdowns and did it all while battling some nagging injuries. Smith-Njigba is quick off the line and can win most one on one battles for the ball. Look for Jaxon Smith-Njigba to once again play a big role in the yellow jackets success before he heads to Ohio State to play collegiately.
There is no one in North Texas that quarterbacks fear more than Highland Park defensive end, Prince Dorbah. The versatile pass rusher recorded an amazing 20 sacks last year including 4 in the state championship. Dorbah can play just about anywhere on the line as he closes fast on the ball carrier and can be counted on to make the play. He will be heading to Austin next year.
Denton Ryan linebacker Drew Sanders is the proto-typical all-around athlete. Defensively for the Raiders, he had 119 tackles, 8 sacks and 3 picks, 2 of which he ran back for touchdowns. Offensively, Sanders played some downs at tight end, wide receiver and even quarterback. The jury is still out on what position he’ll play in college, but he is verbally committed to Alabama. One of the area’s best defensive players can be found at Southlake Carroll where defensive back R.J. Mickens calls home. Mickens is another two-way player who will play in the secondary in college. Mickens has 7 career interceptions for the Dragons and also has 12 touchdowns as wide receiver. Mickens will be attending Clemson next year.