Looking ahead
Looking ahead
2014-07-02 00:00:00

A look at some of the top prospects in 2016

 By EJ Holland
 DCTF Associate Editor

We are now in a stage where more than 60 percent of the Texas Top 150 is verbally committed to a school.

Sure, there are still a few big name prospects like Malik Jefferson and Kendall Sheffield that are still open and yes, we’ll see some recruits change their mind. But for the most part, the frenzy that is the 2015 recruiting process is slowing down — of course until signing day comes around.

And that means it’s a good time to start looking ahead to 2016 and the prospects you need to know. I was actually talking to a scout a few weeks ago, and he told me most colleges are now focusing on rising juniors with most of their key spots in 2015 filled.

That comes as no surprise. In this day and age, it’s about who offers first and develops relationships early.

So, even though you might not realize it, the 2016 recruiting season upon us. Here is an early look at my top 15 prospects in the class.

1. OT Greg Little, Allen (6-5, 285)- Already committed to Texas A&M, Little is by far the best offensive lineman in 2016 and my top overall prospect. Little is a tremendous pass and run blocker and has great footwork. He picked the Aggies over offers from just about every major BCS program in the country.

2. DT Kendell Jones, Killeen Shoemaker (6-5, 310)- Quality defensive tackles are hard to come by, making Jones a hot commodity on a national scale. Jones holds six offers at the moment, but that list should grow exponentially over the next few months.

3. S Deontay Anderson, Manvel (6-1, 190)- Anderson is just an all around solid defensive back with excellent ball skills. Anderson can also play cornerback and safety and recorded 70 tackles and two interceptions as a sophomore last season. He has received around 20 offers so far.

4. OT Patrick Hudson, Silsbee (6-5, 330)- It almost seems unfair that Texas A&M has landed the top two offensive tackles in this class. While Little is more polished, Hudson has plenty of natural talent and his frame makes it difficult for defenders to get around him.

5. S Brandon Jones, Nacogdoches (5-11, 185)- Jaylon Lane is generating a lot of headlines over in East Texas, but Jones is probably the best defensive back on Nacogdoches’ roster. Jones has amazing speed and came away with five interceptions last season. Almost every major BCS program has offered him.

6. WR Devin Duvernay, Sachse (5-11, 185)- Duvernay is the most dangerous wide receiver in the class. With soft hands and elite speed, Duvernay is a nightmare to cover. He can also make plays as a return man. Interesting fact: his cousin is Allen quarterback Kyler Murray.

7. CB Jared Mayden, Sachse (6-0, 190)- Duvernay isn’t the only top 2016 prospect on Sachse’s roster. Mayden blankets opposing receivers, and recruiters love his size. Taller corners have become all the rage, so it’s no surprise Mayden has around 25 offers under his belt.

8. RB Kameron Martin, PA Memorial (5-10, 170)- Martin might actually be too low on this list. He’s a special talent in the backfield and simply an electrifying ball carrier. Despite splitting carries with Texas Tech commit Corey Dauphine, Martin still rushed for 1,060 yards and 16 touchdowns last year.

9. TE Kaden Smith, FM Marcus (6-5, 235)- Like defensive tackles, good tight ends are hard to come by. When it comes to Smith, he’s a can’t-miss prospect. A dynamic pass catcher and more than respectable blocker, Smith has picked up offers from the likes of Alabama, Texas and Texas A&M.

10. ATH Devwah Whaley, Beaumont Central (5-11, 190)- You can expect the Golden Triangle region of the state to churn out at least a few elite prospects every year. In 2016, the headliner is the versatile Whaley, who starts at running back for Beaumont Central but can play a little bit of everything.

Five others to keep an eye on: WR Reggie Hemphill, Manvel; QB D’Eriq King, Manvel; S Eric Monroe, Galena Park North Shore; QB Shane Buechele, Arlington Lamar; DE Isaiah Chambers, Houston MacArthur. 

EJ Holland is the associate editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.

He can be reached via e-mail or on the DCTF Facebook page.


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