LEANDER, Texas – The first day of the Texas 7-on-7 state championships saw pool play completed in the Division II (private schools to Class 3A) bracket.
Jarrett Stidham put on quite a show on Thursday afternoon.
With 64 teams competing under the blistering Central Texas, the 247Sports crew on hand saw several prospect who stood out with the stakes and temperature kicked up a notch.
Top Texas 7-on-7 State Championship Performers: Day One
1. Jarrett Stidham, QB, Stephenville (2015)
The No. 64 overall prospect in the Top247 for 2015 did nothing on Thursday to disprove the notion that he's one of the top quarterback prospects in the country. In terms of pure arm talent Stidham might be the best in Texas in 2015, and his ability to throw the deep out, the deep post and the back shoulder fade down the field with accuracy were impressive. When combined with his athleticism – he played wide receiver as a sophomore on a state championship team – he's got all of the tools to be a truly elite quarterback recruit in the upcoming cycle.
2. Tyreik Gray, RB, Houston Episcopal (2015)
Gray is sort of a forgotten man behind some other running backs in his class but he has an impressive offer list. For a relatively thick kid, he was incredible as a receiver out of the backfield, the slot and even out wide at times. He showed he has elite speed by outrunning three defenders with angles on one play and also had very good change of direction after the catch.
3. Ian Sadler, WR, Argyle – Committed to Texas Tech
Texas Tech seems to have gotten a perfect slot wide receiver for its offense in Sadler. He is short but pretty thick and and he has great speed. He pretty much single-handedly beat Houston Kinkaid with several deep receptions for scores. He is a solid route-runner and caught almost everything thrown his direction.
4. Somari Wright, OLB, Cameron Yoe
When you’re a linebacker it’s hard to shine in 7-on-7, but Wright was a bright spot of the day at the position. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder was one of the most impressive prospects out there physically. Wright did an excellent job in coverage and had no problem locking down the running backs and inside receivers in his pool. It would be hard to find a linebacker who turned in a more solid performance on Thursday.
5. Josh Walker, OLB, Gilmer – Committed to Texas A&M
The Aggie commit played both sides of the ball for Gilmer all afternoon. Because of the nature of 7-on-7 events, the 6-foot-1, 220-pounder was more effective on the offensive side of the ball. A few times Walker showed off his deceptive speed, streaking down the middle of the field, beating his man one-on-one. Built like a true MIKE linebacker, the four-star defender made a few solid plays in coverage on the outside, helping his team advance to the championship bracket.
6. Foster Sawyer, QB, Fort Worth All Saints – Committed to TCU
There were plenty of talented quarterbacks on hand for day one of the tournament and Sawyer is one of the few who stood out the most. Here’s your typical pocket passer with above average arm strength and picked apart opposing defenses today. The All Saints product put nice touch on the ball with throwing downfield, but was also very accurate with his short and intermediate throws.
7. D'Eriq King, ATH, Houston Westbury Christian (2016)
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound versatile playmaker saw time at quarterback and safety. With a build similar to current Top247 Texas A&M commit Nick Harvey at the same stage, King made some big plays at safety. He had one impressive pass breakup in a pool play game that helped seal a victory for Westbury to move into the winner's bracket on Friday. He's a good athlete an plays the game with savvy that's impressive for his age.
8. Bralon Hutchison, S, La Grange (2015)
A relatively unknown prospect before today, Hutchison might have turned in the best defensive back performance out of anyone. He just has a knack for making big plays and for being around the ball. The 6-foot, 170-pound safety was a quarterback’s nightmare, as it seemed like he was breaking up or intercepting passes in every offensive series. If he keeps it up he’ll have a bright future ahead of him.
9. JT Granato, QB, Houston Kinkaid (2015)
Granato has yet to pick up his first offer but he will have them soon enough. He was very accurate on Thursday, hitting several small windows on short and intermediate routes. He had a bit too much air on some of his deep balls but others were right on target.
10. Tren'Davian Dickson, WR, Navasota (2016)
The Rattlers won the Class 3A Division II state title last season, and Dickson is one of the reasons why they might repeat. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Dickson is one of the program's best young stars. He's a long, lanky wide receiver but had a tremendous amount of fluidity to his game and showed some ability to stick a foot in the ground and manipulate man coverage.
Five others who stood out: O'Keerian Rutherford, WR, Carthage; Mookie Carlile, S, Stephenville; Joseph Clark, S, Tyler Chapel Hill; Kendall Adams, WR/DB, Fort Worth All Saints; Thomas Dillon, CB, Houston Kinkaid
Taylor Hamm, Blake Munroe and Brian Perroni all contributed to this report.