As is the case every recruiting cycle, the state of Texas is loaded with talent and that means there are always “sleepers” that emerge. Here’s a look at five of the best in that category from the Lone Star State in the 2013 class.
Boise State and Houston are the top two for running back Rennie Childs.
1 – Rennie Childs, RB, Houston Cy Ridge
Ratings and Rankings - 247Composite- .8256 (3 stars), No. 68 RB, No. 156 Texas; 247Sports 84 (3 stars), No. 78 RB, No. 189 Texas
Scouting report - Childs was a somewhat known commodity coming into the season but nobody expected what was coming from the 5-foot-10, 185-pound speedster. Childs led a very tough district in rushing, even though opposing defenses knew he was getting the ball on the majority of the team’s plays. Childs is fast and hits the hole in a hurry. If he gets the second level, he is very dangerous and does a great job of making linebackers miss tackles. He truly can turn a short gain into a long touchdown. He is a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball.
Eyeball test – Childs is put together well and has a frame that can carry plenty more good weight. He also has the ability to line up in the slot if needed.
Recruiting nuggets – Childs came into his senior year with only a Rice offer but, after several huge games he started drawing more attention. A lot of schools were full at running back already or he would have even more offers at this point. He currently says his top two consists of Boise State and Houston.
2 - Teriyon Gipson, ATH/APB, Dallas Kimball
Ratings and Rankings- 247Composite .8200 (3 stars), No. 107 ATH, No. 204 Texas; 247Sports (82 stars), No. 115 ATH, No. 204 Texas.
Scouting report - Gipson was incredibly productive as a junior, running for 933 yards and 12 touchdowns in only six games before getting injured. Healthy again this year he has picked up where he left off. Heading into the playoffs he has rushed for 1,564 yards and 18 touchdowns. Gipson is incredibly quick out of the backfield and, though Kimball does not use him much in the role, is also a very good receiver. When he gets the ball in space he is incredibly dangerous. He could also end up at several other positions in college as he possesses the necessary athleticism to play cornerback but could also end up as a slot receiver or kick returner.
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Eyeball test – Gipson is not incredibly big and the listed 5-foot-9, 165 pounds may even be a bit generous. However, he is put together well and has shown he can handle running between the tackles and carrying the ball 20+ times a game.
Recruiting nuggets – After waiting seemingly forever for his first offer, Gipson actually saw two come in on one night last week. On Tuesday, both Colorado State and New Mexico extended offers and more should be on the way.
3 – Gaius Vaenuku, SDE, Euless Trinity
Ratings and Rankings- 247Composite .8274 (3 stars), No. 55 SDE, No. 184 Texas; 247Sports 86 (3 stars), No. 42 SDE, No. 101 Texas.
Scouting report - The 6-foot-5, 255-pound defensive end is another in a line of very good defensive linemen to come out of Trinity. The team rotates up to eight linemen during games so Vaenuku sometimes doesn’t get as much notice as some other area defenders. Trinity plays a 3-4 and he seems to fit that role well but he could also grow into a DT at the next level. Vaenuku has a good motor and really impressed a lot of schools over the spring and summer. He has shown the ability to shed blockers and plays both the pass and run equally well.
Eyeball test – Vaenuku has long arms that enable him to get separation against offensive tackles. He is a strong kid that has the frame to possibly grow into a quick, pass-rushing defensive tackle.
Recruiting nuggets – Teammate and fellow defensive end Sam Tevi is committed to Utah and the Utes have a good shot at landing Vaenuku as well. Arizona State recruits the Polynesian community well too, so the Sun Devils will also be a factor. Local school TCU is also one to watch.
4 – Bryce Peters, RB, Houston Cy Falls
Ratings and Rankings- 247Composite .8000 (3 stars), No. 105 RB, No. 269 Texas; 247Sports 80 (3 stars), No. 100 RB, No. 273 Texas.
Scouting report - Peters does not get very much publicity as wide receiver teammate, and four-star Texas commit, Jacorey Warrick is often the focus of opposing defenses. When Warrick went down with a patella injury this year, though, Peters became an even more important cog in the team’s offense. He has run for 1,660 yards and 19 touchdowns in helping the team to the postseason.He is a bruising back that will usually get at least a couple of yards after the initial contact. He is not a true homerun threat but he does have surprising speed and is able to get to the edge on stretch plays. Peters’ vision is also one of his best attributes as he is able to see a hole open up, make one cut and head downhill.
Eyeball test – Peters is almost built like an “SEC-style” running back that the likes of Alabama and LSU have used so successfully as of late. He has a big lower body and is tough to bring down.
Recruiting nuggets – Peters had several offers come in over the summer but things seem to have quieted down a bit as of late. Iowa State and Louisiana Tech would be considered the current leaders but neither Colorado State nor New Mexico can be counted out.
5 – Jimmie Gilbert, WDE, College Station A&M Consolidated
Ratings and Rankings- 247Composite .8423 (3 stars), No. 35 WDE, No. 173 Texas; 247Sports 84 (3 stars), No. 45 WDE, No. 133 Texas.
Scouting report - Gilbert plays both outside linebacker and defensive end for Consol. He is a long and lean prospect at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds and has a nonstop motor. Right now he relies a lot on his pure athleticism to make plays but he has a lot of physical tools at his disposal once he gets coached up at the next level. Gilbert is somewhat similar to Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore as both were hyper-athletic basketball players trying to transition to the football field. His ceiling may not be as high as Moore’s but he does solid potential.
Eyeball test – Gilbert looks almost skinny at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds and should be able to play in college at 255 or so. His father, a former Texas A&M basketball player of the same name, stands 6-foot-9 so it is not out of the question that the younger Gilbert grows even more.
Recruiting nuggets – Gilbert has used two of his official visits to Colorado and Purdue. The Buffs and Boilermakers would be considered the co-leaders for his services. Iowa State is also trying hard to get him onto campus.