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Recruiting Notes: Texans 7-on-7

Houston, Texas – The first Texas state 7-on-7 qualifying tournament of the spring took place this weekend at the Houston Texans facility.

Baratti could opt to play quarterback at the next level

With 32 teams on hand at the two-day competition, many an FBS prospect with verbal offers took the field to compete against some of the areas best.

Busy May at Klein Oak
One of the more talented teams was Klein Oak, which features Notre Dame athlete commitment Nicky Baratti, fullback Ejay Fatu and outside linebacker A.J. Hilliard.

For Klein Oak coach David Smith, it has been more than business as usual.

“Every school in the country that recruits Texas has been through this spring,” Smith said Sunday while watching his team compete. “More than any other spring.”

Smith’s quarterback, Nick Baratti, has taken his play up several notches as a passer this spring, and college coaches have taken notice.

“Nicky is up to 15 or 20 quarterback offers now. He is really spinning the ball this spring. He has really improved and is more confident now,” Smith said.

For Baratti, he remains committed to the Fighting Irish, but is still considering his options as a potential quarterback.

“I’m going to keep taking a look around,” Baratti said. “Notre Dame said they would give me shot at quarterback, but they don’t run a spread offense.”

Hilliard's stock is soaring in May

The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder has 4.55-speed in the 40-yard dash. He reports that Arkansas and Wake Forest have recently offered him as a quarterback. He plans to camp at LSU and Notre Dame for sure this summer.

Like Baratti, Fatu recently picked up an offer from Arkansas.

The Razorbacks join Michigan, Utah, Nevada and Arizona State in verbally offering.

“I’m talking with Michigan the most. Utah also. I talk to Coach (Morgan) Scalley and their linebackers coach. They have talked to me about fullback and linebacker,” Fatu said.

Hilliard is the Klein Oak prospect who has seen his stock rise the most in May. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound athletic and powerful prospect picked up two more verbal offers last week.

“Michigan State and Boise State offered me last week,” Hilliard said.

The Spartans and Broncos join Houston, West Virginia, Louisville, Nevada and Minnesota in offering.

While the young brother of former Notre Dame and Arlington (Texas) Lamar defensive tackle Cedric Hilliard is happy with his offers, he has his eye on thwo Big 12 programs he hopes follow suit.

OLB Kendall Ehrlich has a top three

“I like Missouri and Oklahoma State right now. Missouri and Kansas are close to offering,” he said.

Hilliard lists Houston as recruiting him the hardest on a daily basis.

Safety DaShone Smith is another prospect at the 5A schools with offers. Nevada and Minnesota have verbally offered the 5-foot-10, 180-pound, long-armed defender.

Ehrlich up to 10 offers
One of the Houston areas top playmakers continues to pick up verbal offers.

Linebacker Kendall Ehrlich from Pearland was a key cog in the Pearland Oilers’ terrific run to the 5A state championship in 2010. College coaches have rewarded his stellar play with verbal offers.

“I have about 10 offers now,” Ehrlich said on Saturday.

“Baylor, Boise State, Colorado, Houston, Iowa State, Nevada, Rice, Wake Forest, Louisville and Tulane have offered.”

Ehrlich wasted no time in coming up with a list of favorites when asked.

Weaver is another Houston area linebacker with offers

“I like Baylor right now,” Ehrlich said. “Also Boise State and Colorado. Those are my top three.”

The instinctive playmaker plans to camp at a couple of regional powers.

“I think I’m going to camp at TCU and LSU. LSU’s interest in me has picked up a lot lately.”

Along with TCU and LSU, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Texas Tech and number of others continue to show interest.

Weaver on the rise
Inside linebacker Ben Weaver (Spring, Texas/Klein) has become a hot commodity this spring. The 6-foot, 225-pound hard-hitter has picked up a number of verbal offers from around the country.

“I have offers from Utah, Louisville, Air Force, Boise State, Wyoming, Houston, Navy and a couple of others,” Weaver said.

Two of the offers are standing out early on.

“Louisville and Boise State are my top two,” he said. “I really like Boise State. Coach (Jeff) Choate is recruiting me the hardest, and I’m hoping to get up there this summer. I want to visit Louisville, too.”

Brown is a sleeper athlete from the Houston area

Along with the offers, Weaver is receiving looks from a couple of in-state programs.

“I’m going to camp at Texas A&M and TCU for sure this summer,” he said. “Texas A&M has talked to me about offering.”

Weaver is joined as a FBS prospect in the Klein program by 2013 safety Sterling Bennett.

Quick Hitters
Athlete Denzell Johnson (Houston/Bellaire) is receiving interest from Big 12, C-USA, WAC and Mountain West programs. The 6-foot, 195-pounder is being recruited as a quarterback by UTEP and as an athlete by Baylor, Houston and TCU - among others. He plans to camp at Baylor, Texas A&M, TCU, UTEP and Houston this summer.

Tight end Brett Jordan (Houston, Texas/Bellaire) is one of the best-kept secrets in the Houston area. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound tight end has a verbal offer from Baylor along with interest from TCU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Houston. He plans to camp at Baylor, TCU, Texas Tech and Texas A&M this summer.

Class of 2013 running back James White (Pearland/Dawson) said he plans to camp at Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Texas for sure this summer. LSU is also a possibility for the 6-foot, 195-pounder. Alabama and Oregon are also showing interest.

Athlete Derek Brown (Bay City, Texas) is receiving serious interest from Rice and Texas-San Antonio as a safety and TCU as an athlete. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound high school quarterback was one of the most impressive athletes on the hoof over the weekend.

Wide receiver Bryan Allen (La Marque, Texas) picked up his first verbal offer on Wednesday – from Wyoming. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound run-and-catch receiver prospect is also receiving interest from Houston, TCU, Texas State and Texas Tech among others.

Feist will be a nationally recruited quarterback in two years

Outside linebacker and defensive end Tony Winslow (Kingwood, Texas) picked up verbal offers from Utah and Arizona last week. The 6-foot-2, 222-pound versatile defender with 4.6-speed is also receiving serious interest from Arkansas.

Sleeper receiver Darrion Landry (Baytown, Texas/Lee) will camp at Oklahoma State June 14. The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder missed more than half of his junior season due to a broken forearm, but is seeing his recruitment pick up steam in May.

Top 2013 signal caller Connor Feist (Langham Creek, Texas) will camp at Oklahoma, Texas A&M, SMU, LSU, Baylor and Rice this summer. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Feist threw for more than 2,600 yards as a sophomore and was the top QB at the two-day event.

Running back Dillon Humphrey (Langham Creek, Texas) is receiving interest from West Virginia and SMU. The 5-foot-8, 178-pound quick all-purpose back totaled more than 2,000 all-purpose yards as a junior.

Running back Jalynn McCain (Richmond, Texas/Bush) reports a verbal offer from Arkansas along with interest from Colorado, TCU, Colorado State and Houston - among others. The 5-foot-10, 208-pound back plans to camp at LSU, Houston and hopefully Colorado. McCain’s teammate, cornerback Prince Ene, picked up his first verbal offer on Thursday - from Iowa State. The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Ene is receiving interest from Tulsa, Colorado State, Arkansas and UCLA among others. He plans to camp at TCU, Tulsa, Houston and hopefully Arizona.

Receiver Blake Webb (The Woodlands, Texas) has verbal offers from Boston College, Duke, Minnesota and Air Force among others. The 6-foot, 175-pounder with 10.7 100-meter speed plans to camp at Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma State and LSU among others. Webb consistently runs 4.4 in the 40.

Athlete Devan Demas (Cypress Creek, Texas) has verbal offers from Indiana, Boise State, Iowa State, Utah and Rice along with interest from Arkansas, Texas Tech and Oregon - among others. The 5-foot-8, 175-pound quick and explosive prospect says Boise State is recruiting him the hardest. He plans to camp at TCU, Texas A&M, hopefully Boise State and Texas Tech this summer.

Athlete Jared Gipson (Cypress Creek, Texas) has a verbal offer from Texas State along with interest from Utah, Nevada, Northwestern , Mississippi State, Arkansas and others. Texas State offered as an athlete, while Utah and Nevada are talking to him about playing an H-back role. Gipson is 6-foot-2, 210-pounds with 4.6-speed.

Safety Adam Jones (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes) is closing in on verbal offers from Illinois, Tulsa, Houston and Utah. All four programs are telling the Seven Lakes coaching staff they believe the 6-foot-1, 180-pound Jones can play safety or corner at the next level.

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