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Ten freshmen to watch in Texas

Recruiting seems to get earlier and earlier every year, especially in the state of Texas. With schools now bringing large numbers of sophomores in for unofficial visits, the class of 2015 is already starting to become well-known.

Reggie Hemphill averaged 40 yards per reception for Manvel this past season.

Now, 247Sports takes a look at the following class – 2016. Though most of these freshmen are not yet on college radars, you can bet they will be soon. Not all of them even played varsity ball this past year but they will all likely make big impacts as sophomores this coming season.

Reggie Hemphill, WR, Manvel

Before he had ever even attended a high school class, the 5-foot-11, 165-pound freshman was a big-time playmaker in a preseason scrimmage against state powerhouse Brenham. Though Manvel sent three wide receivers to BCS schools this year, Hemphill still managed to make an impact on varsity, catching 10 passes for 400 yards and six touchdowns. Hemphill is also a good passer and will be part of a four-way battle for the starting quarterback job this spring. His future, however, is as a wide receiver and he has the skillset to be a top recruit.

Patrick Hudson, OT, Silsbee

The Silsbee staff allowed the mammoth 6-foot-5.5, 325-pound freshman to develop on the sub-varsity level this year but Hudson should be a dominant high school tackle for the next three seasons. Though his weight would seem to be too high for a player his age, he is not fat in the slightest. He actually looks lean for his size. He is already the strongest player in the Silsbee program and his feet are very good for a freshman. If he continues to progress, every school in the country will come calling. He has a very early top three of Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M.

Michael Irvin Jr., WR, Plano Prestonwood

The son of Hall-of-Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin, the younger Irvin is also a big receiver at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds. This year was the first time he was able to play the position, though, because youth rules did not allow a player his size to play a skill position. He took to it well, though, recording 39 receptions for 367 yards and four touchdowns on the Prestonwood varsity squad this year. With his father being one of the proudest University of Miami alums out there, “The U” will be tough to beat should they extend an offer at any point to Irvin Jr.

Kameron Martin, ATH, Port Arthur Memorial

Silsbee offensive tackle Patrick Hudson is already built like a college lineman.

Port Arthur Memorial is always loaded and that was the case with this year’s senior class. However, the player at the school that seems to the most talked-about prospect is the 5-foot-9, 165-pound freshman Martin. He is already putting up very good track times for a player his age and, though he played a somewhat limited role at running back this year, averaged over seven yards per carry. With his speed, Martin could end up being an all-purpose back or a shifty slot wide receiver. It is still very early but he already appears close to offers from the likes of LSU, Texas A&M and Texas Tech.

Ed Oliver, DT, Spring Westfield

Top defensive tackles seem to grow on trees at the Houston-area school with the likes of Desmond Jackson, Anthony Smith and Hardreck Walker signing with Texas, Texas Tech and Texas A&M, respectively, over the past three season. Oliver looks to be next in line. The 6-foot-1, 280-pound freshman was a standout at the recent Houston Nike Football SPARQ Combine. Very strong for a freshman, Oliver should make an impact on the interior of the line for Mustangs this coming season.

Shea Patterson, PQB, Hidalgo

Not a lot of coaches make their way to the Rio Grande Valley, so it was a bit surprising when Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez decided to do so in December. It was even more surprising that he was there to check out the 6-foot-1, 180-pound freshman Patterson. The Wildcat head coach came away impressed what he saw from the young passer and extended an offer. Patterson did not take long to accept and became the earliest commitment in the state in recent memory. He had been a star on the youth all-star circuit for a couple years and it translated to varsity success as a freshman.

Bowman Sells, PQB, Lucas Lovejoy

Lovejoy is a relatively new school but the team has been one of the top Class 3A programs the past couple of years before moving up to 4A this season. Therefore, it is pretty big news when they were led by a 6-foot-2, 185-pound freshman quarterback. Though the Leopards ran into state finalist Lancaster in the second round of the playoffs, Sells still threw for 2,632 yards and 25 touchdowns on the year. The folks in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex swear by his potential and say he should be one of the top quarterbacks in the nation for his class.

Kaden Smith, TE, Flower Mound

The 6-foot-5, 235-pound tight end left a big impression at Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher Camp this past summer. He almost earned an offer from the Seminoles before he ever attended his first class as a freshman at Flower Mound and will likely see one at some point in the near future. It’s no surprise, then, that Smith started on varsity for a Class 5A program, something that is incredibly rare in the state. He ended up taking home Co-Offensive Newcomer of the Year honors in his district.

Trevor Speights, RB, McAllen Memorial

Another player from the Rio Grande Valley, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound freshman reminds many people of former Memorial star and Texas A&M running back Bradley Stephens. As a freshman this past season, Speights ran for 1,751 yards and 11 touchdowns in earning first-team all-district honors while also being named the All-Valley Newcomer of the Year. His film is fun to watch as he can run between the tackles or use his speed on the edge. If he stays healthy, he could end up breaking the numerous records that Stephens currently holds and, along with Patterson, give coaches a reason to check out the talent in the valley.

Johnnie Williams, ATH, Austin LBJ

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Williams looked like a manchild playing at the sub-varsity level this past season. He played both ways – starting at quarterback and linebacker. Though his size means he is likely headed for the defensive line on that side of the ball, he actually did a very good job in coverage while playing linebacker. Though his school has not been producing as many prospects as in years past, athlete Randon Knotts just signed with Fresno State, proving colleges will find the talent if it is there. Williams should end up as an FBS signee himself in a few years.

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