As part of ESPNU‘s flirtation with high school sports and college football recruiting, two Texas teams with highly sought after prep stars face off in a non-district showdown. Sealy travels to Houston to take on St. Pius X in a matchup headlined by 5-star Sealy athlete Ricky Seals-Jones and 4-star Panthers quarterback Kohl Stewart.
Heavily pursued (offers from LSU, Ole Miss, Notre Dame) prior to his commitment to Texas A&M, Stewart (6’3, 190) currently ranks ninth among pro-style quarterbacks nationally according to 247 Sports. He possesses the type of arm to give newly-elevated redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel stout competition upon arrival in College Station. Will he ever make it campus though? That same limb has Stewart pegged among ESPN’s Top 30 prospects for the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft. Per World Wide Leader analyst Keith Law, his fastball tops out around 97 mph and there’s already above-average breaking stuff.
Depending on health and outlandish signability demands, Stewart is a near-lock to become a first round selection. Hearing his name called in the top ten places his value close to $3 million and by dangling Texas A&M football as leverage, Stewart could approach a $4 million bonus. Would you pass on textbooks and classes and SEC action in Kyle Field for that number? So while he says all the right things at the moment and he’s mentioned countless times that he’s ready to play two sports as an Aggie, even head coach Kevin Sumlin needed some insurance. Southlake Carroll quarterback Kenny Hill, a state champion last season, is also a 2013 commit.
Lining up at running back, wide receiver, quarterback and safety across the line from Stewart tonight is former Texas commit Ricky Seals-Jones. The top-ranked athlete (6’5, 230) nationally according to 247 Sports does a bit of everything for the Tigers and reading Stewart will be part of his duties. That versatility created some recruiting drama when Seals-Jones decommitted from the Longhorns in June. His body screams future defensive end or tight end. The player has made it clear that he’s a wideout. And his talent on the hardwood means basketball coaches must pursue and persuade him with promises of attempting both sports in college.
At the moment, he continues to list Texas as his leader. LSU and Texas A&M are generally regarded as the most serious contenders. After receiving his faxed Letter of Intent on Signing Day, coaches can begin figuring out where his future is best served positionally. For the time being, you’d better let the talented prep know there are passes to be caught and his hands are required. It seems likely that Seals-Jones will enjoy the official visit process and then pull the trigger. When that decision comes is anyone’s guess but if he’s as productive in college as he is gifted, the signature is worth the wait.
The area PTA meeting, neighborhood barber shop or local burger joint is a better place to find information on the rest of the players involved this evening. While I do claim Houston as my city of residence, entire rosters of Bayou City high school teams elude me. I’m not Houston’s Craig Way, people.
The game kicks off at 8 p.m. Central.