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Texas Tech, Texas State camps draw top East Texas talent

By Jimmy Carter jcarter@news-journal.com
June 12, 2013 at 11 p.m.


Some of the top high school football players in East Texas showcased their skills at two area camps Wednesday.

An estimated 100-plus athletes attended a Texas Tech camp at Longview's Lobo Stadium in the early afternoon, while dozens of players participated in a Texas State camp at Kilgore's indoor practice facility later in the afternoon.

The star power was out in full force at the Tech camp. Most of the top talent in the region participated in the workout in front of the Red Raiders staff and first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury.

"I love getting out to East Texas," Kingsbury said. "The level of talent is always great. The Texas high school coaches do such a great job with their programs. The kids are always respectful and competitive. So we love coming out here. It's some of the best football we see."

Tech verbal commit and Whitehouse quarterback Patrick Mahomes participated in the camp. Mount Pleasant receiver KD Cannon, the region's highest-ranked class of 2014 prospect, was present, while Gladewater defensive tackle Daylon Mack, the area's top 2015 prospect, also attended.

Among the other top prospects in attendance were Longview's duo of receiver Dorian Leonard and running back JaMycal Hasty, Sulphur Springs' duo of safety Larry Pryor and athlete Willie Ivery, Whitehouse brothers Justin and Vincent Dunning, Palestine defensive end Jarrell Owens, Gilmer athlete Kris Boyd, Carthage receiver Tee Goree and Pine Tree quarterback Caleb Chumley.

The camp generated a large turnout from a region Kingsbury and his staff have focused on since arriving in Lubbock in December.

"It's been a huge emphasis to get to each part of the state, in particular East Texas," Kingsbury said. "Texas Tech didn't have one of these camps out here the last few years. Or ever. Being with coach (Kevin) Sumlin in Houston and Texas A&M, this has always been a hotbed for us. So we're going to be all over this place and hopefully get a bunch of good players out of here."

Cannon and Chumley also stopped by the Texas State camp in Kilgore. Dozens of other athletes had the opportunity to display their talents for the Sun Belt Conference school by working out in front of the Bobcats' coaching staff.

Carthage quarterback Blake Bogenschutz, Gilmer's trio of defensive back Ardarius Johnson and athletes Tanner Barr and Devondrick Dixon, multiple Kilgore players and multiple prospects from West Monroe (La.) were among the attendees.

"We were grateful for the players we had," Texas State coach Dennis Franchione said. "It was great to work with them. They got a lot of individualized instruction. And sometimes that's more beneficial. This is our recruiting area so it's important for us to get to these areas.

"It's good for us to get to East Texas. There's a lot of good athletes here. There's a lot of well-coached athletes and great high school programs. And it gives us a chance to have a presence here, which we think is important because of the talent here."

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