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ET Football: East Texas talent keeps Texas Tech coming back

By Hayden Henry
June 10, 2014 at 10 p.m.

It's hard for the Texas Tech staff to find a reason not to come back to East Texas each summer.

In a region known for its talent, to Red Raiders' offensive coordinator Eric Morris its the athletes' approach and dedication that sticks out as much as the skill.

"Historically, this is a great region for athletes and per capita, some of the best athletes we get from these camps come from this area," Morris said. "They're all tough kids that aren't afraid to grind, get out in the heat and put in the extra time.

"We love the attitude out here."

Morris, along with second-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury and 21 other Red Raider staff members got their look at what the region has to offer on Tuesday with an estimated 185 athletes from throughout the Ark-La-Tex taking over Lobo Stadium for the annual camp.

"Coming out here and competing with guys from all over the area is always fun," Longview junior quarterback Cameron Castleberry said. "It's nice to not have to travel far to come out and compete."

Castleberry spent the day under the direction of Kingsbury, who was hands-on with all the quarterbacks from the area, including Henderson's Zane Boles.

"I've been to a few camps and he's one of the most fun head coaches to be around," Castleberry said. "He's a really good guy, very up-tempo and is always having fun.

"I learned a lot."

On the other end was a long list of skilled receivers, including Longview's Jon Sorey, Gilmer's Chase Tate, Lufkin's Keke Coutee and Pine Tree's Mason Hays.

Defensively, Longview's Jakoriyan Walker and Shaun Lloyd, as well as Shreveport Woodlawn's Henry Black, emerged from a talented defensive back pool.

While the skill positions have been a staple of East Texas, with the most recent Lubbock-bound athletes including Whitehouse's Patrick Mahomes and Chapel Hill's Joseph Clark, the guys up front drew a lot of the attention.

"Skill positions is what this area is known for, but the last few years there's been several national recruits come out that are on the offensive and defensive lines," Morris said. "They have big, long, good-looking kids out here."

That included Longview's Broderick Washington and Lufkin's Erik McCoy, who both hold six FBS offers, on Tuesday. The pair spent the day battling at each station throughout the field with both drawing interest from the Red Raider staff.

"Today was great," Washington said. "I enjoyed showing everyone that Longview's got something coming this year. We've got a good group on the way."

Washington said he would be hearing more from Tech.

"They said I did good and they would keep in touch," he said. "I'm just going to keep working and get better."

For Morris and the Red Raider staff, these camps are a way to find players that are flying under the radar.

"We just love coming out here every year and finding kids that we haven't heard of that are really good players."

<em>(Follow Hayden Henry on Twitter: <a href="" target="_blank">@hayden_h</a>)</em>



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