40 Texas Panhandle players to watch in 2021


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[Graphic by Cobi Pace/ Photos by Trevor Fleeman, David Erickson and John Moore/ Press Pass Sports]

The regular season kickoffs on Aug. 26, as teams across the Amarillo-area gear up for an exciting 2021 campaign. Here’s 40 players to watch that will stand out in the Texas Panhandle.

[Graphic by Cobi Pace/ Photo by Trevor Fleeman/ Press Pass Sports]

Brenen Thompson, Spearman, WR-DB, 5-10,170-pound, Sr.

Recruiters are in love not only with Thompson’s elite speed, and his ability to make tacklers miss in the open field. Plus, his grit as he is a two-way starter for Spearman at wide receiver and defensive back. He’s taken the recruiting world by storm racking up 37 Division I offers, narrowing his choices to Alabama, Clemson, Oregon, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas A&M. For his career, Thompson has accounted for 4,300 yards of offense and 62 touchdowns.

[Graphic by Cobi Pace/ Photo by Trevor Fleeman/ Press Pass Sports]

Major Everhart, Tascosa, RB, 5-11, 170-pound, Sr.

Everhart is well established as one of the top Division I recruits in the Texas Panhandle, and continues to gain nation-wide noteriety. The three-star running back has 20 plus Division I offers that include, Notre Dame, Penn State, Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU and Virginia Tech. Last season was a tremendous year as he saw time at both quarterback, defensive back as well as running back. Everhart racked up 12 yards per carry on 70 totes, finishing with 839 yards and eight touchdowns. He added two catches for 45 yards and a TD.

[Graphic by Cobi Pace/ Photo by Trevor Fleeman/ Press Pass Sports]

Avion Carter, Tascosa, DL, 6-6, 260-pound, Sr.

Thanks to a breakout sophomore campaign, not to mention his impresive 6-foot-5, 260-pound frame, Carter caught fire in the offseason racking up over 15 Division I eye-opening offers that include high-profile programs in LSU, USC, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech. Carter is stronger, he’s older and his ability to rush the passer is unmatched.

[Graphic by Cobi Pace/ Photo by Trevor Fleeman/ Press Pass Sports]

Erik Gray, Amarillo High, OL-DL, 6-4, 285-pound, Sr.

The four-year starter has made his presence known not only in the Texas Panhandle but on a national level. The three-star two-way lineman currently has 12 offers that include Arizona State, Houston, Colorado State and Western Kentucky. No question Gray has size and strength, but add dynamic speed to his resume. Go watch his touchdown run against Lubbock High last year for proof. Last year, Gray totaled 28 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 2 pass breakups.

Cornelius Landers, Pampa, RB, 5-8, 180-pound, Sr.

Speed, vision, and ability to catch the football better than all the others makes Landers a defensive coordinators nightmare. Last year Landers went for 958 yards rushing with 10 touchdowns, while hauling in 33 balls for 265 yards receiving. Landers is also one of the more dangerous kick return players in the Amarillo-area.

Marc Ramirez, Wellington, RB-LB, 5-10, 180-pound, Sr.

The Skyrockets captain led by example with his fearless style of play. Ramirez helped lead Wellington to the Class 2A Division II state semifinals last season by rushing for an eye-opening 2,542 yards tacking on 30 touchdowns. Defensively, the District 4-2A Division II MVP did his part racking up 143 tackles, 12 for a loss, and a sack.

Juan Romero, Dumas, WR-DB, 5-11, 155-pound, Sr.

It was a breakout year for Romero last season for the Demons on the outside. Romero became a top weapon, and is expected to a leader for head coach Aaron Dunnam in 2021. The sure handed wide out snagged a team-best 58 catches for 969 yards with 12 touchdown catches last year.

Kam Reagan, Canyon, LB, 5-10, 170-pound, Sr.

A proven playmaker from last season’s Class 4A Division I state semifinalists, Reagan is the leading returning tackler for the Eagles with 140 total tackles, including 28 for loss and was a terror rushing quarterbacks from the edge, picking up 11 sacks.

[Graphic by Cobi Pace/ Photo by David Erickson/ Press Pass Sports]

Collin Bishop, Childress, QB, 6-0, 185-pound, Sr.

Three-year starter for last season’s Class 3A Division II state quarterfinalists, Bishop might be the area’s most complete dual-threat quarterbacks, throwing for 3,033 yards and 32 touchdowns while rushing for 1,012 yards and 16 more scores.

Kash Bradley, Bushland, WR-DB, 5-10, 165-pound, Sr.

A reliable receiver for Bushland’s pass-happy offense, Bradley was a first-team All-District 2-3A Division I pick, with 37 catches for 615 yards and 12 touchdowns. He scored practically every way possible, running for a touchdown, throwing a touchdown, returning a kickoff for a score and bringing back an interception for a TD.

Isayah Hernandez, Randall, WR, 5-10, 170-pound, Sr.

Hernandez was the top playmaker in Randall’s passing attack with 30 receptions for 446 yards and five touchdowns and could be a major reason the Raiders might make the transition from a running team to more of a passing team this season.

Jmaury Davis, Clarendon, RB-LB, 6-2, 190-pound, Jr.

Davis will contribute on both sides of the ball. He ran for for 672 yards and five touchdowns last season and was a major threat in the passing game with 13 receptions for 356 yards and four scores while recording 63 tackles, two interceptions and five sacks at linebacker. Has already received an offer from Western Kentucky.

Ryan Grawunder, Vega, QB-DB, 5-10, 165-pound, Sr.

Carrying on a family tradition at Vega, Grawunder returns as the leader of the Longhorns offense, throwing for 1,927 yards and 35 touchdowns last season for the District 3-2A Division II champions while running for 607 yards and 12 scores, and making 92 tackles along with six interceptions at defensive back.

Kameron Brown, Palo Duro, WR-LB, 6-2, 200-pound, Jr.

Brown was one of the leading playmakers on defense last season as a freshman. This spring he has shown that ability consistently and will anchor the middle of PD’s defense. Yet, his overall athletic ability will also get him some reps on offense, probably at running back, but he figures to be on the field almost every play on defense, where he’s most needed.

[Graphic by Cobi Pace/ Photo by David Erickson/ Press Pass Sports]

Brayden Klafka, Spearman, WR-DB, 6-1, 180-pound, Sr.

Brenen Thompson isn’t the only two-way standout Spearman opponents will have to worry about this season. Klafka had 35 catches for 748 yards and nine touchdowns last season and also ran for four scores, while making 86 tackles, including five for losses with four interceptions, two forced fumbles and fumble recoveries on defense.

Kobi Hill, Caprock, WR, 6-4, 220-pound, Sr.

Hill returns as one of the leaders in a talented receiving corps. His size and hands create favorable matchups, and his ability to go up and get the football is a real threat, especially in the red zone, so he should improve on his 12 catches for 221 yards (over 18 yards a catch) and two touchdowns last season.

Landyn Hack, Panhandle, QB-LB, 6-3, 205-pound, Jr.

Hack has credentials after only two seasons which most seniors would envy. He ran for 1,238 yards and 19 touchdowns on 141 carries, and while playing quarterback, threw for

841 yards and 10 TDs. Look for those passing numbers to go up considerably this fall, since he’s making the move to quarterback full-time on offense.

L’Travion Brown, Tascosa, RB-DB, 5-8 165-pound, Sr.

Another dangerous two-way threat for the Rebels, Brown had only 16 carries last season but made the most of them, rushing for 272 yards and four touchdowns. However, it was as a starting defensive back where Brown made the biggest impact, with two interceptions while breaking up 12 passes.

Emmanuel Ibanez, Dumas, DB, 5-9, 145-pound, Jr.

Ibanez is a player anyone would want on their roster. A year ago, Ibanez came on strong in the secondary becoming a top cornerback for a Demons team that went three rounds deep with 53 tackles, 17 pass breakups, three interceptions, which he turned two into touchdowns.

Luke Laminack, Amarillo High, K-DB, 6-0, 190-pound, Sr.

The dynamic Laminack can do anything asked of him. With one of the state’s best legs, the senior-to-be drilled 29-of-31 extra-points, and boasted 40 touchbacks. In the secondary, he’s equally important to the Sandies as a contributor making 40 tackles with three interceptions in 2020.

Angel Garcia, Canadian, WR-LB, 5-9, 150-pound, Sr.

Come on now, any Canadian Wildcat fans knows Garcia. He’s the guy who made the final play of the dramatic 2020 Class 3A Division II state championship 35-34 win – a quarterback sack – over Franklin. Garcia will back playing both sides of the ball for the young Wildcats who has three starters returning on each side. Garcia caught six passes for 85 yards last year, while on defense he made 81 tackles and recorded six sacks.

Jake Krehbiel, Canadian, RB-LB, 5-10, 180-pound, Sr.

As a linebacker Krehbiel already has proven himself on the biggest stage as a starter last year for the Class 3A Division II state champions of 2020. Krehbiel made 92 tackles, 15 of those for losses, and added two sacks. As one of three defensive starters returning on defense, Canadian coach Chris Koetting will count on Krehbiel not only to make plays on the field but his leadership. With star running back Hayze Hufstedler lost to graduation, Krehbiel will likely get reps at running back as last year he carried 17 times for 69 yards and scored two TDs. He should also see time at wide receiver.

Elliot Brown, River Road, RB-DB, 5-10 161-pound, Sr.

Remember the name Elliot Brown. He was a workhorse in the backfield for the Wildcats a year ago rushing for 792 yards on 133 carries, averaging close to six yards a touch totaling 10 TDs. This senior season expect Brown to be the feature back for coach Bryan Welps, and a household name.

Cameron Chambers, Borger, RB, 5-10, 200-pound, Sr.

Borger is looking for a breakout season and the running of Chambers is crucial to that success. Chambers enters his senior season knowing how to carry the load coming off a junior year where he carried 105 times for 381 yards. Look for the Bulldogs to also use Chambers out of the backfield as receiver. He caught 14 passes for 120 yards. As Borger’s featured back, look for Chambers to build on his numbers from a year ago.

Noah Brown, Hereford, 5-8, 170-pound, Sr.

Go ahead. Look at Brown’s size of 5-foot, 8-inches and say no way he can impact a game. You would be wrong. Brown’s ability to make tacklers miss in the open field, his gifted hands, and a simple want-to to be a great at wide receiver makes him an impact player going into 2021. With Brown and his teammates playing under new spread-like offense under first-year coach Adam Naron, look for Brown’s strong numbers in 2020 – 31 catches, 466 yards and six touchdowns – to balloon even higher.

Roise Marquez, Dalhart, DL, 6-1, 200-pound, Sr.

When you play the Golden Wolves, offensive coordinators know Marquez’ quickness off the ball must be accounted for or it’s going to be a long night for the quarterback. Marquez built quite the resume as a junior earning first team all-district at defensive end (voted on by district coaches), recording 76 tackles, 12 solo tackles, three quarterbacks sacks, 10 quarterback hurries, blocked a punt, recovered a fumble and forced a fumble.

Jacob Bautista, Friona, RB-DB, 5-10, 5-9, 155-pound, Sr.

The speedy veteran has been has been a valuable weapon on both sides of the ball for coach Jimmy Arias the past two seasons. As a junior, Bautista rushed for 905 yards with 12 touchdowns giving him a total of 2,996 yards for his career.

Creighton Killian, Wellington, QB-DB, 5-10, 175-pound Sr.

The three-year starter has solidified himself as a proven winner. Though he doesn’t have gaudy numbers Killian engineers the Skyrockets offense, and it shows with a 25-3 career record. Wellington head coach Greg Proffitt loves Killian’s ability to flee the pocket, make a big throw, or stick a block if need be. Last season, Killian totaled over 1,000 yards of offense with 17 touchdowns.

Dru Jones, Stratford, WR-DB, 6-1, 175-pound, Sr.

Known as more of a running attack, Jones was a huge asset on the outside for the Elks. The swift receiver snagged a team-best 53 catches for 710 yards. When needed, the first-team All-District selection also showed his versatility rushing for 220 yards combining for 11 TDs. Defensively, Jones made 63 tackles with three picks.

Brock Wade, Amarillo High, QB, 6-2, 180-pound, Sr.

Wade was thrust into the starting quarterback role when Will Maynard went down in the season opener. Wade was superb moving into the starting role playing with much confidence throwing for 1,524 yards tacking on 24 touchdown passes. AHS head coach Chad Dunnam loves Wade’s leadership, and hopes to see him grow even more this season.

Adryan Rodriguez, Highland Park, RB, 5-10, 200-pound, Sr.

Exciting expectations are expected for the Hornets tailback in 2021. Rodriguez, a physical runner can tote the rock when called upon. Last season the 5-foot-10, 200-pound back carried the ball 42 times for 258 yards.

Cutter Lust, Sunray, OL-DL, 6-0, 205-pound, Sr.

Lust established himself as one of the better offensive and defensive lineman in the Amarillo-area last season. The mauler cleared a path for an Bobcats run game, and finished the year with 49 tackles, nine tackles for a loss with 5.5 sacks on the defensive side.

Shayne Franks, Follett, RB-LB, 5-11, 165-pound, Jr.

The large framed rusher will now be the feature back for a team that’s primed to make another deep playoff push. Franks shared carries last season with Jonathan Camacho and was still able to amass 1,400 yards and an impressive 38 TDs. Franks will have the Panthers ready to run in the postseason.

Dario Bressler, Canyon, RB, 6-1, 170-pound, Sr.

Bressler is described by his coaches as a tough, selfless, hard worker willing that does anything to make his team better. His rushing is vital for the Eagles and it showed his junior season piling up 629 yards on 86 carries with three scores.

Clay Gilter, Vega, RB-LB, 5-9, 170-pound, Sr.

The shifty Gilter is a tremendous compliment to quarterback Ryan Grawunder, and helps keeps defensives off balance. In 2020, Gilter scampered for 930 yards rushing, tallied 250 yards receiving for a combined 16 touchdowns. The linebacker also made 110 tackles on the year with two picks.

Zion Fuller, Childress, LB, 5-10, 200-pound, Sr.

Fuller fits the mold as the next great linebacker to come through a prestigious Bobcats program.

Just a year ago, Fuller came into his own leading Childress in tackles with 187, adding three interceptions to his resume.

Corey Stancell, Farwell, RB-LB, 6-0, 195-pound, So.

It’s not often a freshman makes an impact like Stancell did for the Steers last year. He started the season as a promising newcomer then ended 2020 as one of the areas top small school players. On offense, he galloped for 1,094 yards on only 156 carries with 14 touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, he was in on 80 tackles, six of those for a loss.

Pace Bressler, Happy, RB-DB, 5-9, 165-pound, Sr.

The agile QB from 2020, is being asked to take a make a transition to the spread back position. A threat on both sides of the ball, Bressler will be force on the defensive end, rocking an All-State knod at cornerback in last year snagging two picks to go with 67 tackles.

Damon Kuelher, Groom, RB-DB, 5-6, 140-pound, Sr.

Speed is the name of the game in Six-man, and Kuelher has plenty to go around. At 5-foot-6, the senior isn’t likely run someone over, but he can easily blow right past any defender. Defensively, Kuelher’s no slouch finishing second on the team in tackles with 113.

Abraham Hernandez, Perryton, QB, 5-10, 175-pound, Sr.

Hernandez became a tremendous leader helping the Rangers to the area round of the Class 4A Division II playoffs last season. Perryton head coach Kurt Haberthur has been very impressed with his QBs work ethic during fall camp, and shows great character off the field.

Notable Players to Watch

(Alphabetical order)

Sam Anguiano, Pampa, QB, 5-10, 200-pound, Sr.

Max Baca, Dalhart, DB, 6-2, 160-pound, Sr.

Nathan Baker, Randall, WR, 5-10, 155-pound, Jr.

Tayden Barnes, Tascosa, RB-DB, 5-10 175-pound, Jr.

T.S. Bow, Happy, RB-LB, 5-11, 175-pound, Sr.

Zane Burr, Stratford, RB-LB, 6-0, 185-pound, Jr.

Luis Calderon, Sunray, OL-DL 6-4, 340-pound, So.

Javion Casas, Dimmitt, WR-DB, 6-0, 170-pound, Sr.

Carlos Castillo, Farwell, RB-LB, 5-10, 220-pound, Sr.

Camren Cavalier, Canadian, QB-DB, 5-10, 165-

pound, So.

Bryan Chavira, Friona, QB-DB, 5-7, 155-pound, Sr.

Derrek Clements, Canyon, QB, 6-3, 200-pound, Jr.

Andreus Cruz, WT High, QB-DB, 5-9, 180-pound, Jr.

Parker Cunningham, Canyon, WR-DB, 5-11, 150 pound, Sr.

BT Daniel, Tascosa, QB, 6-0, 190-pound, Sr.

Brennen Davis, Muleshoe, TE-LB, 6-2, 200 pound, Sr.

Darian DeLaRosa, Bovina, RB-LB, 5-11, 190-pound, Jr.

Jimmy Dominguez, Sunray, DB, 5-8, 150-pound, Sr.

Jaxon Edwards, Valley, RB/LB, 6-1, 170, Sr.

Brayden Franco, Tulia, WR-DB, 5-8, 140-pound, Sr.

Jovany Gallardo, Wheeler, WR-DB, 6-3, 170-pound, Sr.

Gus Galliard, Gruver, RB-LB, 6-1, 170-pound, Sr.

Jameson Garcia, Amarillo High, WR, 6-1, 185-pound, Jr.

Mason Gilbert, Randall, LB, 6-0, 185-pound, Jr.

Anthony Gonzalez, Stratford, OL-DL, 6-0, 260-pound, Sr.

Gerardo Gonzalez, Dimmitt, OL-DL, 6-2, 250-pound, Sr.

Chris Hammons, Caprock, OL, 6-5, 310-pound, Sr.

Aiden Harris, Panhandle, DL, 6-4, 220-pound, Sr.

Diego Hernandez, Booker, QB-DB, 6-0, 145-pound, Sr.

Jordan Herndon, Claredon, RB-DB, 5-11, 185-pound, Sr.

Karson Ketchum, White Deer, RB/DB, 5-9, 165, Sr.

Brooks Leinen, Tascosa, OL, 6-4 280-pound, Sr.

Jamel Acosta-Lewis , Caprock DB, 5-11, 180-pound, Jr.

Bryson Lopez, Hereford, RB, 5-8, 175-pound, Sr. Sr.

Kamonte Martin, Wheeler, WR-DB, 5-10, 160-pound, Sr.

Dareon Mathis, Childress, RB-DB, 5-8, 185-pound, So.

Carson McCall, Vega, TE-DB, 6-0, 190 pound, Sr.

Travon McCaslin, Tulia, QB, 6-1, 170-pound, Sr.

Colton Millsap, Gruver, WR-DB, 6-2, 175-pound, Sr.

Lamont Nickleberry, Childress, WR-DB, 5-10, 165-pound, Jr.

Willy Olvera, Wellington, OL-DL, 5-10, 220-pound, Sr.

Cutter O’Neal, Memphis, RB-DB, 5-9, 140-pound, Sr.

Trace Patterson, S. Fritch, RB-LB, 5-10,, 175-pound, Sr.

Lamarcus Penigar, Clarendon, WR-DB, 5-9, 160-pound, Sr.

Erick Ramirez, Booker, OL-LB, 6-0, 190-pound, Jr.

Avery Randle, Palo Duro, QB, 6-1, 180-pound, Jr.

Brayden Boggs-Rushing, Dumas, LB, 5-10, 175-pound, Sr.

Ethan Salgado, Spearman, OL-DL, 5-10, 260-pound, Sr.

Luke Schulte, Nazareth, QB, 6-2 165-pound, Jr.

Jayden Slater, Boys Ranch, WR-LB, 6-5, 200-pound, Sr.

Garrett Stribling, Vega, OL-DL, 6-4, 225 pound, Sr.

Breckyn Thomas, Borger, DB, 5-5, 155-pound, Sr.

Phillip Thompson, S. Fritch, OL-LB, 5-10, 180-pound, Sr.

Junior Torres, Perryton, OL, 5-10, 180-pound, Sr.

Tate Upchurch, River Road, 6-6, 291-pound, Sr.

Edgar Villa, M

emphis, QB-DB, 5-9, 145-pound, Sr.

Micah Wesly, Palo Duro, DB, 6-0, 185-pound, Sr.


Tommy King

Lance Lahnert

Lee Passmore

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