2014 ETSN.fm East Texas Football Super Team Defensive Player Of The Year: Daylon Mack, Gladewater
A high school player the caliber of Gladewater senior defensive tackle Daylon Mack only comes around once every decade or so.
The three-year beast in the interior of the Bears' defense has just about every quality a college looks for when evaluating prospective recruits: speed, strength, overall athletic ability, natural instincts, smarts, and high moral character.
Rarely do all of those characteristics come to define a defensive lineman. He stands 6-foot-1 and weights 330 pounds, but runs a 40-yard dash in less than 4.9 seconds, has among the quickest first steps that some scouts have ever seen, rarely gets caught of position, enjoys the classroom experience, and never gets into trouble.
Perhaps that's why most recruiting services project Mack as a future college star and NFL prospect.
But it's his performance on the field for Gladewater that has earned Mack the 2014 ETSN.fm East Texas Football Super Team Defensive Player of the Year award. He follows last year's recipient, Travin Howard of Longview.
His numbers are phenomenal, especially considering the amount of double and triple teams he faced over the course of 2014. Mack finished his senior year with 87 tackles (35 for loss) with five sacks, four forced fumbles, three recoveries, three passes broken up, and two blocked kicks.
Mack's impact on Gladewater's defense, which goes far beyond the staggering statistics, was almost matched by his role on the Bears' offense, which became especially critical during his final two years in high school.
The Bears reached the regional championship and regional semifinals in 2013 and 2014, and it'd be hard to imagine that would have been possible if not for his occasional work at fullback, which was not as difficult as some might imagine given his athletic prowess.
In his final two years at Gladewater, Mack put up a combined 504 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns. And when he wasn't carrying the ball, he admirably served as a 300-pound lead blocker for an array of talented Gladewater tailbacks.
But it's on defense where Mack draws much of his acclaim. Scout.com ranks him as the nation's 10th-best prospect overall, and most other recruiting services consider him among the top two or three prospects at his position in the country.
At the annual Under Armour All-America game on Jan. 2 in St. Petersburg, Fla., which showcases some of the best high school football players in the country, Mack took home one of two MVP awards presented for his performance on the field.
Mack originally committed to Texas A&M in October of 2013, the middle of his junior season. But in late December of 2014, he choose to re-open recruitment by de-committing from the Aggies.
Now, with only a few days remaining until National Signing Day, Mack has narrowed his list of potential college suitors to three -- A&M, TCU and Texas.
One thing is for sure, whichever college acquires his services will undoubtedly be bringing in one of the most celebrated recruits in the history of East Texas.