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2017 ETSN.fm Preseason East Texas Football Super Team

Carthage Keaontay Ingram reaches to break the plane.
Carthage running back Keaontay Ingram dives into the end zone during the Bulldogs’ home game against Henderson on Sept. 30, 2016.

The East Texas football landscapes never disappoints. Each summer, the staff at ETSN.fm combs through the thousands of players in the area to pick its annual preseason East Texas Super Team.

It is simultaneously the most fun and hardest job we undertake all year. Whittling down the region’s best to 29 names is no easy feat; there are inevitably great players left off the list each and every single season.

ETSN.fm covers more than 100 schools in the area — from Texarkana all the way down to Newton and Jasper. The following are, in our judgment, the very best players at their respective positions.

Carthage running back and Texas commit Keaontay Ingram is the preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while Arp safety and fellow Texas pledge DeMarvion Overshown is the preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

Without further adieu, we bring you the 2017 ETSN.fm Preseason East Texas Football Super Team:


Tyler Lee_Chance Amie_02

QB

Chance Amie

Tyler Lee

 

 

Class: Senior (committed to Houston)
Height: 6-3
Weight: 190
2016 stats: 97 of 180, 1,556 yards, 10 TDs, 6 INTs; 183 carries, 1,260 yards, 17 TDs
Outlook: Despite a coaching change at Lee just before the summer, expectations are high for Amie, who emerged as a true dual-threat behind center as a junior. With the arrival of ex-Gilmer assistant Kurt Traylor to run the Red Raiders’ program, expect the numbers to be even better for Amie this season.

 

Carthage RB Keaontay Ingram (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)
Carthage RB Keaontay Ingram (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

RB

Keaontay Ingram

Carthage

 

 

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Class: Senior (committed to Texas)
Height: 6-0
Weight: 198
2016 stats: 320 carries, 2,225 yards, 31 TDs; 46 catches, 475 yards, 2 TDs
Outlook: There isn’t a more talented offensive player in the region that Ingram, who is hoping to shatter school records and bring Carthage its sixth state championship since 2008. A change at quarterback and a few holes on the offensive line shouldn’t hamper Ingram’s ability to replicate last year’s production.

 

John Tyler_Cameron Grant_01

RB

Cameron Grant

John Tyler

 

 

Class: Junior
Height: 5-9
Weight: 175
2016 stats: 151 carries, 873 yards, 12 TDs; 10 catches, 118 yards, 2 TDs
Outlook: Pound-for-pound, Grant might be the most explosive back in all of East Texas. What the Lions’ back lacks in size, he more than makes up for in elusiveness and breakaway speed. Once he’s gotten through the initial line of defense, it’s a chore for linebackers and defensive backs to catch up.

 

Tyler Lee_Ladarius Wickware_02

RB

Ladarius Wickware

Tyler Lee

 

 

Class: Junior
Height: 6-0
Weight: 180
2016 stats: 176 carries, 1,404 yards, 14 TDs; 10 catches, 120 yards, 1 TD
Outlook: Wickware put together the quietest 1,400-yard rushing season in East Texas in 2016. He and Amie were the perfect 1-2 punch that allowed the Red Raiders to average more than 34 points per game. It will be interesting to see Wickware’s improvement from sophomore to junior year.

 

Jonathan Shepherd_Kilgore_02

WR

Jonathan Shepherd

Kilgore

 

 

Class: Senior (committed to Oklahoma State)
Height: 6-3
Weight: 196
2016 stats: 17 catches, 260 yards, 3 TDs
Outlook: The numbers don’t stand out, but that hasn’t stopped Shepherd from garnering national recruiting attention. His size, speed, and ball skills are the reason why this Kilgore receiver is headed for stardom at the next level. Don’t be surprised if Shepherd is more involved in the Bulldogs’ offense in 2017.

 

Jefferson_T.Q. Jackson_02

WR

T.Q. Jackson

Jefferson

 

 

Class: Junior
Height: 6-2
Weight: 175
2016 stats: 41 catches, 1,099 yards, 14 TDs
Outlook: The future of the receiving position in East Texas might be Jackson. As a sophomore, he burst onto the scene to average almost 27 yards per reception and catch 14 touchdown passes in Jefferson’s 12 games. He, along with quarterback Trey Hodge, return in 2017 for what could be one of the most dynamic offenses in 3A.

 

MDM-0006

WR

Tevailance Hunt

Texas High

 

 

Class: Senior (committed to TCU)
Height: 6-2
Weight: 180
2016 stats: 36 catches, 700 yards, 10 TDs
Outlook: Last season, Hunt played second fiddle to senior and eventual Kansas signee Quan Hampton at receiver. But now that Hampton is gone, the stage belongs to Hunt, who still put together a remarkable junior campaign.

 

Lufkin_Malik Jackson_01

WR

Malik Jackson

Lufkin

 

 

Class: Senior (committed to Houston)
Height: 5-8
Weight: 163
2016 stats: 52 catches, 1,017 yards, 10 TDs
Outlook: Jackson did it all for Lufkin a season ago. Not only was he a 1,000-yard receiver, scoring touchdowns every fifth catch. He also was one of the best return specialists in East Texas, putting up more than 400 yards in returns with a pair of touchdowns. Working out of the slot, he uses his small frame and open-field shiftiness to his advantage.

 

Marshall_Chasen Hines_02

OL

Chasen Hines

Marshall

 

 

Class: Senior (committed to LSU)
Height: 6-3
Weight: 353
Outlook: One of three Division I recruits on Marshall’s offensive line, Hines is the most polished and has the highest ceiling of the bunch. He plays guard in high school, but his skill set could easily be applied to the center position in college.

 

Van_Kris Dike_02

OL

Kris Dike

Van

 

 

Class: Senior (committed to TCU)
Height: 6-6
Weight: 283
Outlook: Van’s run to the 4A Division I quarterfinals last season would not have been possible without Dike, the left tackle that protected quarterback Garrett Moseley’s blind side. Dike was in part responsible for a Vandals offense that averaged almost 43 points per game.

 

Tatum_Drake Centers_02

OL

Drake Centers

Tatum

 

 

Class: Senior (committed to Texas State)
Height: 6-3
Weight: 296
Outlook: Tatum experienced a seven-win turnaround after 2015’s season yielded an 0-10 campaign. Solid line play, like the kind the Eagles received from Centers, was paramount in helping first-year head coach Craig Barker return Tatum to the playoffs.

 

Marshall_Kameron King_02

OL

Kameron King

Marshall

 

 

Class: Senior (committed to North Texas)
Height: 6-2
Weight: 275
Outlook: King is not as heralded a prospect and his teammate Hines, but make no mistake: he is one of the top offensive linemen in all of East Texas. The duo of Hines and King in the interior can thwart to just about any challenges mounted by the middle of the opposition’s defensive front.

 

Liberty-Eylau_Kylar Cooks_01

OL

Kylar Cooks

Liberty-Eylau

 

 

Class: Senior (committed to Texas State)
Height: 6-5
Weight: 252
Outlook: Cooks may not carry the weight yet, but his 6-5 frame and long wingspan make it difficult for defensive linemen to win the leverage battle. His performance in one-on-one drills at May’s ETSN Combine proved he belongs in the discussion of East Texas’ elite O-linemen.

 

Longview kicker Chris Kessler received an offer from Army on Tuesday (Courtesy)
Longview kicker Chris Kessler received an offer from Army on Tuesday (Courtesy)

K

Chris Kessler

Longview

 

 

Class: Senior
Height: 5-9
Weight: 150
2016 stats: 10 field goals (53 of 55 on PATs), 70 percent touchbacks
Outlook: While coaches would prefer to use kickers only for PAT’s and kickoffs, one that can make field goals with range are luxuries not often afforded to high school programs. Kessler routinely prevents kickoff returns with touchbacks, and his leg is strong enough to knock down field goals from 50 yards.

 

Henderson QB Trae Hall (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)
Henderson QB Trae Hall (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

ATH

Trae Hall

Henderson

 

 

Class: Senior (offers from Florida Atlantic, New Mexico State, Tulane, ULL, ULM)
Height: 6-3
Weight: 185
2016 stats: 128 of 189, 2,016 yards, 24 TDs, 4 INTs; 80 carries, 749 yards, 6 TDs
Outlook: Overshadowed last season by running back La’Kendrick VanZandt (TCU signee) and receiver Trestan Ebner (Baylor), Hall quietly posted nearly 3,000 total yards and 30 touchdowns at quarterback. His completion percentage was 67 percent, and his passing efficiency was outstanding, tossing touchdowns every eight attempts.

 

John Tyler_DeKalen Goodson_02

DL

DeKalen Goodson

John Tyler

 

 

Class: Senior (committed to Houston)
Height: 6-3
Weight: 215
2016 stats: 70 tackles (20 for loss), 11 sacks, 5 QB pressures, 1 forced fumble, 2 recoveries, 2 PBUs)
Outlook: He’ll likely play outside linebacker in college, but Goodson’s elite pass-rushing skills make him a perfect fit at defensive end for John Tyler. In two seasons, the Lions’ defender has racked up 17 sacks.

 

Whitehouse_Trevor Lawrence_02

DL

Trevor Lawrence

Whitehouse

 

 

Class: Senior (committed to Texas State)
Height: 6-4
Weight: 245
2016 stats: 46 tackles (10 for loss), 2.5 sacks, 9 QB pressures
Outlook: Whitehouse featured one of East Texas’ stingiest defenses in 2016, and the play of Lawrence was one of the biggest catalysts. His size and strength make him difficult for opposing tackles to overpower. Expect another solid campaign from Lawerence and the rest of the Wildcats’ defenders.

 

Texas High_Leonard Parks_01

DL

Leonard Parks

Texas High

 

 

Class: Senior (committed to SMU)
Height: 6-5
Weight: 230
2016 stats: N/A
Outlook: For a long time, Parks was one of the best kept secrets in East Texas. But after a breakthrough performance at May’s ETSN Combine, and strong showing on the summer camp circuit, the Texas High defender is now among the most talked-about prospects entering the 2017 season.

 

Marshall_Marje Smith_02

DL

Marje Smith

Marshall

 

 

Class: Senior (committed to Baylor)
Height: 6-6
Weight: 210
2016 stats: 23 tackles (2 for loss), 1 sack
Outlook: The numbers weren’t all that impressive a season ago, but Smith is clearly one of the most gifted athletes along the defensive front. The wingspan alone makes him tough for offensive linemen to handle.

 

John Tyler_Tre Allison_02

LB

Tre Allison

John Tyler

 

 

Class: Senior (committed to SMU)
Height: 6-2
Weight: 211
2016 stats: 118 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 INTs, 4 PBUs, 2 forced fumbles
Outlook: It’s hard to find a more consistent linebacker in the past two seasons than Allison, who’s been at the heart of John Tyler’s defense since the beginning of 2016. He flies to the ball and makes hard contact once he arrives.

 

Carthage_Mykel Gates_02

LB

Mykel Gates

Carthage

 

 

Class: Senior
Height: 5-11
Weight: 230
2016 stats: 158 tackles (19 for loss), 3 QB pressures, 2 INTs, 2 PBUs, 3 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries
Outlook: The leading tackler on Carthage’s 2016 state championship team, Gates is perhaps the most underrated recruit in all of East Texas. He chases down plays sideline-to-sideline, and rarely misses a tackle in the open field.

 

Pleasant Grove_Xavier Benson_01

LB

Xavier Benson

Pleasant Grove

 

 

Class: Senior (committed to Texas Tech)
Height: 6-3
Weight: 200
2016 stats: 89 tackles, 4 takeaways
Outlook: Following a 1-6 start to the 2016 season, Pleasant Grove caught fire by winning its next five to reach the third round of the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Benson ignited the late-season turnaround, and was the key cog on a defense that limited opponents to a respectable 17.5 points over the Hawks’ final six games.

 

West Rusk_Tyree Wilson_02

LB

Tyree Wilson

West Rusk

 

 

Class: Senior (committed to Texas A&M)
Height: 6-5
Weight: 225
2016 stats: 68 tackles (13 for loss), 1 INT, 2 forced fumbles
Outlook: Few players in the region have a higher ceiling in college than Wilson, whose versatility makes him a prized recruit. Wilson’s 6-5 frame allows him to play both on the line and in space in high school, and he could likely go either way at the next level.

 

Arp WR/DB DeMarvion Overshown. (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)
Arp WR/DB DeMarvion Overshown. (© Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

DB

DeMarvion Overshown

Arp

 

 

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Class: Senior (committed to Texas)
Height: 6-4
Weight: 200
2016 stats: 173 tackles (7 for loss), 5 INTs, 8 forced fumbles, 3 recoveries, 2 blocked punts
Outlook: Looking for some quality entertainment? Look up Overshown’s junior season highlights on Hudl.com. His physicality from the safety position has drawn comparisons to some of the sport’s best defensive backs in the last decade. 

 

Carthage_Mekhi Colbert_02

DB

Mekhi Colbert

Carthage

 

 

Class: Senior
Height: 5-8
Weight: 175
2016 stats: 43 tackles (3 for loss), 8 INTs, 10 PBUs, 2 forced fumbles, 1 defensive TD)
Outlook: The first name out of most people’s mouths when discussing Carthage these days in Keaontay Ingram, but Colbert’s performance down the stretch last season was one of the biggest reasons why the Bulldogs celebrated their fifth state championship since 2008 last December.

 

Nacogdoches_DaRyan Williams_01

DB

DaRyan Williams

Nacogdoches

 

 

Class: Senior (offer from Texas State)
Height: 5-10
Weight: 199
2016 stats: N/A
Outlook: It’s rare for someone of Williams’ size to run as fast as he does. At May’s ETSN Combine, the Nacogdoches defender clocked an impressive laser-timed 4.47-second 40-yard dash, which was tied for the best time of the event. He plays linebacker in high school, but his future at the next level is in the defensive backfield.

 

Newton_Tamauzia Brown_01

DB

Tamauzia Brown

Newton

 

 

Class: Junior
Height: 6-1
Weight: 168
2016 stats: 46 tackles, 5 INTs, 11 PBUs
Outlook: One of the least-talked about prospects in East Texas’ 2019 recruiting class, Brown can do it all for Newton. Last season, he totaled more than 1,200 yards on offense with 14 touchdowns. And on the defensive side of the ball, he helped the Eagles hold opponents to less than 10 points per game.

 

Generic_Football

P

Efren Barcenas

Spring Hill

 

 

Class: Junior
Height: 5-9
Weight: 155
2016 stats: 42.0 average, 6 punts inside 20
Outlook: Specialists never receive the most attention, but a punter like Barcenas can make all the difference in the world in creating positive field position for your defense.

 

Tenaha_Trai Gardner_01

UTL

Trai Gardner

Tenaha

 

 

Class: Senior
Height: 6-0
Weight: 180
2016 stats: 74 catches, 1,410 yards, 21 TDs; 9 carries, 260 yards, 5 TDs; 35 tackles, 5 for loss, 1 sack, 5 INTs, 8 PBUs, 2 forced fumbles, 3 recoveries
Outlook: Last season, Gardner scored 26 offensive touchdowns on just 83 touches. His play on defense also also led to 10 takeaways in helping Tenaha reach the 2A Division II quarterfinals. With most of the Tigers’ firepower returning, don’t be surprised to see even higher production from Gardner in 2017.

 

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