East Texas' sophomore class produced some stellar safeties in 2012, such as Whitehouse's Justin Dunning, Carthage's Bryian Bolton, and Sulphur Springs' Larry Pryor.

But a defensive tackle has risen to the top of what should be another strong recruiting class for the region. Daylon Mack was a 6-foot-2, 297-pound wrecking ball in the middle of Gladewater's defense, where he accumulated 62 tackles, 16 for loss, six sacks, and six fumble recoveries.

Mack, who already holds four major college offers, is the 2012 ETSN.fm East Texas Super Team Defensive Newcomer of the Year.

"I kinda expected to have a big season," Mack said. "I didn't expect it to be this big with all the scholarship offers and stuff like that. I just felt like I could contribute to the team.

"I'm treating offseason real serious. Next year I feel like I'm gonna have an outstanding season."

Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and TCU have all offered the anchor of Gladewater's defensive front. Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin stopped by Gladewater on Wednesday for a visit.

Mack said the Aggies are the early leaders, but that he's keeping his options open. After all, he's got plenty of time.

"I'm really enjoying it. I'm loving all the attention and stuff like that," Mack said. "My parents are real big on education, but just a place I can call home, a place that I can fit in."

For now, Mack is concentrating on improving himself and his team for the 2013 season, which may be a comeback season for the Bears. Gladewater's sub-varsity squads went 33-0-1 in 2012.

"We have very high hopes. We talked about going out with a state championship our senior year," Mack said. "(The coaches) put that in our head in the eighth grade when they first came here. That's pretty much the goal, and we work hard every day in offseason to get there."