Hooks Athlete Montrell Estell Commits To Texas
Montrell Estell was once the scholarship leader in East Texas and still today probably has the strongest list of all 21 East Texas players with at least one FBS scholarship opportunity.
One school stands out.
The Hooks all-around athlete announced Friday through his personal Twitter account that he intends to play his collegiate football at Texas after completing his high school course work next year. He is the fourth junior from the region to verbally commit to the Longhorns program.
Bullard tight end Major Tennison, John Tyler receiver Damion Miller and Liberty-Eylau defensive end Lagaryonn Carson are the other players that intend to make a move to Austin after a final season of high school football.
Estell (6-2, 180) finished the 2015 season with 34 catches for 417 yards and five touchdowns. He also added 380 yards and four touchdowns on the ground through an 11-game season that culminated with a District 7-3A Division II championship before a Class 3A Division II bi-district playoff round loss the next week.
As a defensive back, Estell recorded 64 tackles with four sacks, six forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and blocked two kicks.
Estell's offer list is rounded out by Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, Kansas, Notre Dame, SMU, Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas Tech and Tulane.
Texas has rebounded nicely from a disappointing 2015 showing within the region, when it only signed Gilmer defensive back Kris Boyd despite having five other standing offers to local players on National Signing Day.
Four of those players ultimately signed with chief recruiting rival Texas A&M. The fifth signed with Baylor.
After the 2015 signing day, the Longhorns program hired Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor to be their tight ends and special teams coach as well as their primary East Texas recruiter.
Traylor helped land Nacogdoches safety Brandon Jones -- who had 39 offers in total -- as well as Gilmer athlete Demarco Boyd as part of the Longhorns' most recent signing class. Texas A&M reeled in four local prospects in addition to a walk-on.
In the buildup toward the 2017 signing class, Texas has four local commitments. Texas A&M has zero players from the region.
Texas went 5-7 last season and missed a bowl game in head coach Charlie Strong's second year. Strong led the Longhorns to the Texas Bowl, a loss to Arkansas, to complete a 6-7 inaugural season.
Recent teams from Austin have been young. The 2016 team should have a little more bite following multiple true freshmen playing significant roles on the 2015 squad.
More than that, the Longhorns are optimistic they might have a long-term quarterback option in true freshman Shane Buchele. Quarterback has been a weak point since Colt McCoy departed after leading the program to the 2009 national championship game.
Texas teams have produced 32 conference titles, two Heisman Trophy winners and 56 consensus All-Americans through 122 years of competition. The program has claimed the national championship four times and has been awarded 11 other various national titles by less-recognized polling methods.
Estell, like all high school football prospects currently in their junior year, will become eligible to sign with any school that offers him in February.
2017 East Texas Football Players With Division I FBS Offers
- Judah Bell, Tyler Bishop Gorman, WR, 6-3, 180 — offers from Bowling Green, Coastal Carolina, Houston, Kansas, Memphis, Navy, North Texas, SMU, ULL, ULM, UTSA, Wyoming (12)
- Noah Bush, Athens, LB, 6-2, 225 — offer from Army (1)
- Lagaryonn Carson, Liberty-Eylau, DE, 6-4, 261 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor, North Texas, Oklahoma, TCU, Tennessee, Texas A&M (9)
- Trestan Ebner, Henderson, WR, 5-11, 180 — offers from Arkansas, Arkansas State, Colorado State, Houston, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Texas, Ole Miss, SMU, Syracuse, UTSA, TCU, Tulsa (16)
- Montrell Estell, Hooks, WR/DB, 6-2, 180 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, Kansas, Notre Dame, SMU, Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulane (12)
- Octavius Evans, Center, WR, 6-2, 186 — offers from Indiana, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Texas State, ULL (7)
- Ted Fuller, Harleton, RB, 5-11, 195 — offer from ULM (1)
- Austin Hawley, Gladewater, DB, 6-1, 200 — offer from ULM (1)
- Kollin Hurt, Gilmer, DB, 6-3, 175 — offer from ULM (1)
- Jordan Johnson, Hooks, ATH, 6-0, 195 — committed to Air Force (1)
- Kayce Medlock, Arp, ATH, 5-9, 186 — offers from Army, Colorado, Navy, SMU, Tulane, ULL (6)
- Damion Miller, John Tyler, WR, 6-1, 189 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Baylor, Houston, Kansas, Missouri, North Texas, Oklahoma State; Ole Miss; SMU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech (11)
- LaMarcus Morton, Gilmer, WR, 6-2, 175 — offers from Arkansas State, Colorado State, Houston, Indiana, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, Texas Tech, Tulsa, ULL, ULM, UTSA (11)
- Javontavius Mosley, John Tyler, CB, 6-1, 170 — offers from Arkansas State, Houston, North Texas, SMU, Southern Miss, Texas State, ULL, ULM, UTSA (9)
- Dhailon Phillips, Lufkin, WR, 6-3, 195 — offer from Texas State (1)
- Kordell Rodgers, Lufkin, QB/ATH, 5-10, 165 — offers from Arkansas State, Texas State, ULM (3)
- Makyle Sanders, Tyler Lee, S, 6-2, 175 -- offer from Memphis (1)
- Bryson Smith, John Tyler, QB/ATH, 6-0, 170 — offers from Air Force, Arkansas State, Bowling Green, Houston, New Mexico, North Texas, Purdue, SMU, Southern Miss, Texas State, Tulane, Tulsa, ULL, ULM, UTSA (15)
- Major Tennison, Bullard, TE, 6-6, 248 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, SMU, Texas Tech (12)
- Josh Thompson, Nacogdoches, CB, 6-0, 180 — offered by Arkansas State, Colorado State, Louisiana Tech, Minnesota, North Texas, Ohio, SMU, Texas State, Tulane, ULM, Utah, UTSA, Washington State, Wyoming (14)
- Traveion Webster, Longview, S, 6-0, 197 — offered by ULM (1)