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March 31, 2004

Stars shine bright deep in heart of Texas

The Lone Star State is one of the nation's most talent-rich states when it comes to football recruiting. Football is king in the state of Texas and high school football is near the top of the list of fans. This year's initial release of the Rivals100 contains 12 of the state's best players and the field is wide open for all but one of them.

Texarkana Texas linebacker Chris Collins chose to play for Mack Brown's Texas Longhorns shortly after the scholarship offer made it's way to his home.

The 6-foot-1, 230-pound Collins is the state's top linebacker and chose the Longhorns over interest from LSU, Oklahoma, USC, Michigan and Texas A&M.

Tyler Lee offensive lineman Ciron Black has three schools at the top of his list, LSU, Texas and Texas A&M. The defending national champions have a slight edge at this point with a scholarship offer already extended.

The race isn't over for the 6-foot-5, 325-pound Black as other schools are still in the mix, including Baylor, Houston and Texas Tech that have extended offers.

Port Arthur Memorial running back Jamaal Charles rushed for over 2,000 yards as a junior. That feat alone would have interest coming from Arizona, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Tulsa - all which have offered scholarships. But, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Charles is also one of the state's better hurdlers.

Charles' coach, Dean Colbert, says his standout player will get attention in track from colleges as well.

"He has a lot of schools recruiting him," Colbert said. "He gets a lot of mail, and so far he has five scholarship offers. Those won't be all he gets either. He's very good at the hurdles. He has some schools keeping a close eye on him for that too."

Dallas Lincoln athlete Byron Eaton (right) is probably best labeled as an athlete. He is being recruited as a basketball player by a lot of schools and is receiving a lot of attention for his ability on the gridiron as well.

Eaton told RivalsHoops.com recently that Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State are recruiting for both basketball and football. He also said Indiana, Illinois, Louisville, Marquette, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Syracuse and Texas are recruiting him just for his hoops skills.

"Some people say I'm better at football and that I should go with that in college," the 5-foot-11, 210-pound Eaton said. "Then I've got other people saying that I'm better at basketball and I should go with that. I like them both so much it's really hard to say what I'll do."

Galena Park North Shore tight end Dajleon Farr (left) caught the eye of many recruiters on a highlight film of his teammate, quarterback Robbie Reid. Now, it is his turn to go through the recruiting process.

"I'll take Dajleon over anybody," North Shore coach David Aymond said of the 6-foot-6, 235-pound Farr said. "Taking nothing away from Bobby Reid, but Dajleon will have as many offers as Bobby. He's just a physical specimen."

Schools like LSU, Arkansas, Miami, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M and Iowa have offered scholarships already and are eager to land the state's top tight end. The North Shore offense used the tight end a lot in blocking situations and that resulted in just seven catches for 166 yards and one touchdown. Despite the low numbers across the statistics line Farr earned all-district honors.

Dallas Kimball defensive tackle DeMarcus Granger (right) was named Dallas-area defensive player of the year following his junior season. The attention from that award was enough to get schools coming after the prospect who may be the nation's top rated defensive tackle.

The 6-foot-3, 325-pound Granger has scholarship offers from LSU, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech. He also is receiving a lot of attention from Oklahoma and Colorado. Granger is planning on narrowing his list of schools to a final ten schools to consider around April 1 then trimming that list based on information he gathers from the schools and his time around the schools and the coaches.

Next week, Rivals100.com will take a look at the other Lone Star State natives that were tabbed as part of the pre-evaluation period Rivals100 earlier this month.

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