A pinned tweet on the official Twitter feed for The Colony High School football team displays an image of a map with all the colleges in the United States that came through in January 2019 or during the spring period to evaluate their student-athletes.
Forty one of the 50 states had colleges that presented the Cougars with offers to play football, with 106 total offers being given to the Class of 2020 -- as listed on the July 8, 2019 tweet.
It was safe to say that The Colony’s recent group of seniors left an indelible mark.
Texas Tech do-it-all signee Myles Price (District 5-5A Offensive MVP as a senior), Colorado signees Keith Miller III and Christian Gonzalez (district All-Purpose MVP), defensive lineman and UL-Monroe signee Marcus Moore (co-district defensive MVP), quarterback and Oklahoma Baptist signee Mikey Harrington II (first-team 5-5A QB), Dom Puentes (second-team all-district selection at defensive tackle as a senior) and Jose Escobedo (second team all-district at outside linebacker) helped to lead the program to a 32-15 record during their four years on campus.
“Who is next at TC?” the tweet said.
Although The Colony, as of yet, has not had any players who have committed or signed with a college, head coach Rudy Rangel, says his at least “8 to 10” Cougars hope to commit or to sit in a chair on National Signing Day in 2021.
“I’m not sure if we’ll have the Colorado’s and the (Texas) Tech’s and all for everyone,” he said. “That could happen for some of our guys, but we’re going to have some attention for our kids.”
Senior Stephen McCollom (first team all-district as a junior), a three-year starter who is moving from defensive end to middle linebacker, has received attention from the service academy schools.
Also at linebacker, senior Lawrence Smith is back after missing nearly half of last season due to a dislocated knee, while junior Kyhlon Whitehurst has a lot of skill, says Rangel.
“(McCollom) has some good opportunities. He’ll be on everyone’s list,” Rangel said of McCullom. “Kyhlon has got a lot of skill, a lot of potential.”
Junior Colby Cox is expected to excel at defensive end for The Colony, which Rangel said, is expected to bring more pressure from the defensive end and linebacker positions.
“It’s different from last year because we played in a five-technique but now in a four eye,” Cox said. “There is live pressure from linebackers from my side.”
Junior safety/wide receiver Shafiq Taylor (second team all-district as a sophomore) is being recruited by several mid-major schools, Rangel said.
“Shafiq is the general of the secondary and is probably one of the most gifted kids that I’ve ever had about football knowledge,” The Colony coach said.
Taylor will defend the middle half of the secondary along with Dante Yancey, who McCollum called, a “really good corner.”
Although The Colony plans to adjust its offensive scheme from a pass-happy system to one that leans on running the ball and controlling the clock, Rangel says that should open opportunities in the passing game for senior slot receiver Benji Nelson.
“He’s really fast, very fast, got a lot of potential,” Rangel said.
The Colony returns four starters along the offensive line: seniors Cameron Thomas and Chris Sanchez and juniors Henry Keeler and Christian Cummings.
That experience should bode well for a loaded backfield. Senior Kyle Taylor is back with The Colony after spending his junior season with TAPPS Division I state runner-up John Paul II. Another move-in, junior Kione Roberson, who transferred from Trinity Christian Academy, will add depth. Junior Robert Veasley is also expected to compete for playing time.
The sophomore class has the potential to be dynamic, Taylor said. Running back Kamden Wesley led the Cougars in rushing as a freshman and was named to the all-district second team. Outside/linebacker Aaron Trotter, Darien Thomas, Davonta Dunn, Devin Hensley, Joshua Cochran, Madaven Tillery, Trent Johnson (5-11, 220 pounds) and William Wallis (6-0, 230) are all ready to contribute.
“I feel like we did lose some people with those seniors, but like I said, it won’t affect us that much,” Taylor said. “The sophomore class that we have is really talented and we’ll just put them in their places and keep going.”