There was plenty of talk about East Texas and its prized athletes during day one of the Big 12 Media Days in Dallas. From the class of 2014, several local standouts could see the field as true freshman. East Texas Sports was there for the annual event and visited with coaches about what makes our players special.
"They got a lot of tradition, a lot of pride out there," Baylor head coach Art Briles said. "You know most of them are one school towns, so those people carry the banner and they have to represent themselves well. They are also just really good athletes." Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury added, "There is no sense of entitlement you know and the coaches out there do a great job with those programs, they coach them hard and they are hungry."
One of the best prospects to come out of East Texas is Whitehouse star Patrick Mahomes. The four star quarterback will be a back-up at Texas Tech as a freshman, but head coach kliff Kingsbury is excited about his future. "He's a tremendous athlete, still raw, and still learning the position," Kingsbury said. "He's a guy who was a three sport guy in high school so never really focused on quarterback, but he has tremendous upside and play making ability and a guy that can really extend plays."
Another gem from the 2014 class is Mount Pleasant's K.D. Cannon. The state's top wide receiver has a chance to make quite the impact in Baylor's spread offense. "Having the fastest guys in the best track state in America is pretty exciting to me," Briles said. "He's fluid, he's got great hands, and his mentality is good."
This region isn't only known for speed. Four star center Jacob Bragg is taking his talents to Kansas. The Nacogdoches native drew high praise from his head man. "The fact that you have one of the best pure centers in the nation coming in out of the state of Texas is very very encouraging," Kansas head coach Charlie Weis said. "I said dont come in here with the mentality that you are going to be redshirted your freshman year."
Earning early playing time won't be east for Mahomes, Cannon, and Bragg but a good role model for them in Linden-Kildare's Shock Linwood. The Baylor running back is set to be the Bears starter as a sophomore. "He's just got great balance, great vision," Briles said. "He's got great heart. You know he is just a really really good football player and is very passionate about being great."
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