Last Wednesday, five Bi-City football players signed national letters of intent to play at schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
It was a relatively high number for a signing class that lacked the buzz of some in the area’s recent history.
Over the next couple seasons, however, that buzz is sure to return with a number of players who appear in position to sign with major college programs.
Here’s a look at five players who could make a splash on national signing day in 2015.
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Khane Pass, Carver, DB, 6-0, 195, 3-star prospect, Undecided
Pass, an athletic defensive back who has shown his worth for the Tigers in a number of capacities, will likely be one of a handful of Carver players with major offers on the table in 2015.
Already, he claims offers from Clemson, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, North Carolina, N.C. State and Vanderbilt. On ESPN’s 2015 Junior 300, he is rated the 278th best prospect in the nation.
The defensive back was named an All-Bi-City first-team athlete this past season after recording 55 tackles, nine pass breakups and two interceptions for Carver. He also spent time as a returner and ran occasional plays out of the backfield on offense.
His brother, 2016 quarterback Jawon Pass, may get the headlines and end up being among the nation’s top recruits by the time his high school career is over, but Khane is highly-coveted in his own right.
Mekhi Brown, Carver, DE/LB, 6-6, 230, 5-star prospect, Committed to Alabama
Brown is the jewel in the Bi-City’s class of 2015. Already committed to Alabama and rated as a five-star prospect on 247sports.com’s composite rankings, Brown is widely considered one of the top 25 prospects of any position in the country.
Recently, in a story by ESPN’s Tom Luginbill, Brown was rated the No. 9 impact prospect for 2015.
Brown had 56 tackles, 14 for loss, 11 sacks, 12 pass breakups and four forced fumbles in 2013, a fraction of what he can do once he reaches his full potential. His size provides an incredible upside that college coaches covet.
Name a major football program, and Brown likely has a scholarship offer: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Southern California, Georgia.
If he does indeed sign with the Crimson Tide, expect Brown to be another impact player off the end for the best program in America.
Justin Crawford, Hardaway, RB, 6-0, 200, 3-star prospect, Undecided
Crawford will be one of the more intriguing prospects to watch in 2015. Due to a GHSA rule, Crawford is no longer eligible to compete in high school athletics, so his senior year will be spent staying in shape, going to camps and trying to find the right college fit.
He thought he had that fit at Louisville under former coach Charlie Strong. After Strong left for Texas, however, Crawford withdrew his commitment.
He also claims offers from schools like Boston College and Georgia and said he hoped Strong would still be interested in him with the Longhorns.
Crawford has shown incredible athletic ability over his two years with Hardaway, despite not playing full seasons in either. Coupled with his good size, it’s easy to understand why he’s considered one of the better running back prospects around.
Traveon Samuel, Central, ATH, 5-8, 180, 3-star prospect, Undecided
Samuel earned early offers from a number of major programs before even suiting up for his junior season.
Teams like Auburn, Clemson and Florida State are listed among his favorites, while Alabama, LSU and others have offered him as well.
He was a first-team All-Bi-City athlete each of the past two seasons. He rushed for 780 yards, caught 452 yards, returned for 445 yards and totaled 15 touchdowns in 2013.
In short, he can do it all.
He has declined to rank his favorites recently, saying only that he’s just trying to focus on the entire process. Whoever gets his signature, however, will add a phenomenal athlete to their roster.
TaQuon Marshall, Harris County, QB/ATH, 5-10, 170, N/A, Undecided
Marshall is one of those guys to keep an eye on during his senior season with the Tigers.
Right now, you won’t find his name among the nation’s best on all the recruiting services, but he could play his way into some major opportunities at camps over the summer or during his senior year.
Right now, he has an offer from Duke. Former Harris County coach Tommy Parks has said other ACC and SEC schools have given Marshall a look as well.
Another do-it-all athlete, Marshall switched from quarterback as a freshman to receiver as a sophomore and back to quarterback for his junior season. He passed for over 1,200 yards and rushed for 1,015 and 15 touchdowns.
Expect a big senior campaign and some more offers to come.
Other names to watch:
Amonte Caban, Smiths Station, LB, 2015
Chris Rehak, Pacelli, DL, 2015
Austin Hester, Shaw, OL, 2016
Jawon Pass, Carver, QB, 2016
T.J. London, Carver, DL, 2016