ESPNHS NEXT highlights trio of area athletes

Three area athletes are among those highlighted in the ESPNHS NEXT feature, which spotlights players destined for greatness.

Aledo running back Johnathan Gray, who is headed for Texas, is on the list. So are Seth Jones and Kellyn Acosta of Plano.

Here's what ESPNHS has to say about these future stars:

Kellyn Acosta, soccer

Acosta is part of the next generation for U.S. soccer. The athletic defender from Plano, Texas, is rated as the nation's top player in the Class of 2013, and he has already proved he can produce on the biggest stages. Acosta made the U.S. U-17 men's national team last season and worked his way into the starting lineup for the Under-17 World Cup in Mexico, and it may only be a matter of time before he's starring for the men's national team at the 2018 World Cup. Or maybe even 2014 …

Johnathan Gray, football

Texas Longhorns fans are getting antsy. A 13-12 record over the past two years for a team used to greatness will do that. But there is a silver -- or should we say Gray? -- lining to all this. The down years didn't scare off Gray, the record-setting running back from Aledo (Aledo, Texas). The No. 2 player in the 2012 ESPN 150, Gray became the nation's all-time leader in touchdowns scored with 205. Expect him to be Texas' most dynamic playmaker since Vince Young. Can a trip back to a BCS bowl be far behind?

Seth Jones, ice hockey

Jones is built like a basketball player (6-foot-3) -- his dad, after all, is former NBA stalwart Popeye Jones. But Seth prefers to do work on the ice. A member of Team USA's Under-18 Worlds squad and one of North America's top prospects, Jones decided last week to bypass college and play for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. In 2013, the two-way defenseman could potentially be selected first overall in the NHL draft. The 17-year-old from Plano, Texas, might be raising the Stanley Cup before long.