Shipley shines early

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Class of 2011 wide receiver Jaxon Shipley (Brownwood, Texas) showed why he has created such a buzz among those that follow recruiting in the Lone Star State. The speedy, sure-handed receiver had an outstanding day during pool play for the Division II Fox Sports Southwest 7-on-7 State Championships, catching multiple passes and leading his team to a perfect record.

"We struggled in the first game [a 35-34 overtime win against Anahuac]," Shipley said. "We were up and then our defense let up a bit and let them back in."

In the next two games Brownwood defeated Rice Consolidated 27-8 and McGregor 39-27.

Jaxon Shipley is the younger brother of Texas receiver Jordan Shipley, who is the all-time leading receiver in Texas high school history and was a third-team All-American for the Longhorns last season.

Jaxon, who had 63 receptions during his junior season, camped at Texas this summer.

"Recruiting is always fun," he said. "I haven't really been hearing from many colleges, except I did camp at Texas this summer."

Shipley has excellent size, hands and speed. He competes in track and field for Brownwood and also was timed at 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash at his school during the spring.

Brownwood now moves into the championship bracket Friday morning.

"I think it should be a good run," Shipley said. "We don't know who we play yet, but I think we can do well. I think we can win it all."

Under the radar

Class of 2011 wide receiver/safety Alfon Taylor played wide receiver and safety for Navasota High's junior varsity last season. He was an unknown until this summer, when standout showings at a number of camps put him on the radar.

That continued Thursday as the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder caught multiple touchdown passes to lead his team to an unbeaten showing in pool play with wins against Westwood (46-27), Hardin-Jefferson (39-21) and Abilene Wylie (20-15).

"I went at it hard," Taylor said. "I've been holding up good [in the nearly 100-degree heat], but it hasn't been easy."

Taylor camped at Texas this summer.

"I liked it a lot," he said. "I played well when I was out there, and they are showing me interest."

Young gun

One of the most impressive overall prospects during the first day was Class of 2012 running back Dennis Smith (Wimberley, Texas/Wimberley).

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Smith has rare size for a rising high school sophomore and showed off speed and explosiveness to go along with it.

He rushed for 1,200-plus yards as a true freshman, and by the time his recruiting cycle comes around, he should have plenty of options.

This summer he camped at Texas Tech, Texas and Hardin-Simmons.

Carthage has a dyanmic duo

Carthage went 0-3 for the day but a couple of talented underclassmen stood out.

Class of 2011 linebacker Kendall Thompson is a 6-2, 230-pound linebacker who showed Thursday he can play well in space and has good athleticism. He plays SAM (strongside) linebacker for his high school team, but could potentially project as a MIKE (middle) linebacker in college. Several programs, including Texas A&M and Texas, are showing early interest.

Edward Pope is a Class of 2012 athlete that showed excellent ball skills and athleticism on offense and defense Thursday. During a 27-14 loss to Glen Rose in the first game of the day, Rose had an interception with a long return and nearly had another. He also caught multiple passes on offense.

The 6-3, 160-pounder will have to get bigger and stronger during the next three years of high school, but he has a lot of skills.

McCoy with a good day

Texas quarterback commit Case McCoy (Graham, Texas/Graham) led his team to a 2-1 record on the day and threw it around well. After dropping its first game against Melissa (26-20), Graham rallied to defeat Cameron (33-31) and Edna (49-22) to finish 2-1.

Results- Division II Tournament Thursday

Brownwood 35, Anahuac 34 (OT); Rice Consolidated 35, McGregor 21; Celina 55, Bandera 27; Hitchcock 42, West 21; Burnet 39, Lovejoy 27; Whitney 18, Palacios 13; Cameron 27, Edna 20 (2OT); Melissa 26, Graham 20; Gatesville 28, Goldthwaite 21; Pilot Point 27, Marion 25; Glen Rose 27, Carthage 14; Wimberley 39, Willis Point 12; Abilene Wylie 38, Hardin-Jefferson 20; Navasota 46, Westwood 27; Lorena 41, Lago Vista 20; Snyder 42, Rockdale 28; McGregor 21, Anahuac 14; Brownwood 27, Rice Consolidated 8; Hitchcock 41, Bandera 27; Celina 46, West 19; Burnet 33, Palacios 28; Lovejoy 34, Whitney 12; Graham 33, Cameron 31; Melissa 31, Edna 13; Gatesville 28, Marion 15; Pilot Point 28, Goldthwaite 19; Willis Point 28, Carthage 21; Glen Rose 42, Wimberly 25; Abilene Wylie 38, Westwood 24; Navasota 39, Hardin-Jefferson 21; Rockdale 34, Lago Vista 13; Snyder 26, Lorena 19; Rice Consolidated 26, Anahuac 23; Brownwood 39, McGregor 27; Bandera 22, West 14;
Celina 39, Hitchcock 27; Burnet 39, Whitney 8; Palacios 18, Lovejoy 7; Cameron 21, Melissa 18; Graham 49, Edna 22; Gatesville 38, Pilot Point 18; Goldthwaite 35, Marion 27; Wimberly 28, Carthage 25; Glen Rose 33, Willis Point 19; Navasota 20, Abilene Wylie 15;
Westwood 28, Hardin-Jefferson 18; Snyder 42, Lago Vista 28; Rockdale 19, Lorena 18.

The championship round begins at 8 a.m. Friday. The championship game is scheduled for 12:45 p.m. Friday at Kyle Field.

JC Shurburtt covers football recruiting for ESPN Scouts Inc.