The 2021 NFL Draft kicks off tonight, which will change the lives of several former Houston-area athletes.
The Draft is the Super Bowl of late Spring as the NFL will own the next few days.
So, which former H-Town high school stars will hear their names called through Saturday?
THE FIRST ROUNDERS
Waddle was special in college in a small sample of games. He was banged up last season but when he's right… he's a game-breaker. He can return kicks and play the slot. His wiggle is unmatched and he's strong in the lower body. He's a Top 10 pick.
Rashawn Slater, Fort Bend Clements, Northwestern, OL
Slater is a physical guard with some serious pedigree. His father Reggie Slater played in the NBA for over a decade. Slater opted out last season, so that could make him slide out of the Top 10, but his football IQ, size, and power make him a first-rounder.
Cosme has proven he can play at an elite level. He started 34 games at Texas and is a solid pass blocker. At 6-foot-7, he still has room to fill out in the pro game.
Joseph Ossai, Oak Ridge, Texas, LB
An outside LB with great explosion. Can get after the QB and athletic enough to help in coverage. Great tackler in space. Can take over games when the motor is at full bore.
Marvin Wilson, Episcopal, Florida State, DT
Hmmmmm. This was a bonafide NFL guy coming out of high school, but too many coaching staff changes at Florida State hurt as well as injuries. His best football may be in front of him, though his money will come in the second contract.
Walker Little, Episcopal, Stanford, OL
See Wilson. Little was the total package at Episcopal, though he hasn't played much in two years. He's an interesting draft pick on potential, as he has a ton of it. But people lose jobs drafting on potential. He's athletic and has a great frame.
Kyle Trask, Manvel, Florida, QB
Everyone knows the Trask story. He didn't play much at Manvel behind D'Eriq King. He emerged at Florida and had some big moments for the Gators. Trask was the prototypical QB 10 years ago, but the game has changed. He's not super athletic but is very accurate and possesses a great football IQ. He could have a decade-long career as a backup. Nothing wrong with that.
Grant Stuard, Oak Ridge, Houston, LB
Motor… motor… and more motor. This dude is a maniac on the field. He will star on special teams and make a roster. Then he'll go to work on his craft as a safety, LB, or full back. Stuard has always played with a chip on his shoulder. Ain't stopping now.
Paddy Fisher, Katy, Northwestern, LB
Had 214 solo tackles at Northwestern. He's likely a free agent guy. It all comes down to being able to work in space at the NFL level and that takes some FAST TWITCH.
Ohio State-signee Donovan Jackson excelling in discus, shot put powered by Academy Sports + Outdoors
HOUSTON - When you think of Episcopal's Donovan Jackson a few things come to mind.
Ohio State-signee. Five-star offensive lineman. Number one lineman in the nation, No. 3 overall recruit in Texas, and the 18th-best overall prospect in the Class of 2021 by 247Sports.com.
Football is what comes to mind and it should.
But what if I told you he was among the best throwers in the country in discus in shot put as well?
"It's just that competitive mindset going from football to track and field," Jackson, who owns the No.7 overall discuss throw in Texas, said. "You always want to come out on top. That's what I try to do every time I go into the ring."
Jackson threw a personal-best 177-feet-1 inch last weekend at the St. John's Nick Finnegan Spring Invitational, which gave him the No. 7 spot. The top throw is owned by fellow lineman Bryce Foster of Katy Taylor (210-feet-10 inches).
As far as private school throwers, Jackson is the best. San Antonio Christian's Ethan Sanders is just behind him along with Caden Kitler of Plano John Paul II.
The Ohio State signee is trying to get his "name on the wall" at Episcopal before he leaves by breaking his previous school records and win another SPC Championship.
Jackson has thrown since his sophomore season. He won the SPC crown in shot put (51-2.25) and discus (165-feet) that season and is in line to do it again in 2021.
"It's an amazing season so far, more than what I wished for," Jackson said. "Just to go out to the rings again is a blessing enough. Trying to break the records I set last year and to win SPC again."
Jackson's best shot put throw of the year came at the Kinkaid Falcon Relays back in March when he tossed 54-feet-1-inch to win that meet. In the six meets that Jackson has thrown at this season, the senior has taken first in shot put and discus at all of them - 12 gold medals.
So, could we see Jackson also throw for the Buckeyes' track program one day?
"I would admit that thought did come up but I have to talk to the guys up there first," Jackson said with a chuckle.
Jackson is a highly-coveted offensive line recruit that Ohio State wants to get on-campus quickly to start getting him ready for the season.
The lineman from Episcopal - which is about to have potentially three NFL Draft picks next week (Jaylen Waddle-Alabama, Walker Little-Stanford and Marvin Wilson-Florida State) - just wants to do his part for the Buckeyes once he arrives.
"My goal for Ohio State is to contribute," he said. "Whether as a teammate or on the field. I want to do what I can to help the team win. So, every day I'm doing something, whether watching film on guys that are there now or working out to get stronger."
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