The talent that Lufkin, Texas has put out of over the decades is undisputable.
Dez Bryant and Keke Coutee are household names having played with the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans, respectively. But names like Ken Houston (NFL Hall of Fame), Reggie McNeal, Jorvoskie Lane, Terrence Kiel, Rex Hadnot and Carrington Byndom all hail from the Deep East Texas town.
So, who could be the future?
At 6-foot-2 and over 210 pounds, junior RB Caleb Berry could be the next Big Man on Campus to wear the purple and gold. He has rushed for over 600 yards and has 11 scores entering the postseason, and coach Todd Quick is going to need him to tote the rock in clutch situations during the playoffs.
Berry pulled his first offer last week from the University of Arkansas. While there may be some uncertainty with Razorback coach Chad Morris being fired, there is no uncertainty that Berry will be a high-major DI back.
The state's No. 5 Class 5A DI team faces Texas High School in the first round of the playoffs. With winning their district, they host the Texarkana school on Friday at Abe Martin Stadium.
Lufkin has already accomplished so much this season.
The Panthers, with an 8-1 mark and 6-0 in District 8-5A-DI play, have already locked up the program's 22nd-straight playoff berth. With the perfect mark in district play, Lufkin has already locked up the district title, which marks a second-straight season to accomplish that.
The Panthers have won district now in back-to-back years for the first time since 2011-2012.
With the Panthers a win away from No. 9 of the year, which will put them one victory away from claiming a third-straight double-digit win campaign heading into the playoffs.
Lufkin closes out the regular season tonight against Waller (0-8, 0-6), which is still seeking its first win of the season. The Panthers' No. 1 rated defensive unit should have no trouble with the district's second-worst offensive unit.
The Panthers' offense has been led all year by the dynamic duo of Jordan Moore at quarterback and Ja'Lynn Polk. Last week, Polk exceeded the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the season. Moore has passed for more than 2,200 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Defensively, Tre Odom enters this week with three interceptions, which is second-best total in the district. Julian Diaz and Jerrin Thompson both have two interceptions apiece.
PREDICTION: Lufkin rolls to 31-0 victory
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