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Duncanville takes the field for last season's Class 6A Division 1 state championship game
With California's state regulations causing No. 1 Mater Dei football to halt a Fall season during the peak of COVID in 2020, the Monarchs return to Fall football Friday, August 27th as they travel to Texas to take on No. 14 Duncanville in the Panthers' first game of the 2021 season.
Although the Monarchs missed the 2020 Fall season, they were able to play a Spring season in which they posted a 5-0 undefeated record. Fans across the country are going to want to keep their eyes on UCLA commit Cooper Barkate and Notre Dame commit C.J. Williams as they do everything they can to score and continue scoring against Duncanville on Friday night.
A strong offense backed by an extremely talented defense is a tough first opponent for Duncanville. Everyone watching the game can expect Mater Dei to show up with speed, agility, and a determination to move the ball down the field. Mater Dei is ranked as the No. 1 team nationally and won the High School Football America national championship in 2017 and 2018.
The Panthers have, arguably, one of the strongest teams in Texas high school football entering the 2021 season. With names like defensive end Omari Abor and offensive tackle Jaylen Early, Duncanville can be expected to put up a fight on both sides of the ball in their 2021 season debut.
Duncanville has a whole slew of Power 5 athletes like Early (headed to Florida State next year), Oregon State commit Quincy Wright, and Oregon commit Cameron Williams who will certainly give Mater Dei a run for their money. Duncanville is ranked No. 14 nationally after finishing the 2020-21 season in the UIL Class 6A State Semifinals game to eventual 6A State Champions Southlake Carroll.
It's going to be a physical game- there's no doubt about that. Duncanville might have the biggest chip on their shoulder and fire in their hearts to prove all of the nay-sayers wrong as they head into what is expected to be one of the biggest games in the country this weekend.
The game is set to begin at 7:30 and you can catch all of the action on FloSports!
On Wednesday, Shana Willeford put out a list of DFW-area alums with draft hopes for the upcoming NFL Draft that kicks off Thursday night with Round 1.
Texas is rich in football talent. The DFW area has produced a lot of big names throughout the years that have gone on to make it to the NFL - Jeff Okudah, Matthew Stafford, Connor Williams, and many more.
The 2021 draft is primed to see a number of former DFW-area players selected, but what about ithe future? There are tons of DFW players in college football making names for themselves, but what about the crop of soon-to-be-seniors for the class of 2022?
Let's take a dive.
The last time a QB was deemed the No. 1 recruit in the entire nation entering his junior year and through his senior year was Trevor Lawrence, and look how that unfolded. The National Championship-winning QB has consistently been mocked as the No. 1 player expected to be taken.
Swap out Lawrence for Quinn Ewers and you effectively have the same situation unfolding. Ewers, a five-star commit to Ohio State, is the easy pick from the DFW area projected to get to the NFL.
Ohio State churns out quarterback talent (see: Justin Fields, Cardale Jones, Dwayne Haskins), so it's not hard to envision Ewers just continuing to get better and becoming a first-round draft pick.
Omari Abor is a force off the edge for a physically imposing Duncanville defense. The four-star recruit is the No. 2-ranked edge rusher in the national recruiting rankings, and at 6'4, 240 pounds, he's the quintessential size for an edge rusher with speed and strength to boot.
Watching the Duncanville defense over the last three years we've seen Abor make play after play on the defensive side of the ball.
And, as any NFL follower will know, defensive pressure is key in today's game.
Just as important as pressure is for defense, providing a clean pocket and running lanes are equally as important for the offensive side of the ball.
Enter Devon Campbell, the No. 1-ranked guard in the state and No. 23 overall, nationally. Campbell is a physically imposing player at 6'3 and 310 pounds for Arlington Bowie.
Campbell gets out of his stance and into a strong stance with the best of them. Campbell also does an excellent job of getting to the next level in blocking assignments.
Campbell is headed to Texas, which has a great track record for producing linemen talent - Connor Williams, Sam Cosmi, Leonard Davis, etc.
Great offensive line talent is always needed at the NFL level and Campbell has a path there.
Evan Stewart is a freakish athlete with speed in excess. Look up highlights of Stewart and you'll regularly see him blowing by defensive backs during games or making spectacular grabs in 7-on-7.
Stewart exudes confidence and has the skills to back it up. While he doesn't have the height for the prototypical outside receiver for Power 5 programs or the NFL, he does have the quickness and route-running ability to forge a way into the NFL.
Speed kills, and being able to get just enough separation to make big plays is Stewart's specialty.
The last line of defense for all defenses is safety and Bryan Allen, the four-star recruit from Aledo, is one of the best in the state. He's listed as the sixth-best safety in the state and 60th nationally and is the heart and soul of the Aledo defense.
Allen has solid speed as a safety and rarely allowed receivers to get by him. More importantly, as NFL defenses begin to trend in the same way as colleges have, Allen is capable of playing that hybrid role.
For example, Jabril Peppers from Michigan a few years ago. Peppers was heralded as an athlete that could play both the safety and linebacker spots.
Allen fits into that mold. He plays well in run support and excellent in pass coverage.
Bear Alexander is a beast of a young man. The 6'3, 325 defensive tackle is physically imposing and can easily dominate a game. Alexander has shown an excellent ability to get consistent pressure up front in the passing game, as well as clog up the middle on run plays.
Both of those skills translate well to the NFL.
While Alexander may not have the explosiveness of an Aaron Donald, he certainly has the strength and skill of a Fletcher Cox.
Regardless of where Alexander has played during his high school career, he's made his mark on the program. Expect that to continue when he gets to Georgia in 2022 and for his name to be regularly discussed as an NFL target.