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UNDER THE LIGHTS - "ALL STATE TEAM"


Ray Icaza
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Due to the holiday season and the fact I watched all of the finals thru my Specturm account, I didn't watch the final Monday episode until yesterday.  Staff that compiled this team picked very deserving players although I know some from individual teams around the state that were also deserving inevitably get left off.  My take as a Kowboy fan was that Derrick LeBlanc was selected over our other top DL John Walker;  to me both are great players, but for someone that watches them week in and week out since their freshman season there is no question who is better.  I know several recruiting sites rank LeBlanc higher maybe projecting his future potential as their reason, but both are 4* on all the major sites.  Here are the facts:   1.  Leading tackler on the team with 77 total, 41 solo is Walker with the solo number being more than the total number for LeBlanc for his season totals.  2.  Leading sacks are 13 vs 8 again with Walker dominating.  3.  Most teams consistently double team Walker as to slow his disruptive nature to almost no avail.  4.  Both do pass the eyeball test with Walker @ 6'3" - 280 lbs. and Leblanc @ 6'5" - 250 lbs.  5. Finally, LeBlanc plays DE and was selected in the top "Interior Lineman" category which is the position Walker plays.  Go Figure.

Our two leading tacklers this year were both interior linemen (with 77 & 63 respectively), so I asked both the HC EP and the DL coach Van Sickle when in all their years coaching has that happened.  Their answer was the same as mine watching Osceola for better than 50 years.......NEVER!!!   I bring this up because Walker was so disruptive he created lots of opportunities for his side kick inside.  Last point is we had better than a half dozen other players, LB, CB, safety etc.  with between 45-55 total tackles which was a superior number than LeBlanc.   This DL returns almost intact as well as most of the defense.  Probably won't change minds of the authors of this list but it does make you wonder, what are they not seeing.   Maybe one of these folks are on this forum and would like to defend their selection.  I am open and interested in hearing your argument.

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A full day has transpired since my post and many forum members have read it but no one has responded which leads me to one of two possible reasons.  No one that read it are involved in the selection process or if they were and researched the fact realize they have no argument.  A stat that I failed to mention that emphasize this young man's dominance is our team interception totals.  We do have an excellent secondary, but they would never have accumulated these totals without constant pressure in opposing QB's face.  It's not just the sacks, but the knockdowns, hurries, etc... right up the gut that produced this probably record number for our team.  Our combined total was 19!!   To me that seems like an incredible number for 12 games, but maybe others have as many and I am all wet.  That too is a possibility.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeah, but even watching highlights would make one favor Walker.  Looks like he just announced shrinking his recruiting choices from 10 to 5 with Alabama, Ohio State, Penn State, Florida State and UCF.   He was favoring Florida over UCF but guess he has had a change of heart due to the Gasparilla bowl.1304746262_WalkerNarrowsListto5.jpg.9d93f0783d94df575d1f7c6c9fcc49dd.jpg Just speculating.

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By the way the defensive end that plays alongside him, Derrick LeBlanc has also narrowed his list down to 7 and stated he will make a decision soon.  Early on it seemed he was a big lean towards Ohio State, which is still on the list but has scheduled more school visits going forward.  Recently saw an article on MSN that the new Florida coaching staff was making him a "Priority" in their recruiting.  They are part of our defensive front that returns virtually intact for 2022 as well as the rest of the defense.  Big thing for us is an offensive line that returns 4 starters and 5 or 6 others with experience which we did not have last year; had only 1 returning starter and the rest were very green.  1187277102_DerrickLeBlanc.thumb.jpg.7921f249fd643515cf9045a21d5acf34.jpg

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