Katy, Texas, is home to a perennial state championship contending high school football team that bears the same name. The Tigers have won seven state titles and reached the state final 13 times -- including 11 of the last 15 -- featuring Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton among the school's Division I football products.
But another school in the district will soon feature one of the area's highest-profile recruits. Still more than five months from donning a Katy (Texas) Seven Lakes High uniform, eighth-grader Brock Sturges is quickly establishing himself as one of the nation's top Class of 2018 running back recruits at the junior high level.
At the Nike SPARQ Combine in Houston this past summer, Sturges ranked third among all youth participants in the overall athletic assessment rating system, including a 31-inch vertical leap, according to Youth1.com. He captured MVP honors at February's inaugural National Underclassmen Texas vs. The World Football Classic in Duncanville, Texas. But those two performances were merely a warmup.
Sturges recently led Seven Lakes Junior High to an 8-0 season and a district title, amassing 1,104 yards and 19 touchdowns on just 51 carries, per Youth1.com. That's an average of 21.7 yards per carry. The 5-foot-9, 175-pound eighth-grader reportedly rushed for 176 yards and three touchdowns in the district title game.
While collegiate programs have remained patient with scholarship offers -- despite setting a precedent with Louisiana middle-schooler Dylan Moses last season -- the powerhouse programs could come calling soon. Sturges already lists Auburn, Georgia and LSU among his favorites according to Youth1.com.
"All the schools have winning traditions," he told the website. "The SEC is the most competitive conference in the country and I want to compete against the best. I feel their offensive schemes fit my skill set and the type of running back I am. It is also very important that I get a quality education, so in selecting a school that will definitely be a factor."
First, though, he'll have to survive a brutal Texas high school schedule over the next four seasons. Seven Lakes finished 6-4 this past fall and nearly pulled off the upset of district rival Katy in a 17-12 loss. Perhaps Brock Sturges is just what the Spartans need to finally tip the gridiron scales in their favor.
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- Katy, Texas