This year's Lufkin Panther senior class saw nine students sign on to play college ball. With so much senior leadership leaving there is always concern, but not in Lufkin.
The two classes following the Class of 2018 are stacked with young and hungry talent. Junior Defensive Tackle Carl Williams has 10 offers on the table including SMU, Arkansas, Kansas Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Southern Miss, TCU, Tulsa, Houston and UT-San Antonio. Williams is joined by Junior Defensive End Javasia Brunson getting offers from Oklahoma State, SMU and South Florida. Senior WR/DB Breylon Garcia has an offer from SFA but is also getting some interest from power 5 schools.
The talent pool extends past next year. The Class of 2020 also has talent. Safety Bugg Thompson has offers from Arkansas and South Florida. Ja'Lynn Polk has an offer from Illinois and is expected to haul in a few more before the end of his junior year.
"Last year was great, Head Coach Todd Quick said. "Its a new year know and what they do with their team started in January. They have to go to work."
The players are not letting the early offers go to their head. For them, there is no stopping.
"I am just a sophomore and it just makes me want to strive and work harder to get more," Thompson said. "I am not going to slow down. I want to be the top player in my grade."
They know they have something special when they step onto John Outlaw Field.
"It is a blessing," Polk said. "We are blessed to have the talent right now. When know what we want and we have to go get it."
Coach Quick may not like certain aspects of the college recruiting process but he knows the work they are doing will help limit distractions.
"They are not letting it go to their head," Quick said. "It goes back to the parents and the teachers with what they are teaching them. The Coaches too.
"It is a group effort to make sure they know work is what got him to this point and work is what is going to get them to the next level," Quick said.
Quick said the recent state quarterfinal appearance has only inspired the team to reach for greater success on the field and in the effort to play at the next level.
"It is like a virus," Quick said. "It will grow and it will start with the younger ones.They see, 'Hey, I can be as good as he is' and it motivates them."
Copyright 2018 KTRE. All rights reserved.