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March 20, 2012

2013 tackles more potential than production

The class of tackles for 2013 features one prospect who ranks with the best the state has produced in recent years as well as two more who could join that group. It's not a deep year at the position, however, and there's not many people (at least at this point) that project to the all important left tackle spot which usually commands a premium from an evaluation standpoint.

Kent Perkins, Lake Highlands. 6'5", 300; committed to Texas.

J.J. Gustafson, Dallas Jesuit. 6'6", 270; committed to Texas A&M.

Joas Aguilar, Birdville. 6'5", 295; committed to Texas A&M.

Maurice Porter, Fort Bend Marshall. 6'5", 285.

Alex Mayes, Van Alstyne. 6'6", 275

Matt Beyer, San Antonio Reagan. 6'6", 275.

Chance Allen, Klein Collins. 6'6", 295.

Perkins emerged onto the scene when he made the Lake Highlands varsity as a freshman and then emerged as a starter as a sophomore. At that point in time, Perkins was more of a big body than anything else but he lost weight and emerged as a force last season. He comes off the ball much better and also is able to pull and go left to lead plays. His lateral movement is much better as well and he is able to move his feet quickly enough even to take someone on his outside shoulder when Lake Highlands runs outside zone to his side. He's even flexible enough to cut block linebackers at the second level. He's played right tackle in high school and project at the position in college rather than left tackle.

In contrast, Gustafson is more about potential right now. He's tall and rangy and what intrigues recruiters the most is that he could put a lot more weight than what he currently carries. Otherwise, he's gets his hands up quickly and has good punch. He keeps his feet under his shoulders and can still move with pass rushers. He needs to gain strength and weight to deal with people coming right at him but should be able to do so. He projects as a left tackle at the next level.

If there's one advantage Aguilar has over Gustafson, it's that he's more ready to go right now in terms of his body. His feet are the best part of his game….he keeps them moving after contact and thus is an excellent zone and drive blocker. He can bend his knees really well and get lower than you would expect from a guy his size. Like Perkins, he can pull and go through the hole on the opposite side from where he lines up. He extends his arms well and either stays with plays or deposits someone on the ground and looks around for someone else to hit.

Porter moved from Indiana as a sophomore and caught everyone's eye in Texas with his performance as a junior. He's a big, strong guy with solid feet and the frame to be well over 300 pounds as a upperclassman.

Mayes plays left tackle at a small program northeast of Dallas. He uses his height and hands to his advantage, overwhelming small opponents. He is much better right now at handling people coming directly at him. He plays tall and doesn't have the ability to bend his knees like an Aguilar.


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