AUSTIN — According to Lone Star Prospects’ (LSP) ratings released Feb. 5, the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools has the two of the best athletes in the 2020 class.
Bishop Dunne High School’s Elijah Yelverton and San Antonio Christian High School’s Nick Patterson were ranked the two best tight ends in a group of 15 in both TAPPS and the University Interscholastic League. They are also the only private school products to make the list.
Elijah, the No. 1 pass catcher on the LSP list, joins his brother Matthew Yelverton in transferring from Royce City High School to Bishop Dunne. Mathew, the elder, is a starting quarterback that threw for 876 yards and rushed for 34 more as a junior Bulldog in 2017. The younger of the two, a 6-foot-5 and 215-pound athlete that is unrated in 24/7Sports, ESPN 300, and Yahoo Rivals’ Composite 2020 Rankings.
“Bishop Dunne is getting not only a world class athlete, but a humble and kind person who’s involved in the community and one who loves and serves God whole heartedly,” Matthew said about his brother.
As a Bulldog in 2017, Elijah had 35 receptions for 342 yards and four touchdowns during his first varsity season. He was Matthew’s highest producing target despite playing on a team that went 4-6 overall and 1-6 in a District 15-5A that contained the likes of Highland Park, Lucas Lovejoy, Mesquite Poteet, North Forney, and West Mesquite High Schools.
“He is the all-around package,” Matthew added. “I have trust in him and if am forced to throw it up I know he can go make a play on it no matter what. He has the strongest hands I’ve ever seen and his strength as an individual is incredible. He will not go down on first contact and his route running ability and footwork is almost unmatched.”
The brother tandem joins a team led by 1,000-yard freshman quarterback Simeon Evans, a legacy at the school. His brother Caleb threw 44 touchdowns passes for Bishop Dunne team that sat on the brink of a second consecutive TAPPS Division I state championship in 2015.
Bishop Dunne will lose only three of its seven 2017 All-District selections — Marquez Beason, Myles Butler, Kievan Myers, from last season when students graduate in the spring. Junior running back Terrance Shaw, offensive guard Chans Jones, and wideouts Jabari Khepera and Tucker Littlejohn will return to the field for next season’s kickoff.
Patterson, the second player on the LSP list of 15, is nearly as large in size as Elijah and similarly underrated wit five or more offers from non-Power 5 Conference programs like Memphis, Nevada, and Tulane. A second varsity season for the 6-foot-3 and 215-pound tight end may also be a lynchpin for second-year Head Coach and former NFL veteran Henry Ellard.
Ellard spent a combined 30 seasons in the NFL as a standout wide receiver and then an assistant coach, has been hired as the head football coach for San Antonio Christian last March. He also spent 14 seasons as a coach for New Orleans, New York, and St. Louis — helping the Rams win Super Bowl XXXIV.
Ellard served as a volunteer wide receivers coach for for a Lion team in 2016, finished 5-6 overall and lost in the first round of the TAPPS Division II playoffs. A year later as a head coach with Patterson as a weapon, San Antonio Christian pushed Cole, Saint Mary’s Hall, and Tuloso-Midway High Schools to the brink of defeat.
The team should return 15 sophomores, eight juniors and seven freshmen next season — 75 percent of its 2017 roster.
East Texas’ Jamal Ligon, a 6-foot-2 and 245-pound combo blocker and pass catcher at Robert E. Lee High School, leads all UIL athletes in LSP’s rankings. And despite nine receptions for 107 yards and three touchdowns in six games, he may be on the verge of a breakout season.
“I play both sides of the ball and look to significantly improve, both on offense and defense,” the burgeoning Tyler Lee star said about his approach to his junior season. “Right now I’m going through off-season with my team.”
LSP Class 2020 TE Rankings
Rank | Player | High School
1. Elijah Yelverton Bishop Dunne
2. Nick Patterson San Antonio Christian
3. Jamal Ligon Tyler Lee
4. Reggie Brown Houston Lamar
5. Jack Seger Alamo Heights
6. Preston Forney Southlake Carroll
7. Noah Patty Aledo
8. Terius Mathis Willis
9. Clinton Anokuru Bush
10. Drake Dabney Brandeis
11. Jarius Jones Ennis
12. Conner Kinslow Katy Tompkins
13. Drake Dabney Cypress Ranch
14. Onajita Enaohwo FB Elkins
15. Shamar Thomas Beaumont Ozen
His three receiving touchdowns were second highest on the team despite three fewer games played than its leader, Marquis Gray.
“I plan to go to some camps and clinics and also train with APEC [Performance Training Facility in Fort Worth] as soon as possible. (can’t right now due to an injury) and yes, I believe this upcoming season will be very important for me and my team and I’m looking to improve very signicantly,” Ligon continued.
While Ligon and Aledo’s Noah Patty may be one of the most promising and Ennis’ Jarius Jones one the most talented raw prospects, Willis’ Terius Mathis may be one of the most imposing. The 6-foot-7 and 215-pound tight end has yet to catch a pass in a varsity season per MaxPreps statistics, yet has drawn interest from Alabama.
He could be a focal point in the offense and a field position changer for junior quarterback JerMichael Dickerson and a Wildkat team that finished seventh in District 20-5A behind Hunstville, Magnolia West, Magnolia, Brenham, Tomball and Tomball Memorial High Schools.
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