Lone Star Roots in Jaguars vs. Texans

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Photo via houseofhouston.com

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The 7-6 Houston Texans will host the 2-11 Jacksonville Jaguars in an AFC South showdown on Sunday at NRG Stadium. Houston held on to win 24-21 in their Week 10 meeting with Jacksonville. The Texans have won their last eight games against AFC South opponents and have never lost to the Jaguars in the Bill O’Brien era. Between the two teams, ten players have either played Texas high school football or played college ball at Texas universities. Let’s take a closer look at those with Lone Star ties in Sunday’s matchup.

HOUSTON TEXANS

SHANE LECHLER – EAST BERNARD HIGH SCHOOL AND TEXAS A&M
Punter
The nine-time All Pro punter and 17-year NFL veteran attended East Bernard High School. In addition to being the punter, Lechler was also the quarterback and kicker for the Brahmas. He led East Bernard to the state quarterfinals his senior season. While in College Station, Lechler set the Aggies’ single season punting record with an average of 47 yards per punt. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest punters in NFL history.

QUINTIN DEMPS – SAN ANTONIO ROOSEVELT HIGH SCHOOL AND UTEP
Safety
The nine-year NFL veteran attended Roosevelt High School in San Antonio. Demps graduated in 2003, but not before he was named All-District 26-5A and an All-State Honorable mention his senior season. At UTEP, Demps earned first-team All-Conference USA honors in 2007 when he took two interceptions 100 yards for Miners’ touchdowns. Demps is helping hold together what’s left of a tattered Texans secondary.

CHRISTIAN COVINGTON – RICE UNIVERSITY
Defensive End
Son of the Canadian Football League’s sack leader Grover Covington, Christian Covington attended Rice University in Houston after graduating from prep school in Vancouver. Covington was named first-team All-Conference USA after recording 59 tackles and four sacks his sophomore season. He was the Texans’ sixth round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft. Covington has seen more game action this season after the Texans lost two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt to a back injury.

JON WEEKS – BAYLOR
Long Snapper
Weeks signed as an undrafted free agent with the Texans in 2010. He was selected to his first Pro Bowl in the 2015 season.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

CHRIS IVORY – LONGVIEW HIGH SCHOOL
Running Back
The journeyman running back attended Longview High School. Ivory played on a Lobos team that featured three other future NFL players in Trent Williams, Malcolm Kelly and Robert Henson. Ivory sat out the last two games due to an injured hamstring, but has been cleared of his injury designation for Week 15.

LUKE JOECKEL – ARLINGTON HIGH SCHOOL AND TEXAS A&M
Offensive Tackle
Joeckel attended Arlington High School where he was an All-State offensive lineman in 2009. As an Aggie, Joeckel protected the blindside of 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. He was also recognized as a unanimous All-American selection. The 2013 No. 2 overall pick was placed on injured reserve in October with a knee injury.

TASHAUN GIPSON – DALLAS KIMBALL HIGH SCHOOL
Safety
Gipson attended Kimball High School in Dallas where he was named Most Valuable Player of District 14-4A. He also earned First Team All-District Honors both as a cornerback and as a returner. Gipson, along with the rest of the Jaguars secondary, was caught off guard last week as an aggressive Sam Bradford completed three passes of 40 yards or longer.

SEAN PORTER – SAMUEL CLEMENS HIGH SCHOOL AND TEXAS A&M
Linebacker
Porter was born in Schertz, Texas where he attended Samuel Clemens High School. In his senior year, Porter recorded 139 tackles, seven sacks, one interception and one recovered fumble. Porter accepted a scholarship from Texas A&M University, where he was named first-team All-Big 12 in 2011. After toiling on the Jaguars’ practice squad for 13 weeks, Porter was added to the team’s active roster on December 6.

KELVIN BEACHUM – MEXIA HIGH SCHOOL AND SMU
Offensive Tackle
Beachum was a four-year starter for SMU and a 2012 seventh round pick for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Beach signed a one-year deal with the Jags back in March and is coming off a loss to the Minnesota Vikings in which he allowed a season-high two sacks and three quarterback pressures.

ROY MILLER – KILLEEN SHOEMAKER HIGH SCHOOL AND UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
Defensive Tackle
Miller was an All-American caliber defensive tackle at Shoemaker High School. The All-Area Defensive MVP recorded 111 tackles, 17 TFL, 10 sacks and two fumble recoveries. During his years in Austin, Miller totaled 138 tackles, 25 TFL, 10 sacks, 44 pressures, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He was named Defensive MVP of the 2009 Fiesta Bowl and earned first-team All-Big 12 honors. Miller sustained a season-ending Achilles injury in Week 2 against Oakland.

All ten will reunite on Sunday in the great state that nurtured their budding careers.

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