La Grange's J.K. Dobbins(22) escapes a tackle by Liberty Hill's Andy Becker(35) during their class 4A high school football game at Leopard Stadium in La Grange Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. (Stephen Spillman for AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Football

The American-Statesman’s Fabulous 55: Our winter update offers a new No. 1

Posted January 3rd, 2017

Story highlights
  • Kennedale outside linebacker Baron Browning, who's pledged to Ohio State, is our new No. 1.
  • La Grange running back JK Dobbins — another Buckeyes pledge — remains the No. 4-ranked player.
  • Twelve wide receivers — the most of any position — are represented in our updated Fab 55 list.

The best player in Texas is heading to Ohio State.

Kennedale’s Baron Browning, an outside linebacker, is the new No. 1 recruit on the American-Statesman’s Fabulous 55 winter updated list of the state’s top prospects. He moved to the top spot from No. 5 on our summer list, showing the versatility required for five-star talents.

The 6-3, 230-pound Browning is a demon off the edge. His combination of speed, size and raw strength makes him the best pass rushing linebacker in the state. And he showed his coverage skills his senior year, moving to cornerback against top-flight wide receivers.

Langham Creek running back and Texas commit Toneil Carter (28) played in Sunday's Under Armour All-American Game in Orlando, Fla.
Langham Creek running back and Texas commit Toneil Carter (28) played in Sunday’s Under Armour All-American Game in Orlando, Fla.

Defensive players dominate the top of the Fab 55. Defensive back Jeffrey Okudah, who was ranked sixth this summer, and Houston Bellaire Episcopal defensive tackle Marvin Wilson, who was No. 1, are second and third overall. Okudah is a long, rangy safety who has more than 30 offers. Wilson is a physical freak of nature, combining uncanny athleticism with an ideal frame for a defensive tackle.

The top-rated offensive player in the state missed his senior season with a severe ankle injury suffered on the first play of the year. But he’s going to Ohio State, too. La Grange running back JK Dobbins is ranked No. 4 and appears to be the best running back talent the state has produced in two or three cycles.

Offensive tackle Walker Little, who recently committed to Stanford, rounds out the top five. A teammate of Wilson at Bellaire Episcopal, Little is rarely challenged at the SPC level. Those two physically dominate the private school ranks, but showed the ability to compete against the top talents in the country by dominating camps last summer.

Westlake’s Sam Ehlinger is the top-rated quarterback in the state and also is the Longhorns’ top-rated commitment, checking in at No. 14. Texas’ top-rated prospect was Liberty-Eylau defensive end Lagaryonn Carson, but Carson decommitted on Dec. 27. Three more future Longhorns fall within the top 30. Recent running back pledge Toneil Carter was ranked 20th, while wide receiver Damion Miller and defensive end Taquon Graham were ranked 24th and 26th, respectfully.

Oklahoma commitment CeeDee Lamb leads a loaded wide receiver position group at spot No. 11. He was the biggest mover since the last update, gaining 22 spots in the final rankings. His senior season gave him a strong argument as best wide receiver in a loaded sate. Twelve wide receivers, the most of any specific position, are represented in the Fab 55.

Two other Texas commits — athlete Montrell Estell and defensive back Josh Thompson — also made the list. That means six of Texas’ 12 commitments are represented on the list.

RANK (Previous)PLAYERPOS.HIGH SCHOOLCOLLEGE
1. (5)Baron BrowningLBKennedale (4A)Ohio State
2. (6)Jeffrey OkudahSSouth Grand Prairie (6A)Ohio State
3. (1)Marvin WilsonDTBellaire Episcopal (SPC)Undecided
4. (4)J.K. DobbinsRBLa Grange (4A)Ohio State
5. (3)Walker LittleOLBellaire Episcopal (SPC)Stanford
6. (15)K'Lavon ChaissonDEGalena Park North Shore (6A)Undecided
7. (2)Anthony HinesLBPlano East (6A)Texas A&M
8. (13)Austin DeculusOTCy-Fair (6A)LSU
9. (11)Lagaryonn CarsonDETexarkana Liberty-Eylau (4A)Undecided
10. (8)Jack AndersonOLFrisco (5A)Texas Tech
11. (33)CeeDee LambWRRichmond Foster (5A)Oklahoma
12. (14)Robert BarnesSSouthlake Carroll (6A)Oklahoma
13. (9)Brock WrightTXCypress Falls (6A)Notre Dame
14. (12)Sam EhlingerQBWestlake (6A)Texas
15. (21)Chevin CallowayCBDallas Bishop Dunne (TAPPS)Undecided
16. (10)Tyrese RobinsonOLMcKinney Boyd (6A)Oklahoma
17. (16)Jalen ReagorWRWaxahachie (5A)TCU
18. (28)Shawn RobinsonQBDeSoto (6A)TCU
19. (20)Chuck FiliagaOTAledo (6A)Michigan
20. (23)Toneil CarterRBHouston Langham Creek (6A)Texas
21. (17)Kary VincentCBPort Arthur Memorial (6A)LSU
22. (32)Tyrell ShaversWRLewisville (6A)Alabama
23. (18)Omar ManningWRLancaster (5A)TCU
24. (40)Damion MillerWRTyler John Tyler (5A)Texas
25. (34)Levi JonesLBWestlake (6A)Undecided
26. (39)Taquon GrahamDETemple (5A)Texas
27. (35)Tylan WallaceWRFort Worth South Hills (5A)Oklahoma State
28. (7)Chris RobisonQBMesquite Horn (6A)Oklahoma
29. (25)Derrick TuckerQBManvel (6A)Texas A&M
30. (25)Hezekiah JonesWRStafford (4A)Texas A&M
31. (26)Eno BenjaminRBWylie East (5A)Arizona State
32. (37)Charleston RamboWRCedar Hill (6A)Oklahoma
33. (46)Kennedy BrooksRBMansfield (6A)Oklahoma
34. (31)Wes HarrisOLAledo (6A)TCU
35. (NR)Avery DavisQBCedar Hill (6A)Notre Dame
36. (24)Edward IngramGDeSoto (6A)LSU
37. (22)Grayson ReedOTCypress Creek (6A)Texas A&M
38. (48)Stephan ZabieOTWestlake (6A)Undecided
39. (47)Saiid AdeboCBMansfield (6A)Notre Dame
40. (29)Montrell EstellSHooks (3A)Texas
41. (54)Major TennisonTEBullard (4A)Alabama
42. (NR)KD NixonWRDeSoto (6A)Colorado
43. (27)Mannie NetherlyWRCrosby (5A)LSU
44. (NR)Shamond GreenwoodWRLakeview Centennial (6A)Oklahoma State
45. (19)Earnest BrownDEDenton Ryan (5A)Northwestern
46. (NR)Devodrick JohnsonLBDallas Kimball (5A)Texas A&M
47. (NR)Jayden PeevyDTHouston Bellaire (6A)Texas A&M
48. (41)Kedrick JamesOTWaco La Vega (4A)Alabama
49. (55)Mohamed SanogoLBPlano West (6A)Houston
50. (53)Josh ThompsonCBNacogdoches (5A)Texas
51. (NR)Roshaaud PaulATHBremond (2A)Texas A&M
52. (NR)Kenneth MurrayLBFort Bend Elkins (5A)Oklahoma
53. (NR)Sam CrawfordWRRockwall (5A)Undecided
54. (36)Myles JonesCBMagnolia West (5A)Texas A&M
55. (44)Deiontae WattsDTPlano East (6A)Nebraska

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