Lewisville wide receiver Tyrell Shavers committed to the University of Alabama (Kelsey Kruzich/Star Local Media)

Football

The Opening: Lewisville’s Tyrell Shavers is a big man with a small number

Posted July 6th, 2016

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Story highlights
  • None of the 27 receivers at The Opening are wearing a jersey in the 80s.
  • In committing to Alabama, Shavers joined four Texans from this past season who escaped the Lonestar State for Nick Saban’s program: Sachse cornerback Jared Mayden, Channelview quarterback Jalen Hurts, Arlington Lamar guard Chris Owens and Killeen Shoemaker defensive tackle Kendell Jones.
  • Shavers, who won’t turn 17 until next month, is the tallest receiver at The Opening, and yet, frighteningly, he has been clocked at 4.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

BEAVERTON, Ore. — As football trends go, the younger generation of wide receivers is turning away from traditional wide receiver numbers.

Consider that none of the 27 receivers at The Opening this week are wearing a jersey in the 80s. In fact, the only skill-position players with digits that high — California’s Colby Parkinson and Ohio’s Matt Dotson — are tight ends.

Somewhere, Jerry Rice, Tim Brown and other famed pass-catchers who sported jerseys in the 80s must be wondering how we’ve gotten to this point. Instead of Chad Ochocinco, we have a bunch of ochos and a bunch of cincos.

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“I guess that’s something new in our generation,” said Lewisville’s Tyrell Shavers, who is among nine receivers at The Opening wearing No. 1. “Everyone likes low numbers.”

Shavers, a 6-6, 200-pound specimen, is part of another growing trend — Texans going to play football at Alabama.

In June, the four-star prospect broke many hearts when he took a visit to Tuscaloosa and committed to the Crimson Tide. In doing so, he joined four Texans from this past season who escaped the Lone Star State for Nick Saban’s program — Garland Sachse cornerback Jared Mayden, Channelview quarterback Jalen Hurts, Arlington Lamar guard Chris Owens and Killeen Shoemaker defensive tackle Kendell Jones. It’s the most Texans that Alabama has signed since Saban took over in 2007.

For now, Shavers is the only Texan among Alabama’s 15 commitments in a 2017 class that ranks second nationally. However, the Tide has offers out to 29 other Texans, including Lancaster receiver Omar Manning, who also is participating at The Opening.

Shavers, who checks in at No. 27 on the American-Statesman’s Fabulous 55, said his commitment is firm and that he will not take visits to any schools other than Alabama.

Before making his decision, Shavers also considered Florida State. It doesn’t sound like Texas was much of a factor.

“I fell in love with Alabama,” Shavers said. “I couldn’t see myself anywhere else.”

Which is ironic because Shavers said growing up he had “hate” for the Tide because “the team I always wanted to win would lose to Alabama.”

Shavers, who won’t turn 17 until next month, is the tallest receiver at The Opening, and yet, frighteningly, he has been clocked at 4.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash. With such uncanny length and speed, he’s able to cover considerable ground in the outfield for Lewisville’s baseball team.

At this weekend’s 7-on-7 tournament, Shavers will be a tough cover in the red zone with Team Vaporspeed. His teammates include Alabama commits Tua Tagovailoa, a sharp-throwing lefty from Hawaii, and Najee Harris, a running back from California who is rated the top overall player in the nation.

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