ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 18: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates after scoring a touchdown by jumping into a Salvation Army red kettle during the second quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at AT&T Stadium on December 18, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

BEVO BEAT Football

5 Stan Drayton recruits who turned into stars

Posted January 6th, 2017

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The proof is in the numbers.

By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard Texas coach Tom Herman list them off: 108 combined years recruiting the state of Texas and 17 years of head coaching experience in the state’s high school ranks. The staff Herman has assembled leaves no assumptions — the Longhorns plan to take back the best prospects in Texas.

RELATED COVERAGE: Charlie Strong was a football coach. Tom Herman is a CEO.

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One of the coaches who will help with that effort is Herman’s new right-hand man, Stan Drayton. The associate head coach and run game coordinator has a resume that speaks for itself. Just look at this graphic Herman tweeted out on Wednesday.

https://twitter.com/CoachTomHerman/status/816827521643724800

Not only has Drayton had a hand in producing some of the best running backs in the NFL, but he has also recruited some of the most talented high school players wherever he’s been — especially under Urban Meyer at Florida and Ohio State.

RELATED COVERAGE: 5 Tom Herman recruits who turned into stars

Check out these stars that Drayton brought to those blue-blood programs, according to recruiting website 247Sports.com.

Maurkice & Mike Pouncey

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 21: Maurkice Pouncey #53 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action against the Philadelphia Eagles during their Pre Season game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 21, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 21: Maurkice Pouncey #53 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action against the Philadelphia Eagles during their Pre Season game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 21, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Even though they probably hate it — and it seems like a really bad idea to anger the Pouncey twins — we’ll tie these two together as one recruitment. Maurkice and Mike were key pieces of Florida’s 2008 national championship team, and both ended up being first-round draft picks a year apart. Combined, they have been to seven Pro Bowls. Getting them both to come to Gainesville was an absolute coup.

Curtis Samuel

One of the breakout stars of the 2016 college football season was a Drayton recruit. It has been well-documented that Samuel, a Brooklyn native, came from a place not normally scouted heavily by blue-blood programs. The Ohio State coaching staff looked past the perception of New York City as an inferior breeding ground for gridiron talent, and the Buckeyes were the first major program to reach out to Samuel.

Marshon Lattimore

If Marshon Lattimore opts to follow his Ohio State teammates to the NFL — which he likely will — he will likely be one of the first cornerbacks taken in the draft. This wasn’t exactly the hardest sell for Drayton, as the Cleveland Glenville product followed a well-traveled pipeline to Columbus (Troy Smith, Ted Ginn Jr., Cardale Jones, etc.), but selling a flagship institution to in-state recruits is exactly what Drayton will be tasked with in Austin.

Cam Newton

Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the third quarter against the Arizona Cardinals during the NFC Championship Game at Bank of America Stadium on January 24, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the third quarter against the Arizona Cardinals during the NFC Championship Game at Bank of America Stadium on January 24, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Before he won the Heisman Trophy and became an NFL superstar, he was a blue-chip recruit out of Westlake High School in Atlanta. Drayton and the Gators beat Georgia, Maryland and Oklahoma among others to land Newton. He backed up Tim Tebow in 2007, then took a medical redshirt in 2008 before transferring to Blinn College in Brenham amidst legal and academic troubles.

Ezekiel Elliott

Star running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) is now a Dallas Cowboy, but Ohio State's roster has been stocked by highly-regarded recruiting classes. One of those recruits -- center Pat Elflein (65) -- was the lowest-rated prospect signed by Urban Meyer in 2012, but has developed into a potential first-round pick for the 2017 draft. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Star running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) is now a Dallas Cowboy, but Ohio State’s roster has been stocked by highly-regarded recruiting classes. One of those recruits — center Pat Elflein (65) — was the lowest-rated prospect signed by Urban Meyer in 2012, but has developed into a potential first-round pick for the 2017 draft. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Rookie of the Year? Ezekiel Elliott might be the MVP of the entire NFL during his rookie season with the Dallas Cowboys, and Drayton can take a lot of the credit for that. After all, he’s the one who recruited Elliott to Ohio State, then developed him into one of the most complete running backs in football once he got there. But why am I explaining this, when Elliott put it perfectly at last year’s NFL Draft Combine.

“Stan Drayton, that’s my guy,” he said. “He was hard on me since I got on campus and he’s really the biggest reason why I’m the running back I am today. He made sure when I learned this position that I learned it thoroughly. I learned not just what I do, but what the guys around me do. That made me understand the game so much better. He taught me how to anticipate instead of just playing off of reactions and instinct. That made me play faster and made me a great player.”

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