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Houston-area High School Athletes Declare Future Plans During Early Signing Period

The spotlight is on the brightest talents in high school sports as the three-day early signing period kicks off this Wednesday, culminating on Friday. In this pivotal moment, student-athletes from the region are set to formalize their commitments to play for renowned institutions across the country.

Among these standouts is Jelani Watkins from Atascocita High School, whose dual prowess in football and track has earned him a coveted spot at Louisiana State University. Watkins, a two-star talent, plans to showcase his skills in both sports for the Tigers.

Teammates Braylon Conley and Nate Kibble of Atascocita High School have also made their decisions. Conley is set to commit to the University of Southern California, while Kibble will stay in Texas, donning burnt orange as he joins the University of Texas.

In Fort Bend ISD, the spotlight is on Hightower High School’s Zion Kearney, a four-star wide receiver, who will officially pledge to play for the Oklahoma Sooners. Kearney, who received 30 offers, ultimately chose the path to Norman. Ephraim Dotson, his teammate, is destined to become a Rice Owl.

The national stage features Willis’ standout quarterback, DJ Lagway, named the National Player of the Year by MaxPreps. Lagway, ranked as the No. 4 overall prospect in the country, is expected to sign with the University of Florida.

Manvel High School sees commitments from Mason Flemming and Kaleb Blanton, with the latter set to join Rice University.

Lamar High School’s Tristen Brown is heading to Vanderbilt, while Christopher Boykins is bound for Old Dominion University.

All eyes are on the University of Texas, securing talents like Jordan Washington from Langham Creek and Trey Owens from Cy-Fair High School. Owens’ commitment is so prominent that he graces a billboard along I-10 in Brookshire. UT stands out as one of the top programs in the 2024 recruiting classes.

While the Longhorns focus on bolstering their roster for the future, they also have their sights set on the College Football Playoff Championship in Houston this January.

However, the University of Texas isn’t the only institution attracting top-tier talent. The University of Houston has been actively announcing their incoming players, including Kaleb Thomas from North Shore High School and Rayquan Bell from Westfield, who stays true to his hometown by committing to the Coogs.

The early signing period, instituted in December 2017, allows these athletes to make their commitments official. National Signing Day remains on the first Wednesday in February, and for the class of 2024, it is slated for February 7. College football coaches commenced meetings with high school prospects on December 1, marking the beginning of a 15-day recruiting window.