By Nick Gholson

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Bill Maskill is especially interested in tonight’s Oil Bowl.

That’s because the Midwestern State coach has nine recruits and two possible walk-ons playing in the game.

If you are like me and can’t get excited about a West Texas versus East Texas all-star game, then come watch and see how these future MSU players do.

Hagan Hutchinson of Stamford; Trace Cross of Iowa Park; Derek Mankins of Windthorst; TyRece Boone of Keller Timber Creek; Ricky Clark of Burkburnett; Brodey West of Rider; and Samuel Lawlis of Round Rock all have scholarships to Midwestern.

Hunter Walls, of Graham, and Sam Shirley, of Holliday, both indicated they will attend MSU. Hopefully, one or both will try to walk on and make the football team.

Hutchinson led Stamford to a Class A Division I state title last season. His dad, Wayne, quarterbacked Knox City to the Class A state title in 1983 and is now the head coach at Stamford. He was also an Oil Bowl coach last year.

Maskill expects the talented freshman to challenge for the starting job at MSU this coming season.

“He’s a winner,” the MSU coach said. “He was both offensive MVP and defensive MVP (of the state title game), and Gary McGraw, our defensive backs coach said he would take him as a DB. No way. He is going to be a quarterback.”

Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word made offers as a defensive back.

“He is everything you want in a quarterback,” Maskill said. “He has height, a great arm, quickness and he can run. He has all the intangibles you want in a quarterback.”

Hutchinson passed for 3,038 yards and 45 touchdowns and ran for 1,636 yards and 27 touchdowns his senior year.

Cross is a guy Scott Ponder used as an H-back and a slot receiver with the Hawks.

“We really like him. He looks like he is growing up right in front of your face,” Maskill said of the 6-3, 235-pounder. “He’s a hard-nosed kid who plays receiver like a linebacker.”

Lawliss is a 6-2, 220-pounder who played running back and quarterback for Round Rock last season. “We recruited him as a linebacker,” Maskill said. “He runs a 4.6 and is a guy we thought was a I-AA football player.”

The MSU head coach believes Mankins “has a big upside.”

He calls him “typical Windthorst.”

Mankins lists himself as a 6-5, 270 offensive guard/defensive tackle, but Maskill said he was up to 285 in the spring.

“He is further along than Travis Veitenheimer was at this same stage,” the MSU coach said.

Boone has an academic scholarship in computer science.

“He has a big upside because he is smart, athletic and can move on the football field. He can be a 6-2, 280-pound defensive tackle for us,” Maskill said.

The MSU coach said he started looking at Clark as an undersized offensive lineman. But as Burk’s season progressed, the Mustangs penciled him in as a defensive tackle.

“He’s 6-1, 268 and is strong and moves well. I really like him,” Maskill said. Brodey West played tight end and helped the 12-3 Rider Raiders get to the state semifinals last year.

“He is 6-5, 265 with really good feet and is very athletic. His strength level has got to get better. If so, he may end up as an offensive tackle,” Maskill said.

Two MSU recruits — Cleburne quarterback Quade Coward and Rider wide receiver/kicker Brandon Williams — are on the East roster. Coward, who passed for 3,250 yards with a 60.3 completion percentage with 35 touchdowns and nine interceptions his senior season. He also ran for 598 yards and 13 TDs.

“He was a kid we recruited from December on. He is a good athlete with a good arm,” Maskill said. “He’s not quite as fast as the Hutchinson kid, but he will get his opportunity here.”

Williams missed much of his senior season with an ankle injury, and Maskill thinks that helped him be overlooked in the recruiting process.

“He’s already been working with our coaches. He has real good speed and is a tough athlete,” the MSU coach said.

Maskill said Williams will probably only be a backup kicker for the  Mustangs.

So if you go to the game tonight, circle these names and keep and eye on them.

You will be seeing them again real soon.