USA TODAY Sports is unveiling five teams in the Super 25 preseason high school football rankings every week until the complete preseason rankings are unveiled in August. Here are teams No. 6 through 10 (2012 record in parentheses).
Kyler Murray was more a question mark than a quarterback this time last year.
He had an impressive lineage as his father Kevin, who runs the Air 14 Quarterback Academy in Dallas, had been a quarterback at Texas A&M from 1982-86 and played briefly in the NFL and CFL. However, as a sophomore transfer from Lewisville, Texas, to Allen, Texas, Kyler Murray hadn’t been with Allen for spring drills or summer 7 on 7 work.
“I didn’t know what type of player he was,” Allen coach Tom Westerberg said. “There are some dads who are good players whose sons are not.”
Murray didn’t start in Allen’s first game against defending state 5A champions Carroll (Southlake) but after starter Oliver Pierce was hurt, Murray threw for 147 yards in the 24-0 victory. He finished the season by completing 153 of 249 passes for 2,004 yards and 17 touchdowns and running for 1,370 yards and 25 touchdowns to lead Allen to a 15-1 record and a 5A-I state title.
The Eagles are No. 5 in the USA TODAY preseason Super 25 football rankings, and Murray is a bigger part of the team this season.
“He has grown into being a better leader,” Westerberg said. “He’s a big baseball player, but he set down baseball this summer to work out with his (football) teammates.”
Allen opens its season at Carroll on Aug. 30 and plays 5A-II runner-up Cedar Hill on Sept. 6 in Allen’s 1-year-old, $59.6 million stadium.
“We play a tough schedule every year,” Westerberg said. “I think the Dallas Metroplex is probably the best football in the state and we have a hard time finding teams to play us.”
Westerberg said Murray merely has to concentrate on being more consistent in the team’s spread offense.
“He doesn’t need to do anyhthing different,” Westerberg said. “He played the game pretty well.”