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Kelly Morris' recruiting notebook: Calvary's Wilson commits to Houston

1:00 AM, Jun. 13, 2012 EDT

With help from Evangel's defensive coordinator Byron Dawson, former Calvary running back Brandon Wilson (6) has committed to play at Houston. / File/The Times

Former Calvary running back Brandon Wilson has committed to play at Houston, his father, Kenneth, confirmed to The Times on Tuesday.

He also said Evangel -- Calvary's main rival -- helped get the commitment. Kenneth Wilson said he talked to Evangel's defensive coordinator Byron Dawson after football season. Dawson knows Houston wide receiver coach Brandon Middleton, who used to be on Evangel's coaching staff.

"I felt like Brandon should have gone somewhere besides a junior college," said Kenneth Wilson of his son, who committed Monday. "I'm happy and Brandon's happy. Without Byron Dawson, it wouldn't have happened. I asked him for help, and you got to give credit where it's due."

This scenario isn't new. When at Evangel, head coach John Bachman, Sr. helped Calvary running back James Michael Miller get a scholarship at TCU. Bachman knew the Frogs' co-offensive coordinator Jarrett Anderson.

"When a kid can play at the next level, I applaud any and everyone that helps him get to that point," Bachman said. "I know we had done everything we can. I'm just happy that he's going. Kudos to Byron if he was able to help Brandon get that scholarship."

Wilson single-handedly helped Calvary top Evangel 42-38 last season. On fourth-and-3, Wilson rushed 73 yards for the game-winning touchdown with 1:07 left in the game.

Wilson was supposed to play at Tyler Junior College. Some coaches thought Wilson was too injury prone. Dawson said that was an unfair assessment.

"They're saying he can play this year," Kenneth Wilson said. "This is better for him."

North DeSoto: Hakim Gray made stops at Louisiana Tech and Mississippi State, and he didn't have trouble standing out at either place. Gray, who expects to play defensive end in college, visited Louisiana Tech last Thursday and again on Monday.

"Thursday I went there and saw (defensive line coach) Stan Eggen and on Monday, I got to watch the players practice. I got to know some of them, which was good for me," said the 6-foot-4, 245-pounder. "Mr. Eggen showed me some good techniques I can use."

At Mississippi State, Gray said he ran his fastest 40, a 4.78.

"It's in the SEC," Gray said. "That's good for me. Plus I like a rough coach. (Defensive coordinator Chris) Wilson motivates me to become a better player."

Gray would like to make his decision after attending LSU's camp in July. Even though he hasn't gotten an LSU offer, Gray's top three schools are LSU, Tech and Mississippi State.

"I feel like I'm going down there (to LSU) and taking the offer with no problem," Gray said.

Gray said it's also important that he stays close to home.

Homer: Demitrius Casey, the Pelicans' standout linebacker and defensive end, is up to three offers. The 6-foot-4, 218-pounder has offers from McNeese, Louisiana-Lafayette and Mississippi State. Casey just returned from the Louisiana Tech camp.

"Everybody's impressed with him," Homer head football coach John Sampson said. "They definitely liked him at Tech."

Sampson said Casey continues to garner more and more interest. He said he's been asked to come to Alabama. He's also set to attend LSU's camp in July. "(Mississippi State) They asked about him and they saw the film," Sampson said.

Woodlawn: Running back/defensive back Richard Bell has stayed busy on the camp circuit. He went to the Ole Miss camp with teammate Christopher Robinson then went to the Baylor camp in Marshall, Texas. Bell and his high school head coach, Robert Arvie, both said Baylor was interested.

"I met with the defensive coordinator and the cornerbacks coach," Arvie said. "They really enjoyed what they saw. He did a great job during one-on-ones. They wanted to see some highlights."

Evangel: Defensive coordinator Byron Dawson said linebacker X'Zavier Preston remains uncommitted, but he's up to "several" offers. He said his offers include Memphis, Louisiana-Lafayette, Houston, McNeese, NSU and Oregon State. "He's been going to camps and he's been weighing in at 235," Dawson said. "He wants to stay close to home, but he did like Oregon State just because that was the first team to offer him."

Dawson added that Preston's been to camps at Louisiana-Lafayette, Houston and Louisiana Tech.

Dawson calls him a "true" inside linebacker. He looks for Preston to be a leader in the fall.

"I just want him to be mentally focused this year," Dawson said. "When you're a senior, you're a captain. You really got to be that guy and not be just a role player."

Evangel's other standout player -- offensive lineman Josh Thomas -- remains committed to Houston.

Connect with Kelly Morris on Twitter at @Kelly_Mo.




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