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April 4, 2003AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Relays always brings out some of the top athletes in the Lone Star State - not just in track but also in football. So it was no surprise to see gridiron stars like Adrian Peterson (right), Jordan Shipley and Ivory Williams tearing it up at University of Texas' Mike A. Meyers Stadium.
Peterson didn't win his preliminary 100 meter event, but he more than looked the part of a star running back. Well, actually he looked big enough that he could be a linebacker or defensive end in college.
Peterson was all of 6-foot-3 and didn't have an ounce of fat on his body.
"Football is still my favorite sport," Peterson said. "But track really keeps me in shape."
Peterson said he wished he had more time to look around Austin and talk to the Texas coaches, but because of a busy track schedule and NCAA rules that prohibits contact from football coaches during events like the Texas Relays, he couldn't spend time seeing too many sights at Texas.
"It would have been nice to look around some more, but I'll be back and have been here before," he said.
Peterson said that his list remains pretty consistent as before with Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma leading the way.
It's not clear whether or not Shipley of Burnett, Texas has a nickname or not.
But maybe after running away from the competition in his heat of the 100 meters, maybe the name White Lightning would work out.
Shipley blew out of the blocks and beat a talented group of competitors with a more than respectable 10.96-second time.
Shipley should be very comfortable at UT since he committed to Texas last week. He said it was a decision he's still happy with.
"It was the best pick that I could have made," he said.
One of the state of Texas' top sprinters and top receivers didn't run in Friday's preliminaries because of a tweaked hamstring. But the injury didn't stop San Antonio Taft star Otis McDaniel from qualifying for the long jump finals.
McDaniel said he still only has an offer from Oklahoma and the Sooners are one of his top teams. However, he said the attention from the other squads is really picking up.
"LSU, Penn State, Texas and a few others are really sending me a lot of letters and handwritten mail," he said.
"I don't really think I'm going to rush into my decision. I have thought about it a lot and the more that I wait the more I will feel comfortable with my decision."
McDaniel did say that he was a little disappointed that he couldn't showcase his blazing speed in front of the area's best and show the college scouts how fast he really is.
He did clock in at 10.69 seconds in the state track finals last year as a sophomore.
On film review, McDaniel didn't really look 6-foot-1, but after seeing him in person he's definitely taller than 6-foot.
Patrick Williams of DeSoto has become a hot target for the college coaches after a solid junior season, and he performed well in the 110-meter hurdle qualifiers. He finished third in the event and should qualify for the finals on Saturday.
But track is just something to keep him busy until football rolls around.
"I really like both sports pretty equal," he said.
"But football is where I'm going to go to college for, so you have to think a little more about that."
Speaking of college, Williams said LSU, Kansas State, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Arizona are his main suitors at this point.
"I don't have any offers yet," he said. "But I think once I show them in spring practice what I can do, that'll change."
So where will he play in college?
Will it be quarterback, receiver or defensive back?
"I think it'll probably be receiver in college," he said.
"I like to play quarterback because you can run it or throw it, but most coaches say that I'll be a receiver when I jump up to the next level. That's cool with me, too. I love playing receiver."
Ivory Williams of Beamount (Texas) Ozen is considered one of the state of Texas top sprinters and he proved that in his preliminary with a blazing time of 10.6. He could have finished much faster but seemed to coast the last few meters when he knew he had the race won.
Jonte Manning of Corsicana, Texas, participated in the 200-meter relay and he definitely passed the eye-ball test. Also looking the part was Ryan Palmer (right) of Arlington Bowie.
He was disqualified for an early start in his 100 qualifier and was definitely disappointed, but he didn't stay down too long.
Palmer told TheUniversity.com's Geoff Ketchum that a commitment to Texas isn't that far out of the picture and could come very soon.
When talking about that, you could tell that Palmer was in a much better mood.
Anthony Jenkins of Ennis, Texas, cleared up some of the rumors about if he's received his first offer from a Big 12 school.
Jenkins said that he has not been offered by A&M but is hoping to hear more from the Aggies when he makes an unofficial visit to College Station here in the next few weeks.
"I hope that they do offer me," he said.
"I'm also talking to a few other schools. The defensive coordinator at SMU told me that they want to see me in person one more time before they talk about an offer."
Jenkins will be at the Rivals100.com Junior Day at SMU on Sunday.
Also looking good in the eye-ball department was Flower Mound running back Ryan Bewley.
Bewley, also coming to the Rivals100 Junior Day on Sunday, said he's close to receiving a scholarship offer from Colorado.
The Buffs took two players out of Flower Mound two years ago.