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March 5, 2005

Texas sized event

HOUSTON - Leave it to Texas to produce the largest Rivals.com Junior Day turnout in years. More than 85 of the top players in Texas attended Junior Day at Rice University on Saturday, which goes down as one of the highest turnouts to the invitation only event. However, what made this event truly special is the number of high quality prospects in attendance.

Probably the two biggest gems in the bunch were Humble, Texas, receiver Jerrod Johnson, who measured 6-foot-5 and 219 pounds, and Bryan, Texas, receiver Artrell Woods, who was 6-foot and 183 pounds. Johnson is a two-sport star that is heading to Texas A&M and Woods has an offer from A&M but lists LSU, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Arizona as his top teams.

"I learned everything that I ever needed to know about the recruiting process," Woods said.

"This really helped me a lot. I know now what I can do to make the recruiting process a lot smoother. I had a lot of questions coming into this, but now I feel like I have the information I will need to make the right decision."

The keynote speaker that Rivals.com has entrusted to help conducted the events across the nation is Joe Hornback of Des Moines (Iowa) Roosevelt. Coach Hornback was a three-year letter winner from the University of Kansas and has established himself as one of the best in the state of Iowa and previous to that in Missouri at Grandview High School.

Hornback has spoke at the junior days for Rivals.com now for six years and this year's program stressed even heavier than before on academics and how to handle the amount of telephone calls and meeting with college coaches for the first time.

"That was something I really found interesting," said Aldine (Texas) Eisenhower defensive back Mister Alexander, who measured in at 6-foot-2 and 183 pounds

"I didn't know what to say or do when you meet a coach for the first time, but now I do. I also learned that you have to be really appreciative of the interest they're showing you and that you need to show them more interest than they might be showing you. You never know when they might offer you a scholarship, and you can help your chances of that by showing them you're interested in their school."

Another area Hornback delved into at the second junior day event of the year that recruits said helped them was the talk about what questions you should ask a college coach when he offers you a scholarship and how many scholarships at each level of college football that teams can offer.

Sean Adams of ATDSports begin the event by talking about how you can never be satisfied with where you're at now and that you have to continue to work hard on and off field to achieve your dreams and beat the odds that say only .09 percent of players make it to the NFL.

"It truly shows you how special you are to even be recruited," LaMarque, Texas, receiver Jared Perry, who came in at 6-foot and 156 pounds, said.

"When you think that only a few guys make it all the way, it really hits home. You have to be prepared for the other things in life, and this helped me by giving me some ideas on how I need to go out and pick my college."

Rivals.com will have more coverage of the second junior day event in Houston throughout the weekend, including a look at the players that passed the eyeball test, what prospects have already picked up scholarship offers and features on some of the elite prospects in attendance.


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