If you’re a high school football fan and by reading this you pretty much are, there’s no doubt you’ve heard of how good the football team over at Aledo, TX is these days. Even if you’re not a fan, you’ve probably noticed the Bearcats in the news recently thanks to a lopsided win that was later filed as a bullying report by an opposing team’s parent.
The news made waves from coast to coast to every media outlet imaginable.
It’s no secret; Aledo is very good at football. Depending on who you ask some feel that the 2013 version could be better than the team that recently won three straight Class 4A state championships and was led by a guy named Johnathan Gray, who is now the starting tailback at Texas. That’s not bad company.
It’s true that the Bearcats 2013 squad still has a way to go to be compared to such a good team, but they’re well on their way. The Bearcats are currently 9-0, beating opponents by an average score of 68-7. They’re not just beating nobody’s either; they defeated Highland Park by a score of 44-3 and thumped rival Stephenville 56-14. Those two teams have a combined record of 16-2 this season.
Last Friday Aledo was facing what was thought to be one of their toughest tests in district play when 8-0 Granbury came to town. A district championship was on the line but the game was over just as soon as it began as Aledo raced to a 55-0 halftime lead before letting off the gas on the way to a 72-6 win.
While the offense is receiving much of the credit for the Bearcats’ success, the defense was equally impressive in the Granbury win. In fact, many Aledo followers say the defense has been equally impressive this season.
One of the standouts for the defense is a player college recruiters will likely become more acquainted with in the near future; cornerback Johnny Durham.
The 6-foot, 170-pounder is in his first year on the varsity and so far he’s made quite the splash. The 2015 prospect has over 20 tackles, 4 interceptions and countless pass breakups. He’s been named the defensive MVP in three of Aledo’s nine games.
While he’s shown he can excel at cornerback, much of the sideline chatter from last Friday sounded off on how good of a receiver Durham is as well.
“I played cornerback and receiver on the levels lower than varsity; I’m a better receiver than I am cornerback,” Durham said. “There’s a small chance I can play receiver this year and next year it looks like I may both ways.”
Durham, who boasts 4.4 speed, won the MVP award at a National Underclassmen Combine last summer working out at receiver. He’s said his successful transition to corner can be credited to the good coaching he receives at Aledo.
“I have really good coaches at Aledo and they push me every day to do the best wherever I’m at,” Durham said. “I just work hard every day.”
Surprisingly, Durham hasn’t received any correspondence from college programs just yet. That should change once Aledo makes their presence known in the playoffs, but for now the junior is remaining patient.
“I haven’t had any letters but I’ve had some interest on my NCSA profile but that’s about it,” he said. “I’m not getting much interest, patience is the thing I need to be focusing on the most right now.”
Durham didn’t have the opportunity to visit college camps last summer due to an injured shoulder. One of those schools he wants to attend a camp at this summer is TCU; the hometown school. Aledo has sent several players to TCU over the years so it should come as no surprise that the Horned Frogs are one of the teams Durham is most looking forward to hearing from.
“I loved them growing up and I’m a Ft. Worth guy,” he said of TCU. “It’d be great for them to show even a little bit of interest in me. I really look forward to communicating with them.”
Texas Tech, Baylor, Texas State and North Texas are other schools Durham said he would like to hear from when his recruitment picks up.
As for what he’s looking for in a program, Durham says he’d prefer to stay in-state so location will play a factor.
“I do like most of the schools in Texas and location is a big thing; staying in the home state would be really good,” he said. “But, I’m open for anything.”