EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Last season, three local high school football stars put El Paso football on the map once again after their NCAA Division I Football commitments.
Former Burges’ football star Tavorus Jones made his commitment to Missouri; former Andress’ star Jeremiah Cooper committed to Iowa State and former Franklin standout Steven Powers is now at Army.
This time around, the Class of 2023 has followed suit when it comes to committing to play at the Division I level.
Right now, five El Paso High School football stars in the Class of 2023 have announced their commitments to play for a Division I College Football program.
Canutillo senior running back LJ Martin headlines the group of DI commits. Martin decided to take his talents to Stanford after his senior year. Originally, Martin committed to Texas Tech before he flipped his decision to Stanford.
“From the academic standpoint, Stanford is one of the most prestigious universities in the world,” Martin said. “You just really think about what it could do for you as a place, outside of football. I felt like it was the best place I could make a name for myself after football, doing anything I want.”
“It was definitely the brotherhood and the connections they had everywhere,” said Anderson. “I could really do anything I want if I were to attend this school.”
Austin High School two-way star Jayden Wilson announced his commitment to the University of New Mexico. Wilson will play on the defensive side on the ball for the Lobos and he’s ready to give the program his all.
“UNM [University of New Mexico] was the first school to five me an opportunity. They watched my film and they saw talent,” said Wilson. “Other schools obviously are not seeing what UNM saw so I am just so grateful for the opportunity that they are giving me so I decided to commit to them.”
Finally a pair of Parkland seniors round out the five El Paso high school football players to commit to DI programs so far. Wide receiver DJ Crest (Texas Tech) and offensive lineman Tyrone McDuffie III (Colorado) will play football at the highest collegiate level after their senior seasons.
“I chose the University of Colorado because I felt like it gives me the best opportunity to be close to home and play football at the highest level,” McDuffie III told KTSM. “The family atmosphere there is unbelievable. I believe Coach Dorrell is changing the program and they will be doing some great things at CU.”
Now all five student-athletes have their reasons on why they choose their respective schools but they all have a common message when it comes to the football talent in the Sun City.
“Don’t sleep on El Paso kids, we’ve got talent,” said McDuffie III. “We have players that could do some great things Steven Montez, Aaron Jones, Deion Hankins, I can go on and on but it is just a great that I am part of that group.”
“El Paso gets slept on a lot of times and we do have great athletes out here,” said Wilson. “I mean it is just amazing that the talent is starting to get recognized here in the 915.”
With the football talent continuing to grow, you can expect to see more El Paso high school players in the future be presented big opportunities to play at the next level.