Freshman All-American RB enrolls at Guyer

The pool of players to replace the production left when star running back Noah Cain left Guyer last month to transfer to IMG Academy in Florida grew by one on Tuesday.

According to his Twitter, Kaedric Cobbs enrolled at Guyer Tuesday morning and seemingly threw his name into the hat for what should be an interesting running back competition when spring football kicks off at the end of April.

Cobbs, who is a rock-solid 5-9, 195 pounds, starred last season as a freshman at Class 4A Melissa. He rushed for just shy of 1,300 yards on 125 carries and scored 15 touchdowns before he was named a Freshman All-American by MaxPreps. Ironically, Cain received the same honor after the 2015 season.

The Wildcats, who, as you might know, love to run the football, will be looking to replace one of the best 1-2 running back tandems in the state in Cain and senior Myron Mason, who signed with FCS Missouri State.

There are several players who will compete for carries, most notably Devin Jefferson, who will be a senior in 2017, Kaleel Rhoden (junior) and Harrison Bohannon (sophomore).

Now, you should add Cobbs’ name to that list.

Cain accepts Under Armour invite

Guyer sophomore running back Noah Cain (7) stiff-arms Plano West senior linebacker Titus Wall (8) at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex, Friday, November 4, 2016, in Denton, Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

Guyer sophomore running back Noah Cain (7) stiff-arms Plano West senior linebacker Titus Wall (8) at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex, Friday, November 4, 2016, in Denton, Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

Well, it’s been a busy couple of days for now-former Guyer running back Noah Cain.

On Thursday, the nation’s top-ranked sophomore running back announced he would be leaving Guyer to attend the polarizing IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, for his junior season after rushing for almost 1,700 yards and 22 touchdowns as a sophomore at Guyer.

On Friday, Cain, who will begin his time at IMG on Jan. 16, announced his invitation to the Under Armour All-American Game and said he was committing to play in the game following his senior season (2019) so actually in January of 2020.


If Cain was still at Guyer, he’d be the second Guyer player to take part in the game, as former defensive lineman Taylor Bible played in the game in January 2010 before going on to Texas.

Cain has 15 major college offers from the likes of powerhouses like LSU and Oklahoma with two years of high school football still to play.

Guyer’s Cain is leaving for IMG Academy

 Guyer sophomore running back Noah Cain (7) evades a tackle from Plano West junior defensive end Dylan Raiborn (44) at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex, Friday, November 4, 2016, in Denton, Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC


Guyer sophomore running back Noah Cain (7) evades a tackle from Plano West junior defensive end Dylan Raiborn (44) at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex, Friday, November 4, 2016, in Denton, Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

The Guyer football program was dealt a significant blow on Thursday when star running back Noah Cain announced he is leaving the school to attend IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Cain, a 5-11, 205-pound sophomore, is the nation’s top-ranked running back in the Class of 2019 and already has 15 offers from programs such as LSU and Oklahoma after two phenomenal seasons at Guyer.

Cain said IMG coaches have been in touch with him for a while and he has several friends who play at the school. He made his decision Thursday morning. Cain will leave for the school on Jan. 16.

“It was definitely a hard decision,” Cain said. “It wasn’t easy. It came down to the last minute. My parents and I discussed it so much. We thought it’d be a good opportunity for me athletically and academically to try it out and see how it is down there.

“The first thing I wanted to do was talk to [Guyer coach John] Walsh out of respect for him, because without him I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in today. I’m grateful to Guyer for being the starting point of my recruiting trail and my high school career. I’ll forever be grateful to them, especially coach Walsh, who’s the man who started this all for me. He’ll always have a special place in my heart.”

Cain has lived in Denton since the third grade but attended Plano Prestonwood starting in sixth grade. He resumed attending school in Denton in the eighth grade when he went to Crownover Middle School. He had a breakout freshman season at Guyer, in which he rushed for 1,058 yards despite missing four games. The Associated Press second-team all-state selection went on to rack up 1,683 yards and 22 touchdowns on the ground for Guyer last season while leading the Wildcats to the area round of the Class 6A playoffs. No running back at IMG last season had 50 carries on the year. Cain averaged 17.5 carries per game in 2016.

“You never want to lose anyone in your program,” Walsh said. “I’ve known Noah since the fifth grade, and he’s been a good product of our program and a good product on the field. His presence on the field is going to be missed.

“But no one player or coach will define this program.”

It appeared Guyer was set up with arguably the best back in the country to spearhead its lethal rushing attack for the next two seasons, but that plan is now out the window.

IMG has had a tumultuous relationship with Texas high school football coaches for recruiting some of the state’s best players to their school. The boarding rate for football players at IMG for the 2016-2017 academic year is $72,900 with financial aid available, according to the school’s website. Cain said the school will cover his full tuition. The school sells itself as a better way to prepare elite athletes for the college level in a variety of sports.

Cain said his mother took a job in Seguin that will require some travel, so the boarding option was a selling point for IMG.

“We looked really deep into the program and what they had to offer with the meal plan and boarding, and we liked the college structure of it,” Cain said.

Brenham coach Glen West, who was formerly the president of the Texas High School Coaches Association, wrote an open letter to the state’s football coaches in Texas Coach Magazine last year with a clear message of his stance on schools such as IMG.

“It’s not necessarily against IMG, it’s just for years in the state of Texas we have been the advocate for our kids, where the college coaches come through and it’s been a really good situation for hundreds of years,” West told The Dallas Morning News after the letter was published. “The idea of athletes being raised through your program in your community, being part of your community, until later in their career [they] think they need to go to a specialist, we don’t agree with that.

“We’ve sent a lot of people on to college and the NFL. We think we do a good job of sending them there. We’re with them from day to dark. I will stand strong on [the fact] that I think our coaches do a great job.”

In October, Crosby assistant coach Marvin Nash, who ironically coached at Guyer during Cain’s freshman season, publicly chastised IMG coaches on Twitter for contacting one of his players through social media for recruiting practices he felt were unethical.

“I kind of have mixed feelings about this,” Nash said Thursday. “I know Noah thinks he’s doing what’s best for him and his family. I hate to see private schools come to different areas of the nation and cherry-pick the players they want. I’m very old school in the fact I believe in playing for your hometown school and representing your community.

“Maybe it’s just because I’m an old-school, small-town guy, but I will never believe that’s the best thing for kids to do.  But I do wish him the best, and I support him in everything he does because he’s a special kid with a great family. I’m still kind of shocked.”

Walsh said he has no hard feelings toward Cain or his family but did say he agreed with the common assessment of IMG after several coaches have come out and said they would no longer schedule games against the school in nondistrict play. IMG played no Texas teams last season after playing DeSoto in 2015.

“I think if I was going to answer any question about IMG honestly, we’d need a talk show on HBO,” Walsh said.

Cain’s absence leaves an obvious void in Guyer’s offense, but Walsh said a few different players will be candidates to step into the Wildcats’ rushing attack that annually averages well over 300 yards per game.

Those players include junior Devin Jefferson, who rushed for 125 yards and a score on 10 carries in limited mop-up duty a year ago, as well as sophomore Kaleel Rhoden and freshman Harrison Bohannon.

“I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for some young players and some guys who haven’t had many opportunities because of the road block Christian [Moore], Myron [Mason] and Noah put up there,” Walsh said. “It was hard to see the field with those guys. I got asked how we’d do it when [former quarterback] J.W. [Walsh] left, and then there was Jerrod [Heard]. It happens every year. There’s kids in this system for years. Good programs have their personnel built up from the fifth grade, and we know who our guys are going to be for the 2020 season.”

 

 

Guyer’s Cain earns second-team all-state nod

Denton Guyer sophomore running back Noah Cain (7) hurdles senior fullback Trevor Caples (22) as DeSoto senior linebacker Orion Smith (15) moves in for the tackle during the second half of a high school football game at Eagle Stadium in DeSoto, Texas, Friday, September 2, 2016. (Jeffrey McWhorter/Special Contributor)

Denton Guyer sophomore running back Noah Cain (7) hurdles senior fullback Trevor Caples (22) as DeSoto senior linebacker Orion Smith (15) moves in for the tackle during the second half of a high school football game at Eagle Stadium in DeSoto, Texas, Friday, September 2, 2016. (Jeffrey McWhorter/Special Contributor)

After a breakout season as a freshman phenom in 2015, Guyer sophomore running back Noah Cain solidified his place in the upper echelon of the state’s top ball-carriers on Thursday when he was named to The Associated Press’ Class 6A all-state team.

Cain was voted to the state’s second team by sportswriters from across Texas after finishing the regular season with 169 carries for 1,407 yards and 19 touchdowns.

“I’m so proud for Noah,” Guyer coach John Walsh said. “I think he’s done a lot of incredible things from the running back position for us at the ages of 14 and 15. I think Guyer fans and everyone at Guyer is looking forward to seeing what he can do at 16 and 17 the next two years.”

Cain is a physical specimen at 5-11, 205 pounds, and was the thunder in a 1-2 running back tandem at Guyer. The Wildcats averaged 317 yards per game on the ground in 2016.

Cain is the No. 1 ranked sophomore running back in the country and already has 14 scholarship offers, including offers from national powerhouses like LSU and Oklahoma.

Walsh said Cain’s physical ability is evident, but his mental acumen and high football IQ are what make him stand out above others his age.

“I think, first off, his durability is great for a young kid,” Walsh said. “His physique allows him to take a lot of shots. What separates him from the rest of the pack is his ability to be patient and his vision is off the charts.”

Cain was joined on the all-state team by three teammates who were honorable mention selections in junior left tackle John Lanz, who graded out at 93 percent for the regular season and allowed no sacks. Senior tight end and Miami commit Brian Polendey also got an honorable mention nod as an offensive lineman after grading out at 91 percent and averaging four knockdowns per game.

Defensively, senior safety Bryce Jackson, a Northwestern pledge, was rewarded with an honorable mention nod after leading one of the best defenses in school history with 89 tackles, four pass breakups and two interceptions.

“Any time your program is represented on the all-state team, it’s just an indication of the hard work and the respect you get across the state,” Walsh said. “I think our kids are sure deserving of that.”

 

 

Big-time offers keeping piling up for Cain

A quick look at the above highlight tape (yes, I’m a child of the 80s and I still use the word “tape”), lets you know pretty quickly that Noah Cain doesn’t mess around.

Last season as a freshman — one of two freshman starters on Guyer’s varsity team after John Walsh had gone nine years without ever beginning the season suiting up a freshman much less starting one — Cain burst on to the scene and proved to be one of the hardest runners in the Metroplex.

On Thursday, Cain added another big-time college offer to his list before ever taking a snap as a high school sophomore. It came from Kevin Sumlin and Texas A&M, who joined other Power 5 schools like Arizona, Arizona State, Kansas, Miami and Oklahoma State as ones to jump on the Guyer freshman early.

“It’s a first for me,” Walsh said. “We’ve had these programs offer our kids before but never at 15 years old. It’s a testament to his preparation he’s done prior to this, in his early years. He’s ahead of his time physically. Today, he’s a solid 202 pounds at 15.”

Cain, who’s 5-11, missed the better part of four games last year with a broken hand, but still managed to rack up 1,058 yards on 112 carries (9.4 yards per carry) and 10 touchdowns while adding another score through the air.

At this time last year I remember Walsh telling me about a freshman-to-be who was special, but he thought he might lack the home run threat. He quickly erased that doubt, and showed to be the complete package pretty quickly with a spatial awareness well beyond his years.

“He erased any downfield, home run threat doubts in Week 1 with a long run against Allen,” Walsh said. “What we know and what colleges see on tape is that, other than being physically gifted, he has natural vision and patience to set up blocks. That’s the last thing a good running back usually gets, but he has that already.”