Former Guyer standout inks with Raiders

Oklahoma State's Jimmy Bean speaks to reporters at Cotton Bowl Media Day, Monday, December 30, 2013, in Arlington, TX. David Minton/DRC

Oklahoma State’s Jimmy Bean speaks to reporters at Cotton Bowl Media Day, Monday, December 30, 2013, in Arlington, TX. David Minton/DRC

Jimmy Bean looked like he was a lock to be the first Guyer football player drafted by an NFL team.

The formerly underweight, long and rangy defensive end filled out at Oklahoma State and turned into one of the better defensive ends in the Big 12 before suffering a season-ending knee injury in a game against Texas Tech last season, effectively ending Bean’s collegiate career.

To show what NFL teams thought of Bean, he was still invited to the NFL combine last winter in advance of the draft even though he couldn’t partake in much of the drills, but teams still wanted to get a look at him and most importantly put him through the interview process.

By the time the draft rolled around, it was decided Bean’s knee still wasn’t 100 percent and teams passed on him. On Wednesday, Bean signed a deal to join the practice squad of the Oakland Raiders, putting him on the road to beginning his NFL career.

The 6-5, 264-pound (his measurements at the combine) Bean will now (theoretically) be on the same defensive line as former Ryan standout Mario Edwards Jr., who was drafted in 2015 out of Florida State.

Guyer’s Mwaniki set to continue pipeline to Stillwater

Guyer junior defensive back Thabo Mwaniki (1) sacks Byron Nelson senior quarterback Preston Haire (12), Friday, October 23, 2015, at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

Guyer junior defensive back Thabo Mwaniki (1) sacks Byron Nelson senior quarterback Preston Haire (12), Friday, October 23, 2015, at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

As a middle-schooler at Harpool, Thabo Mwaniki remembers watching from afar as a trio of Guyer football players excelled in the Big 12 at Oklahoma State.

Now that Guyer’s contingent of OSU players has all moved on, Mwaniki will start what he hopes is another pipeline from Guyer High School to Stillwater after committing to play college football for the Cowboys on Saturday.

Mwaniki visited Stillwater on Thursday and made his decision shortly thereafter, choosing OSU over 12 other Football Bowl Subdivision offers including Colorado, Kansas, Purdue and North Texas.

“It just feels like home to me,” said Mwaniki, who will play safety at the next level but will play mostly at strong-side linebacker and wide receiver during his upcoming senior year. “I love the staff. [Safeties] Coach [Dan] Hammerschmidt is great. The facilities are top of the line. The campus is beautiful. Just everything about it was great.”

Oral commitments are non-binding. The first day a Class of 2017 recruit can sign a national letter of intent is Feb. 1.

Mwaniki moved up from junior varsity as a sophomore three games into the year to play safety for Guyer before moving to linebacker due to injury a handful of games into the 2015 season. He finished his junior year with 61 tackles, including 14 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He added two sacks and a fumble recovery. He was also Guyer’s second-leading receiver with 18 catches for 294 yards and a touchdown.

“His versatility speaks volumes,” Guyer coach John Walsh said. “I think that’s what caught the attention of a lot of people. They want him at safety, some want him at corner, but he could be a receiver at that level. He has some of the best ball skills and explosiveness that we’ve had come through. The different things he brings to the table makes him so attractive.”

Mwaniki had planned to commit at the beginning of the summer but was waiting for an offer that blew him away. On Thursday, he got it.

“We’ve been talking for about four weeks now,” Mwaniki said. “The biggest thing for me was that they’re losing five safeties by the time I get there, so early playing time was a big factor for me.”

And once again, Guyer fans seem poised to have a reason to follow OSU on Saturdays.

“I’m excited for Thabo,” said Walsh, whose son J.W. was a Cowboys quarterback who graduated in December. “Plus, I get to keep all that orange stuff in my closet.”

Ramacher leaving football, Oklahoma State


Former Guyer standout Dominic Ramacher, second from left, has chosen to leave the Oklahoma State football program.

What used to be four is down to two in terms of former Guyer football players who signed with Oklahoma State. J.W. Walsh is set to be the Cowboys’ starting quarterback, and Jimmy Bean is looking to have a breakout year in his second season to start at defensive end.

But Josh Stewart left the program a year early to enter the NFL draft, later signing as a free agent with Tennessee before tearing his Achilles tendon and being released, and now Dominic Ramacher, who signed with the Cowboys the year after the aforementioned three, is leaving the program and the school to pursue other opportunities.

Ramacher was the hidden gem of the 2010 team’s potent offense as an H-back who was a punishing blocker in Guyer’s running game before moving to middle linebacker in 2011 and becoming an all-district performer. He signed with OSU as a fullback, redshirted and moved to defense last season and was a contributor on special teams.

Ramacher announced the decision on his Facebook page, saying he’s quitting football and leaving Stillwater, but still plans to go to school and get a degree in audio production.

Talking to folks at Oklahoma State, as well as Guyer coach John Walsh, it sounded like Ramacher had a shot at competing for a starting linebacker spot in 2014, but college football is a big-time commitment and it’s easy to see how it would be a huge weight on one’s shoulders.

Ramacher always came across as a kid with much more on his mind than football, and it’s always been obvious he’s a very bright kid who could be successful in a variety of arenas. You just hope, for his sake, it’s not a decision he might regret years down the road. Judging by his words, it seems like it was well thought out, though. Best of luck to him.

Former Guyer, Oklahoma State WR Josh Stewart declares for NFL draft

Oklahoma State wide receiver Josh Stewart, a former Guyer standout, celebrates his first-quarter touchdown in the Cotton Bowl between Oklahoma State and Missouri at AT&T Stadium on Friday. Stewart, a junior, declared Tuesday for the NFL draft this spring.

Josh Stewart has heard a lot of opinions about his NFL draft prospects recently, but on Tuesday he said the only one that matters is his own as he officially declared for the upcoming NFL draft following his junior season at Oklahoma State.

Stewart played his final college game on Friday in the Cotton Bowl at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium and scored a 40-yard touchdown before leaving late in the game with a concussion.

On Tuesday, he had hired an agent and declared for the draft, more than week prior to the Jan. 15 deadline for underclassmen to declare. He is the 17th underclassman wide receiver to declare for the draft. Last year, 29 receivers were selected over the three-day, seven-round draft.

“I’ve talked with a lot of people, and everyone has their own opinions and at the end of the day it had to be for me and my family,” Stewart said. “That’s what I felt would be best and the decision I’d be happy with. That’s really all that matters, and that’s what it came down to. I’m willing to take whatever comes. I’m excited for the chance to live out my dream. It’s going to be a good journey.”

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Two Denton ISD DEs shined in bowls


Florida State defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. and Oklahoma State defensive Jimmy Bean both starred in their respective bowl games. Edwards graduated from Ryan, while Bean graduated from Guyer.

While watching Florida State come from behind and beat Auburn in a thriller for the final BCS championship before we head to playoff system (rejoice!), it hit me.

There’s a pretty solid chance that in two years we could have two high draft picks in Denton ISD products, who just happen to play the same position.

You see, I covered the Cotton Bowl on Friday and saw former Guyer standout Jimmy Bean dominate a tough Missouri offensive line. Then, of course, on Monday night everyone watched former Ryan standout Mario Edwards turn in an equally dominant effort against Auburn to earn himself a national championship.

In fact, the numbers are eerily similar.

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Guyer-ex Ramacher switching positions for Cowboys

Guyer linebacker Dominic Ramacher (14), shown here in a 2011 file photo, tackles a Cedar Hill running back in a game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

Heading into his senior season at Guyer back in 2011, Dominic Ramacher had already gone from being the Wildcats’ backup quarterback behind J.W. Walsh to being a tight end/H-back type player that was without a doubt the key behind the engine that was the Wildcats’ potent rushing attack.

But that year, his final one with Guyer, Ramacher switched to middle linebacker to replace three-year starter Blake Terry, who had moved on with graduation the prior year.

Now, Ramacher is at Oklahoma State with Walsh and other former Guyer standouts Josh Stewart and Jimmy Bean, and on Thursday Ramacher switched positions once again. The move was first reported by The Oklahoman on Sunday.

The redshirt freshman will move from fullback, where he’s buried behind experienced players, to linebacker after approaching his coaches about the possible move recently.

“My whole life I have played defense — and linebacker specifically — so I have always had a defensive mind and instincts,” Ramacher said after practice on Tuesday. “When I was recruited here as an athlete they weren’t sure what I was going to do and they felt I could help more as fullback. I helped the best I could but I thought the best thing for me was to be a linebacker. I went to Coach Singleton [running backs coach] to make sure it was okay and then I went to [defensive coordinator] Coach Spencer.”

Ramacher, who’s currently listed at 6-3, 230 pounds, racked up 95 tackles as a senior at Guyer to go with a sack, four pass break-ups and three interceptions. He also moved back to offense and played both ways in the postseason before Guyer was defeated by Mansfield in the area round.

Ramacher was highly rated coming out of high school and was ranked the No. 27 tight end in the nation by Scout and the No. 26 “athlete” in the nation by Rivals.

Now, he believes he’s in a place where he can get on the field faster and better help the Cowboys.

“I am picking it up really fast,” Ramacher said. “I feel like it’s all coming back to me and it’s going to be good.”

Former Guyer strength coach not forgotten by Stewart

Former Guyer and current UT strength and conditioning coach Bryan Kegans (left), shown here in a 2005 file photo during his playing days at Texas Tech, blocks former Oklahoma and Lake Dallas standout Dusty Dvoracek. Kegans recently moved on from Guyer to accept an assistant strength and conditioning job at Texas.

We’ve known around these parts for quite some time that Guyer’s strength and conditioning program was on and poppin’, as the kids like to say.

Whether it’s Jerrod Heard, and J.W. Walsh before him — quarterbacks power-cleaning more than 300 pounds — or heck, even Heard’s backup, David Haynes, or whether it’s former tackle Patrick Morris’ gargantuan feats in the weight room before earning a full ride to TCU, the weight room at Guyer has been a competitive place for quite some time.

And depending on who you ask, the strength of the program, in the trenches especially, has been a key part of its success over the last five seasons.

A lot of that success has had to do with former strength and conditioning coach Bryan Kegans, a rarity at the high-school level for being solely in charge of strength and conditioning and not a position on the football staff. He started his stint at Guyer as an offensive line coach as well as strength and conditioning but over his final couple of seasons moved strictly to strength and conditioning.

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Josh Stewart vs. Eric Ward: Media Day Style


Oklahoma State wide receiver and Guyer-ex Josh Stewart, left, and Texas Tech wide receiver and former Wichita Falls Rider standout Eric Ward are the top two returning wide receivers in the Big 12.

The two top returning wide receivers in the Big 12 entering the 2013 season both have ties to this area.

Obviously, Oklahoma State star Josh Stewart starred at Guyer for three seasons and helped lead the Wildcats to their first state championship game appearance in 2010 before breaking out last season for the Cowboys and posting 101 receptions, 1,210 yards and eight touchdowns (seven receiving).

Eric Ward was battling Stewart in high school as a standout receiver at Wichita Falls Rider, the cream of the District 5-4A crop back then with Ward and Michigan-bound quarterback Shavodrick Beaver.

In 2008, when Guyer was starting its rapid ascent to Texas High School Football powerhouse status, Stewart was a diminutive sophomore cornerback and Ward was a beastly wideout committed to Oklahoma before his last-second flip to Texas Tech. Continue reading

Stewart, Walsh earn Big 12 accolades

Oklahoma State receiver Josh Stewart, right, dives in for a touchdown against West Virginia on Nov. 10, in Stillwater, Okla. Stewart, a former Guyer standout, scored three touchdowns in the Cowboys' 55-34 win.

Things are going pretty for Guyer High School football right now, as the Wildcats are in the Class 4A Division I regional final on Saturday and two of the program’s more successful alumni were honored on Big 12 all-conference teams on Wednesday.

Oklahoma State sophomore Josh Stewart was named to the first team of the Associated Press Big 12 team after finishing in the top-10 nationally in receptions (96) and top-20 nationally in receiving yards with 1,154 while adding seven touchdown receptions during the regular season.

His former, and current teammate J.W. Walsh was named the Big 12′s Offensive Freshman of the Year (not a raunchy joke-telling freshman) on the Big 12 coaches’ team after leading the conference in pass efficiency, throwing for 11 touchdowns and three interceptions while finishing third on the team in rushing and scoring seven times on the ground in nine games this season.

Walsh took over for an injured Wes Lunt against Louisiana-Lafayette and lit up the Cajuns before making three straight starts. His starting run came to an end when he broke his leg against Iowa State but still managed to throw for 400 yards and finish the game.

Local fans will be able to see Stewart and Walsh in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, which will be played at the Cotton Bowl against Purdue on New Year’s Day at 11 a.m.