Lake Dallas’ Ijiyera plans to sign with Houston Baptist

Lake Dallas High School offensive lineman Segun Ijiyera (70), an area standout, follows a play during the first half as Prestonwood Christian Academy hosted Lake Dallas High School at Lions Stadium in Plano on Friday night, September 9, 2016.  (Stewart F. House/Special Contributor)

Lake Dallas High School offensive lineman Segun Ijiyera (70), an area standout, follows a play during the first half as Prestonwood Christian Academy hosted Lake Dallas High School at Lions Stadium in Plano on Friday night, September 9, 2016. (Stewart F. House/Special Contributor)

Lake Dallas lineman Segun Ijiyera was set to sign with Texas State just a few weeks ago.

Those plans changed in a hurry as national signing day approached.

Ijiyera was prepared to sign with Texas State as a member of its 2017 class. The school later asked Ijiyera to blue shirt, a practice that would involve joining the team as a preferred walk-on and being put on scholarship after the start of fall practice.

Following that path would allow Texas State to back date his scholarship to the 2018 class.

Ijiyera elected to follow another path, one that led to Houston Baptist. Ijiyera confirmed Sunday afternoon that he is planning to sign with the Southland Conference school on national signing day this week.

Ijiyera had five offers from Football Bowl Subdivision programs at one point or another during his recruiting process. He committed to Texas State over Tulane and Houston Baptist, which competes in the Southland Conference. The Southland is a Football Championship Subdivision conference.

“Texas State tried to give me a blue shirt offer after I committed,” Ijiyera said. “I didn’t want to go that route. Houston Baptist was my No.3 school and Tulane had already filled its spots.

“Houston Baptist made a lot of sense.”

The 6-2, 270-pound Ijiyera played mostly on Lake Dallas offensive line, but also played defense last season due to a series of injuries the Falcons suffered on their defensive line. He finished with 31 tackles, including nine behind the line of scrimmage, and a sack.

Ijiyera is a member of The Dallas Morning News’ Area Top 100 list.

“Houston Baptist is on the come-up,” Ijiyera said. “Playing time won’t be that hard to come by.”

— Brett Vito

Guyer’s Mallory commits to Tulane

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The upcoming senior class at Guyer added another big Football Bowl Subdivision commitment late Monday night when offensive lineman Gage Mallory verbally committed to Tulane.

Mallory chose the Green Wave over offers from schools such as Fresno State, Air Force and Louisiana-Monroe. The first day a Class of 2017 recruit can sign a national letter of intent is Feb. 1.

“I have family close to the [New Orleans] area,” Mallory said of what drew hi

m to Tulane. “And the coaches there push you to do your best. I have worked with them before, and I know what to expect. The best thing of it all is I’ll get a world-class education.”

Mallory has played left tackle for Guyer in his two years as a starter, and although he projects as a guard at the next level, Guyer coach John Walsh said he believes the 6-3, 270-pound Mallory could play anywhere on the line.

“Gage brings a very athletic option up front for us,” Walsh said. “He has and will play all over the offensive line for us. He is great at getting to the second level and pulling.

“Tulane is getting a very good football player.”

Mallory said he thinks he can make an impact sooner rather than later, no matter where it is on the offensive line.

“I’ll most likely be playing guard, but I can play anywhere,” Mallory said. “I know what it takes to be great. Guyer got me ready for anything. I can take on any challenge and come out on top.”

Mallory is the third Guyer player in the Class of 2017 to commit to an FBS program, following tight end Brian Polendey (Miami) and safety Bryce Jackson (Northwestern). Former Guyer quarterback Shawn Robinson is a TCU pledge but transferred to DeSoto in April.

Mallory said he was happy to have the recruiting process behind him less than two months before the Wildcats open their season against Mansfield Lake Ridge.

“Even though the recruiting process was fun and interesting, I was always focused on getting better with my team,” he said. “This just helps me buckle down even more and get better during the summer.”