Reporting Bill Jones
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Dallas Jesuit wide receiver Jake Oliver capped a record-setting high school football career Monday night by winning the third annual Landry Award as the top player in North Texas.
In a ceremony televised live on TXA 21, Oliver was honored along with four other finalists: McKinney Boyd’s Bryan Driskell, Arlington Martin’s Kyle Hicks, Southlake Carroll’s Kenny Hill and Allen’s Oliver Pierce. The players were selected on the basis of their accomplishments on the field as well as their positive character and leadership attributes.
Running back Johnathan Gray, a freshman at the University of Texas and the winner of the first two Landry Awards, returned to Dallas to be a part of the ceremony. He made the announcement of this year’s winner, Oliver, who will join Gray as a member of the Longhorns next year.
In a four-year varsity career at Dallas Jesuit, Oliver broke the Texas all-time record for career receptions, a mark that was formerly held by ex-Texas receiver Jordan Shipley of Burnet. Oliver amassed 308 catches and 57 touchdowns in his career. He teamed up with Dallas Jesuit quarterback Jack Brezette for 93 receptions and 18 touchdowns this year, leading the Rangers to a 9-3 record.
Like Oliver, McKinney Boyd running back Bryan Driskell was a Landry Award finalist for the second straight year. Driskell led area Class 5A rushers with 1,882 yards rushing and scored 28 touchdowns in leading the Broncos to a 6-5 record in 2012. In his three-year career, Driskell rushed for 5,275 yards and scored 70 touchdowns. He plans to continue his career in college and is being recruited by numerous schools including Air Force, Navy and New Mexico.
Due to a team need, Arlington Martin running back Kyle Hicks converted to the quarterback position during his senior season. After leading the Warriors to the state quarterfinals in 2011, the school’s deepest playoff run, Hicks finished his career with 2,799 yards rushing and 58 touchdowns. He sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Martin’s final regular season game. Originally a Texas recruit, Hicks changed his commitment to TCU where he will join his former Martin teammate Devonte Fields, who was named the Big 12′s Defensive Player of the Year as a true freshman this year.
Southlake Carroll quarterback Kenny Hill is one of the most prolific dual-threat quarterbacks in Texas high school football history. After leading the Dragons to a perfect 16-0 record and a Class 5A state championship last year, Hill amassed 4,790 total yards this year. Playing only the first halves of 10 games this season, Hill accounted for an astounding 60 touchdowns in 14 games, 33 rushing and 27 passing with only 3 interceptions, as the Dragons advanced to the state quarterfinals. In his three-year career, Hill led Carroll to a 36-6 record, rushing and passing for 11,375 yards and 131 touchdowns. The son of former Texas Rangers pitcher Ken Hill, he has verbally committed to play quarterback at Texas A&M.
In a survey of more than 100 North Texas high school football coaches, no player received as many Landry Award recommendations as Allen’s “do everything” captain Oliver Pierce. A slot receiver throughout his career, Pierce was pressed into duty as the Eagles’ starting quarterback at the outset of this season. In leading Allen to the state semifinals this season and a 34-4 record the past three years, Pierce has gained over 2,000 yards and scored 25 touchdowns as a slot receiver and running back. He also returns kicks, covers kicks and has even been a terror as a pass rushing defensive end in special situations. A state and national champion wrestler, Pierce has been ranked number one in the nation in the 152 pound division. He has competed internationally as a wrestler and signed a letter of intent last month to join the University of Oklahoma wrestling squad next year.
This year, for the first time, the Landry Award featured a Coach of the Year honoree. Coppell High School’s Joe McBride was the inaugural recipient of the award, leading the Cowboys to an 11-1 record. McBride was cited for his leadership in guiding the team through a midseason tragedy when senior captain Jacob Logan drowned while cliff diving at Possum Kingdom Lake in October.
The family of the late Dallas Cowboys head coach Tom Landry — including Alicia Landry and Tom Landry Jr. — were on hand for Monday night’s ceremony. Area representatives from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes were also present. Landry was Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Greater Dallas FCA for more than 30 years.
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