Tag: football

Onianwa’s quick rise lands opportunity at Rice

Cinco Ranch junior offensive lineman Ethan Onianwa. (COURTESY PHOTO)

BY DENNIS SILVA II | DENSILVA2@GMAIL.COM

Cinco Ranch junior offensive lineman Ethan Onianwa recently verbally committed to Rice. It was somewhat of a surprise, considering Onianwa only has 10 games of varsity football under his belt and his recruiting process was stunted by restrictions due to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

“The current coronavirus outbreak affected my recruiting experience a lot,” Onianwa said. “Due to the current epidemic, I wasn’t able to visit colleges and have coaches come to our spring practices. It most definitely made it harder to learn about programs from the players and coaches there.”

COVID-19 prevented college coaches from going on the road to recruit and closed campuses, which disallowed visits by recruits. It also canceled spring football, a time of the year when college coaches can visit high school campuses to watch practices and talk to high school coaches about players.

Still, Onianwa was able to secure his future in a sport he only started taking seriously in middle school, in large part because he’s a tantalizing physical prospect. Onianwa stands 6-foot-5 and 305 pounds. He’s also only 16 years old.

Continue reading “Onianwa’s quick rise lands opportunity at Rice”

Former Taylor star Clemons on verge of NFL dream

Rodney Clemons shown during a game for SMU last season. (Photo Courtesy of SMU Athletics)

BY DENNIS SILVA II | densilva2@gmail.com

During his first spring football practice as head coach of Taylor High in 2014, Trey Herrmann remembers hearing an abrasive crunch of physical contact.

“I didn’t see the hit,” Herrmann recalled six years later. “I heard it.”

Herrmann turned around to see then-junior Rodney Clemons getting back up off the running back.

“I said, ‘Yep, I was right,’” Herrmann said. “‘That’s my starting safety right there.’”

Just a couple of months before, Herrmann had convinced Clemons, frustrated and done with football after two years of hardly seeing the field, to not hang up the cleats just yet.

“I was at a junior varsity basketball game, sitting next to (then-school principal) Mr. (Jeff) Stocks, and I saw Rodney,” Herrmann said. “Just the way he moved on the floor, as far as his footwork and ability to be around the ball at all times. I asked Mr. Stocks, ‘Hey, who’s that kid?’ ‘That’s Rodney Clemons.’ And I said, ‘Well, that’s my starting safety right there.’ He just had all the attributes I look for in a safety.”

So goes the beginning of a wonderous story for Clemons, a 6-foot, 209-pound safety out of SMU who is expected to go anywhere in the fifth through seventh rounds of the NFL Draft this weekend. The draft, which will be held over three days, will be aired on ESPN. Round one will be held Thursday, rounds two and three on Friday, and the last four rounds on Saturday.

Continue reading “Former Taylor star Clemons on verge of NFL dream”

Late Oilers coach Biles ended career in Cypress

Ed Biles.

BY DENNIS SILVA II | densilva2@gmail.com

Long after a distinguished tenure with the Houston Oilers, the late Ed Biles spent the final year of his remarkable coaching career as a volunteer for an indoor arena football team in Cypress.

Biles died April 5 following a battle with leukemia. He was 88 years old. Biles coached 14 years in the NFL, beginning as an assistant with the New Orleans Saints in 1969 and finishing as head coach of the Oilers from 1981-1983 after serving as Houston’s defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator under Bum Phillips from 1974-1980.

Biles is fondly remembered most for those beloved “Luv Ya Blue” days.

But 14 years after wrapping up his NFL coaching career, Biles was back in football in 2007 as a volunteer assistant/quality control coach for the AF2’s Texas Copperheads, who practiced and played their home games at Cypress Fairbanks ISD’s Berry Center. The af2 was the minor league for the Arena Football League.

Continue reading “Late Oilers coach Biles ended career in Cypress”