MARBLE FALLS , TX _ A Hill Country visit to the 20th Annual Todd Dodge Quarterback/Wide Receiver Camp, turned up its usual number of rising stars. Dodge re-started the camps the first week in June to coincide with his first year at Marble Falls and Dodge's return to Texas high school football.
Among the strong prospects at the camp were several rising Southlake Carroll receivers, the son of a former Wisconsin/Austin Westlake star, an athletic Class of 2016 quarterback prospect for Round Rock and Adam White, a speedy, acrobatic Class of '15 receiver/returner from Van Alstyne. Also at Marble Falls working out was the next potential Shipley star for Texas.
Class of 2015 Hanner Shipley (6-4, 250) has transferred from Faith Academy (Six-Man) in Burnet to play at Class 4A Marble Falls. Shipley has played middle school football but the son of 6-5 former Stephen Shipley (also on hand for the camp) is projected as am H-Back/Defensive end for Marble Falls with his combination of size and athleticism. Hanner Shipley's cousins are the standout receivers Jordan Shipleyand Jaxson Shipley, whose dad Bob Shipley is coach at Brownwood.
The camp, featuring Dodge, Cameron Yoe head coach Rick Rhoades, and first-year Austin Westlake assistant Riley Dodge as coaches, is a continuation of Dodge's camps which he started in 1992 while an assistant at North Texas. Todd Dodge's 16th annual QB/WR camp remains one of the Southwest USA's top draws for young talent.
Dodge started the camp as a North Texas assistant and after leading Southlake Carroll to four state titles in the last five years, Dodge and his camp moved back to the University of North Texas. Dodge was named UNT coach last December.
The Dodge camp grew to a nationally recognized destination by its 16th annual event in 2007. That camp drew 600 players from as far away as North Carolina, Mississippi, every Texas border state and hundreds from around the state including San Antonio, Smithson Valley, Katy, Austin Westlake and Allen.
Among the camp were former McKinney quarterback Zach Lee (a first-round pick working his way up LA Dodgers system) and former Rockwall/SMU quarterback Braden Smith.
Dodge's first camp at Marble Falls drew 162 participants, which is almost quadruple what his first camp drew 20 years ago. It's a no-nonsense camp with high emphasis on repetitions and consistency.
"Finish the route!" Dodge will yell. "Turn up-field and run at least five yards at a sprint. The next person who catches and turns back to the line, it won't count as a rep."
The Marble Falls program is getting a heavy dose of the work-ethic which is just as prominent as any factor to the success Dodge had at Southlake Carroll, which led to his being lured away for five years to be head coach at North Texas and spend last season at Pittsburgh as an assistant to Todd Graham.
Dodge, a 1981 Port Arthur grad, said he's being rejuvenated with his return to high school football. Dodge, a Texas quarterback who graduated in '85, is well-known for his trend-setting, pass-oriented offenses but it's his organization and player development and inspirational skills which are the cornerstones of his career.
Austin Westlake Class of 2016 quarterback Max Mangum was at the camp. Mangum is the son of former Westlake quarterback Mark Mangum who played receiver at Wisconsin. Mark Mangum has teamed with several former pro athletes to found a highly reputable, Austin-based financial firm (Eltekon Management Group) to help pro athletes manage revenue and it keeps the Mangums heavily involved in professional sports. Max Mangum is an athletic, track-fast quarterback along with Round Rock's Dean Lewis, who shined in the Dodge Camp.
"I knew both of them were good athletes," Dodge said. "They're fast, they're intelligent, they work hard. But until you get them every day, I didn't know if they had the arm strength and accuracy to be a quarterback. I saw that in them this week."
In addition to Hanner Shipley, Marble Falls has Class of '13 quarterback Mike Richardson, a 6-0 player who is gaining attention through his spring work and camp work. Marble Falls' highest rated '13 prospect is 6-6, 270-pound Ray Baltazar, who is making the transition to left tackle from tight end and will gain recruiting attention with his athleticism to play basketball and to have been a receiver in the past.
Marble Falls will rely on a big-play maker from Carson Bowen, 6-4 receiver Garrett Gray and state long jump qualifier Cody Schulz as a receiver/defensive back. Marble Falls has some talent, but has been competed in a powerful 4A district including state champion Lake Travis and Cedar Park.
True to Carroll ties, Dodge had a couple Southlake campers. Receivers Parker Fentriss and Hunter Summy will be counted on to blossom at Class of '15 receivers for the 2011 Class 5A DI state champ Dragons, who return Texas A&M commit quarterback Kenny Hill Jr., but not a lot of receivers. Fentriss' older brother was Dragon standout Evan Fentriss, who signed with Rice in 2006.
Some always well-read Carroll notes: Class of '13 receiver Ray Crockett (6-1, 180) will be one of Hill's top targets. Crockett is the son of former Duncanville and NFL standout Ray Crockett. Another target to watch is speedy Derek McLemore son of former major leaguer to watch Mark McLemore. Derek played most of the spring with his older brother Darien McLemore (UTA baseball signee) leading the Dragons' to the 5A regional final of the state playoffs. New names to watch: Rising junior A.J. Tolbert['/db] and rising sophomore [db]King Newton. Tolbert is the son of former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Tony Tolbert. King is the younger brother of former Carroll running back Tr?ewton and son of former Cowboys lineman Nate Newton. Tolbert and Newton are expected to help anchor the defensive front of Dragons' defensive coordinator Tim Wasson, who was named North Texas' Defensive Assistant of the Year at the National Football Foundation awards ceremony in Dallas.