Beaumont Ozen High is known state-wide for its basketball prowess with several trips to the state tournament in recent years, but the school has also had its moments on the football field. While some players have been a part of the basketball and football teams in the past, sophomore Willie Jefferson has a chance to be the top dual-sport prospect to come out of Ozen High's history.
Jefferson came off the bench this season for the 4A state finalist Ozen Panthers basketball team averaging 12 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots per game. The athletic 6-6, 190-pound power forward was awarded the 22-4A Defensive Player of the Year for his efforts.
Along the way, Jefferson has already attracted recruiting attention from mid-major basketball programs as well as inquiries from some Big 12 programs.
While Jefferson was attracted recruiting attention on the basketball court, his stock has risen to new heights this spring on the football field. Jefferson played his sophomore season on the junior varsity scoring 11 touchdowns. He flashed his vast potential on Thursday nights last year, but the long armed receiver will be the go to pass catcher on Friday nights next year for the Panthers.
Jefferson has shown a consistent ability to snatch the ball out of the air this spring and possesses very good feet. The sleek sophomore is improving his route running steadily this spring and is beginning to make big plays on a consistent basis.
Jefferson says he is going to be working hard on improving his speed during the summer that will include playing for the Ground Zero Elite AAU program and playing 7-on-7.
"I'm working on improving my speed. That is the area I want to improve," Jefferson said.
Jefferson has been turning heads of college coaches this spring at Ozen. With many of the top programs making Ozen High a yearly stop, it's not uncommon to see programs such as LSU, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida and Notre Dame taking in a spring practice. While the recruiting process is a year away for Jefferson, three schools have always stood out.
"I have always liked LSU, Miami and Texas. Those are three schools I want to look at." Jefferson said.
Scouting report: Jefferson is a raw prospect, but has a lot of athletic ability, good feet, fluid movement and size one can't teach. At this point, Jefferson is at his best when snatching the ball at its highest point or making the tough catch. He possesses very good hands and is beginning to make catches in traffic look easy as he learns to use his body to shield defenders. Jefferson does allow the ball get to his body too much at times and is working on sinking his hips and getting out of his breaks quicker. With the combination of height, leaping ability, long arms and soft hands, Jefferson will be a heavily recruited football prospect.