Like hundreds of high school senior football players across the country, Steele strong safety Shane Huhn has looked forward to college football’s national signing day for months.
On Wednesday, the first day seniors can sign a binding national letter of intent, Huhn will reach another important juncture in his career when he pens his signature on a scholarship agreement with Texas-El Paso.
Huhn, a key player on Steele’s Class 5A state championship team last season, committed to the Miners last summer.
An El Paso native, Huhn also was recruited by UTSA, Idaho, New Mexico and Wyoming.
“It’s good to know it’s nearly all over with,” Huhn said Tuesday. “Even though I’ve known where I’m going, it will be a big load off my mind to finally sign and be able to focus on what you’ve got to do to get ready for the next level.”
Huhn, who moved to the San Antonio area when he was in the second grade, is one of eight Steele players who will sign Wednesday.
The headliner, of course, is blue-chip running back Malcolm Brown, who will sign with Texas. One of the most recruited players in the country, Brown committed to the Longhorns days before the Knights’ nationally televised season opener against Madison.
Brown and Kerrville Tivy quarterback Johnny Manziel, who will sign with Texas A&M, both were named to the Parade All-American team. Manziel enrolled at A&M last month.
Madison running back Aaron Green, who with Brown and Manziel, makes this year’s recruiting class one of the best in area history, will sign with Nebraska. Green will sign his letter in Austin, where he’s playing in an all-star game Wednesday night.
Steele linebacker Ryan Simmons, committed to Oklahoma State, also is playing in the all-star game and planned to sign his letter in Austin, and Knights defensive tackle Marquis Anderson is already enrolled at Oklahoma.
Defensive end Ryan Lincoln (North Texas), cornerback Taurean Anderson (Central Arkansas), cornerback Kwame Clark (Stephen F. Austin) and wide receiver Blake Gardner (Central Arkansas) are the other Steele players who will sign letters in a ceremony at Steele on Wednesday morning.
Huhn played football at Dobie Middle School with Anderson, Brown and Simmons.
“Since our freshman year, all we dreamed of was winning a state championship,” Huhn said. “It was an unbelievable feeling when we did because there are so many teams out there that never even get a chance to play for a state championship.
"Only a handful of high school players get a chance to play college football, so I’m thankful to be getting this opportunity. It's a great feeling."
UTEP offered Huhn, 6 feet and 190 pounds, a scholarship shortly after he participated in a Miners camp last June. He committed to UTEP about two weeks after visiting the school in July.
“Since I was born in El Paso, it was kind of like going home in a way,” Huhn said. “I like the coaches up there and my chance of getting some playing time.”
Huhn starred in a secondary that included his brother, Erik, a sophomore free safety.
“We’ve always been real close, so we had good chemistry out on the field,” Shane said. “It was like we were one person. We could read each other and we fed off each other. We just clicked. I’m going to miss playing with him.”
Shane was a three-year starter at strong safety, playing on teams that went a combined 33-7. Last year’s squad beat Denton Guyer 24-21 for the 5A Division II crown, finishing 14-2 and riding into the sunset with a 13-game winning streak.
Overshadowed by Brown and the rest of the Steele offense throughout the regular season, the Knights’ defense grabbed the spotlight in the playoffs with its physical, relentless play.
“We had a lot of chemistry,” Huhn said. “We had a lot of guys who didn’t quit, no matter what the score was.”
Huhn praised Simmons, who is going to be a heck of a college player, for setting the pace.
“I’m more of a quiet leader,” Huhn said. “Ryan gets everybody hyped. He gets everybody ready to play.”
On Wednesday, Simmons, Huhn and so many others throughout the country will take a big step in their careers by finally making their college choices official.
San Antonio Area Commitments
Quincy Adams, Brandeis RB, 5-10, 175, Navy
Jace Amaro, MacArthur TE, 6-5, 240, Texas Tech
Marquis Anderson, Steele DE, 6-3, 280, Oklahoma
Kenny Bias, Stevens WR, 6-2, 175, UTSA
Malcolm Brown, Steele RB, 6-0, 220, Texas
Joshua Campbell, Brandeis LB, 6-1, 220, UIW
Joseph Cheek, Seguin OL, 6-7, 270, Texas A&M
Devin Crayton, Brandeis WR, 6-2, 170, Navy
Stevie Dorman, Somerset QB, 6-4, 215, Colorado
Nick Elder, Central Catholic LB, 6-0, 210, Rice
Aaron Green, Madison RB, 5-11, 190, Nebraska
Will Harlos, Somerset DB, 6-4, 200, Colorado
Horace Hayes, Clemens OL, 6-4, 265, UIW
Sean Hesler, Marion DB, 6-0, 165, UTSA
Shane Huhn, Steele S, 6-0, 190, UTEP
Jacob Hillyer, Somerset WR, 6-4, 190, Iowa
Alex Lincoln, Steele DT, 6-3, 255, North Texas
Joseph Lizcano, Clemens DB, 6-1, 180, UTSA
Ashaad Mabry, MacArthur DT, 6-3, 295, Oklahoma State
Johnny Manziel, Kerrville Tivy QB, 6-0, 190, Texas A&M
Roddy Reyna, Brandeis DB, 5-10, 180, Navy
Quincy Russell, Sam Houston DT, 6-3, 290, Texas
Mauricio Sanchez, Warren S, 6-0, 195, UTSA
Ryan Simmons, Steele LB, 6-1, 230, Oklahoma State
Marcus Smith, Warren WR, 6-4, 210, North Texas
Blaire Sullivan, Central Catholic QB, 6-4, 198, UTEP
Gabriel Taylor, Brackenridge WR, 6-7, 190, UIW
Mykkele Thompson, Stevens ATH, 6-2, 180, Texas
Josh Ward, Pleasanton K, 6-0, 210, UTSA
Andre Wiggins, Madison DB, 6-2, 190, Wake Forest
Note: List is of area players who have committed to Football Bowl Subdivision schools, UTSA or Incarnate Word.