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Analyzing the best Dallas-area high school safeties in the Class of 2025

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Analyzing the best Dallas-area high school safeties in the Class of 2025


Out of the 10 safeties that made The Dallas Morning News’ top 100 recruits list for the class of 2024, five of them ranked within the top 25. This year, however, not one safety made it that high on the list.

Meet the 100 best Dallas-area high school football players in the Class of 2025

Here’s a look at each of the safeties ranked within The News’ top 100 recruits list for the class of 2024.

No. 28 Sael Reyes

Reyes, the safety ranked as No. 38 in the country according to 247Sports.com, helped DeSoto to a 16-0 record and the Texas 6A D-1 state championship during his junior season last year. He recorded 60 tackles, one sack, one interception and one forced fumble.

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He committed to SMU on May 19 over scholarship offers from Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, LSU and others.

No. 29 Tyren Polley Jr.

The 5-foot-10, 180 pound rising senior at Duncanville helped his school to its second consecutive Texas 6A D-1 state championship this past season.

During the 2023-24 season, Polley Jr. recorded 51 solo tackles, 79 total tackles and three interceptions.

After receiving scholarship offers from LSU, Oklahoma, SMU and others, the safety committed to SMU on Feb 23.

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No. 46 Bo Onu

The Baylor Bears added Onu, a three-star safety out of Hebron, to its class of 2025 in June.

Onu is coming off of a first-team all-district junior season, and has the ability to play a hybrid safety role as well as a roaming linebacker position.

Last season, the 6-foot-1, 210 pound safety tallied 29 tackled, snagged three interceptions and recovered three fumbles.

No. 59 Ayden Webb

According to 247Sports.com, Webb is ranked as No. 110 among all safeties nationally in the class of 2025.

Webb aided Lake Highlands to a 9-3 overall record and a 7-1 district record, placing them first in the 6A Region 1 District 7 standings.

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The three-star safety committed to the Oklahoma State Cowboys on June 19 after receiving scholarship offers from SMU, TCU, Houston and others.

No. 63 Nathan Tilmon

Three days after his official visit to Texas in June, Tilmon decommited from SMU and decided to re-open his recruitment status.

The 6-foot, 185-pound safety out of Mansfield Timberview only played in eight games during his junior season and recorded 34 tackles and six pass breakups.

No. 85 Tobias Gary

During his 16-game junior season, Gary aided South Oak Cliff to a Texas 5A D-II state runner-up finish and the Golden Bears’ third consecutive year making a title game appearance. He tallied 59 tackles and three interceptions during the 2023-24 season.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound safety received scholarship offers from Texas, Kansas, Texas Tech and others but chose to commit to LA Tech.

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No. 91 Braylan McDonald

McDonald, a three-star recruit from Lancaster, helped his team to an overall record of 9-6 and a 5-3 district record, placing them in fourth place out of the 5A-1 Region II District 7 standings.

According to 247Sports.com, McDonald is ranked as the No. 93 safety in the nation. He has received scholarship offers from Texas Tech, Boston College and others, but committed to Washington State on June 29.

No. 92 Rohon Kazadi

Kazadi, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound safety out of Plano, only appeared in five games during his junior football season. He recorded 14 solo tackles and 29 total tackles.

He received offers from Memphis, Syracuse, Tulsa and others but has yet to come to a commitment decision.

No. 98 Zephen Walker

In 2022, Walker primarily played offense in seven games as a sophomore, completing 10-of-19 passes for 157 yards and rushed for 154 yards and one touchdown.

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However, he transitioned to safety fulltime during his junior year at Lewisville. Last season, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound safety recorded 48 tackles and one interception.

Walker has received college offers from Army, Navy, Arkansas State and others, but he committed to the Oregon State Beavers on June 27.

No. 100 Juan-Milleon Aguilar

Aguilar began his varsity debut as a freshman playing snaps on both offense and defense. He caught eight passes for 134 yards and one touchdown while recording 40 tackles, three interceptions and one fumble recovery.

As a Bishop Dunne sophomore in 2022, Aguilar tallied 51 tackles, three interceptions and three fumble recoveries.

During his junior season, however, he aided Dallas Kimball to an 8-3 record and a Texas 5A D-II playoff appearance.

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The 5-foot-11, 170-pound safety has received scholarship offers from Texas State, Grambling State and others but has yet to make a commitment decision. He posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he will announce his commitment on July 17.

On Twitter: @ToriCGarcia

Find more high school sports coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.

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Despite red flags at Dallas County youth lockup, board looked the other way

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Despite red flags at Dallas County youth lockup, board looked the other way


The resignation of Dallas County’s embattled juvenile department director may finally force the Juvenile Board to reckon with shocking complaints about the treatment of youths in lockup.

A majority of the board appeared asleep at the wheel despite mounting allegations about teens being kept in their cells or in solitary confinement longer than appropriate.

Darryl Beatty resigned as executive director of the juvenile department after state regulators opened a second investigation into the juvenile detention center at the Henry Wade Juvenile Justice Center. State officials told us they went in for a surprise inspection this month following “[r]ecent reports, from various sources, alleging new instances of supervisory neglect.” The final report from a separate neglect investigation the state launched last summer is pending.

The Juvenile Board shouldn’t just wait for the results. The board clearly needs to conduct a broader review into the operations of the Dallas County Juvenile Department.

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By law, it is the county’s Juvenile Board and not the Commissioners Court that oversees the juvenile department and its detention facilities. The Commissioners Court provides funding from its budget.

Yet the Juvenile Board so far has betrayed an astounding lack of curiosity about what’s going on in the county’s juvenile justice system.

Last year, the board pushed back against attempts by the Commissioners Court to obtain anonymized “observation sheets” that would show how long youths have been kept in their cells day to day, after a controversial third-party report found the Dallas County juvenile justice system is more punitive than those in other counties. A judge ruled that county commissioners were not entitled to the observation sheets.

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Then came a state inquiry into allegations of neglect, soon after a June 2023 investigation by this newspaper highlighted concerns by multiple parents and staff whistleblowers who said children were being kept in their cells for up to 23 hours a day. Some of them also complained about unsanitary conditions in the cells and lack of access to medical care.

At the time, this newspaper reported a revealing exchange among members of the Juvenile Board about the isolation allegations. County Judge Clay Lewis Jenkins and Commissioner Andrew Sommerman — the two members of the Commissioners Court who sit in the Juvenile Board and who’ve requested access to observation sheets — were chastised by family court Judge Andrea Plumlee for using the term “isolation.” Another board member, Juvenile Judge Andrea Martin, said, “We don’t just put kids behind doors when they shouldn’t be.”

The Texas Juvenile Justice Department disagreed. While the agency has yet to issue a final report on its 2023 investigation, it said in September that some children in Dallas County detention were held in isolation for disciplinary reasons for as long as five days, which is more than double the state limit of 48 hours.

The state hasn’t yet said whether teens have routinely been kept in their cells most of the day for reasons other than safety or discipline.

TJJD told the Juvenile Board that there were record-keeping gaps at the Henry Wade facility, with staff at the detention center unable to produce some observation sheets. That alone should have set off alarm bells for board members.

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The state approved the juvenile department’s improvement plan, but now the public has questions about what actual improvements took place. An investigation by WFAA-TV last month exposed complaints similar to those illuminated by The Dallas Morning News’ reporting a year ago. Dallas pastors rallied to demand better treatment for the youth in county lockups, though Beatty categorically denied allegations of mistreatment.

Then came the unannounced inspection last week and Beatty’s resignation. Beatty didn’t respond to a text message from us.

Commissioner John Wiley Price, who sat on the Juvenile Board until early 2023 and who defended Beatty from the Commissioners Court dais, said the right thing had happened with the Juvenile Board reporting allegations to state regulators and allowing the state investigations to play out. He noted that Beatty had dealt with high staff vacancy rates but acknowledged concerns with his performance. Price said Beatty had seemed paralyzed in the past six months and unable to move the juvenile department forward.

Juvenile Judge Cheryl Shannon, chair of the Juvenile Board, also rejected our criticism of the body’s handling of concerns about Beatty’s department.

“The media has chosen to present the Board as taking no action regarding the concerns raised about the Dallas County Juvenile Detention Center,” she wrote in an email. “This assertion is absolutely incorrect. Since the inception of concerns raised in early 2023, the majority of the Board agreed that the proper independent investigative authority is the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD).”

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She said the board agreed that TJJD has the expertise required to investigate the detention center and that the process has worked “exactly as it is designed to work.”

That explanation rings hollow to us. The Juvenile Board is not powerless to investigate, and the abundance and severity of the complaints should have sparked an internal review. The state law that created the Juvenile Board plainly authorizes it to “make any special studies or investigations it considers necessary to improve the operations” of the juvenile department and county institutions under its jurisdiction.

Managing a juvenile department is a difficult and delicate task. Many minors in lockup are there because they have been accused of violence. Some of them also struggle with mental illness. Juvenile detention centers must balance safety with the need to offer schooling and recreational activities to youths in their custody.

No system run by human beings is perfect. But the difficulty of the job is no excuse to overlook so many red flags. The message from the Juvenile Board and the juvenile department all along has been, in essence, “nothing to see here.”

We await the report from the first state investigation into neglect allegations, which TJJD spokeswoman Barbara Kessler said is under legal review. An executive summary is expected in August.

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Kessler said investigators spent months gathering evidence, conducting interviews and reviewing about 18,000 daily observation sheets. They put together a report that’s nearly 100 pages.

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Micah Parsons predicts these Cowboys players will have breakout years

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Micah Parsons predicts these Cowboys players will have breakout years


Tomorrow the Dallas Cowboys will hold their first training camp practice of the year at Oxnard. As usual, there is no shortage of intrigue and drama around the star as the team embarks on the 2024 NFL season.

At the moment the biggest headlines are regarding the contracts of the three most-important players on the team. The Cowboys’ top priority is apparently negotiating a new deal for superstar wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, who is holding out of training camp. Then there’s franchise quarterback Dak Prescott, whose cap hit is over $55 million this year.

Finally there’s pass rusher MIcah Parsons, who still has two years left on his rookie deal but will eventually sign a contract making him the highest-paid defender in the league and the sooner they get on that, the better.

To some extent having to pay all three of them is a good problem for the Dallas front office to have. However, a top-heavy roster can only get you so far – as this team has discovered the hard way three years in a row with early playoff exits. To get to the next level, the Cowboys need more role players to step up and do their part.

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For what it’s worth, Parsons thinks that’s exactly what’s going to happen. He’s predicting a lot of breakout years in 2024, per Todd Archer at ESPN.

“The mindset I have is we have seven All-Pros or however the count may be. It might be more, it might be less, we got at least three guys I know can be All-Pro. I think a lot of guys are going to have breakout years. I think that plays into it too. When you talk about all these guys, it just leads to saying, ‘Hey, when are the other guys going to step up and be better for the team?”

The greatest needs the Cowboys have right now are these: they could use somebody other than Lamb and Brandin Cooks to step up at wide receiver, they desperately need rookie left tackle Tyler Guyton to hit the ground running, someone has to step up and replace Johnathan Hankins and now would be a great time to find any hidden stars at running back.

That’s a lot of needs at this point in the NFL’s calendar year, but the team has been somewhat slow on the draw to address them. Expect team owner Jerry Jones to be put to the fire when he has his usual pre-training camp press conference on Saturday.

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By the Numbers: How FC Dallas looks after 25 games

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By the Numbers: How FC Dallas looks after 25 games


It has been a busy few weeks for FC Dallas since we last looked at the season stats. FC Dallas has played six more games since we’ve been able to dive into some key stats fully. During that stretch, the club went 3-2-1 and got themselves within two points of a playoff spot.

Because of the six-game difference, we’ll see plenty of large jumps in the stats, but some have stood out during this time.

FC Dallas is averaging around two goals per game since Peter Luccin took over in early June. That is a drastic change in the one goal a game under Nico Estevez.

A big reason for that is that Petar Musa is scoring goals like crazy these days, with 13 on the season. If he can continue this pace when the league resumes play in late August, he has a shot at breaking the club’s all-time season mark (18 set by Kenny Cooper and Jesus Ferreira).

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It may not be the biggest spike after six games, but total xG isn’t the best stat to get worked up over in soccer anyway. FC Dallas is third from the bottom in MLS, with Austin and New England sitting below them (a decent distance between them, though).



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