At this time a year ago, Jinks said star running back Malcolm Brown had rushed for 685 yards. This year, Brown has rushed for about 200 more yards, while still averaging 10.1 yards per carry. Those numbers are doubly impressive when one considers Steele's move up to Class 5A, and when one considers that Steele has already played two of the state's top 10 teams in the class.
"He's facing a lot tougher competition," Jinks said. "And his production hasn't slowed at all."
His production, along with the emergence of a shotgun quarterback in Tommy Armstrong, has helped Steele to a 2-2 record, while the Knights are averaging nearly 31 points per game.
"Malcolm has gotten so much better in space," Jinks said. "We've always known and understood his strengths as a one-cut, downhill runner. But this year he has been able to do things in space, to start and stop quickly and show some elusiveness.
"We obviously don't want him to make too many moves," Jinks said. "But he's way better in that area."
That added elusiveness has come despite an increase in overall size. Last season, the 6-foot-1 runner weighed about 210 pounds. This year, he's tipping the scales at nearly 225 pounds.
"It's amazing, because he actually looks thinner, if that makes any sense," Jinks said. "It's easy to forget that he's just 17 years old. He's just now maturing and growing into his size 15 shoe.
"As good as he is, he's still a bit awkward at times, growing into his body," Jinks said. "I would absolutely love to see this cat in three years."
Texas fans might not have to wait that long. Jinks said the Longhorns landed a player with immediate-impact ability, somebody who could step in and play at Texas from day one. In addition to his size, Brown has been clocked in the low 4.5-second range in the 40-yard dash. Jinks said he also boasts an outstanding work ethic, and helps to keep Steele practices running by playing hard every play.
"This is a guy who is ready to play right now," Jinks said. "He could play at that level today.
"We just love him to death," Jinks said. "He's polished, intelligent, understands concepts and is a special guy on and off the field. I've really enjoyed coaching him the last couple of years."