Garland Lakeview Centennial HS
NR: 46 SR: 25 Rating: ***
An Inside Texas conversation with Lakeview Centennial head coach Flint Risien on Cedric Dockery:
IT: What are Cedric's strengths as a football player?
Risien: He obviously fits the criteria size-wise. Anytime you have a 6-4, 315-pound guy, college coaches antennas are going to go up. The second thing is, his last name is Dockery, so there's a bloodline right there. They've known about Cedric since he was in the eighth grade and they've been watching him since then. What really qualifies him as a player is his athletic ability. For a 6-4, 315-pound guy, he's got tremendous balance, he's got great flexibility, and he's extremely agile on his feet. In fact, I believe that Cedric has got better balance and better feet than Derrick.
IT: What did the Texas coaches tell you that they like about Cedric?
Risien: Great balance, great feet, but more than anything the thing that coach McWhorter has mentioned to me on a number of occasions is Cedric's technique as a senior in high school, his ability to come off the football with a flat back, his feet underneath his hips and the power that he has in his hips when he's coming off the football. Plus, they've noticed Cedric does a pretty good job of finishing his blocks.
IT: What did Cedric mean to your football program?
Risien: Cedric was a guy that could set the example of what it means to strive to play at a higher level. Cedric was a three-year starter for me. He attracted a lot of attention to our program because he was such a high profile recruit and he handled that so well that our other players were able to see how to conduct yourself when you are a person of great notoriety and how to maintain humility. The great thing about Cedric, he never allowed the recruiting process to effect his game. It was, 'What can I do for the team first', and as far as that type of leadership, that's invaluable. He also brought the other type of leadership -- the, 'Let's go guys, let's work hard' -- that kind of stuff, but anybody can do that.
IT: How does Cedric compare to his brother at a similar point in their careers?
Risien: In Cedric's sophomore and junior years, he was not as mature as Derrick was as a sophomore and junior, but his senior year, he certainly caught up to that, and there was certainly a level of maturity in handling the recruiting process that spoke very highly of him. I think that Derrick was more of a bruiser (in high school), Cedric had that punishing, bruiser type of play, but he used more technique than just raw power. I think Cedric utilized his technique play-in and play-out more than Derrick did.
IT: What are the areas of his game that Cedric needs to improve upon to be successful at the next level?
Risien: The thing I think Cedric needs to really tackle is that he's got to get that commitment to full time training. Some kids coming out of high school, they understand that to be a great athlete, you have to train year round. That's just the bottom line. That's what he needs to learn. Cedric's always been bigger, stronger and faster than anybody else, so he hasn't had to be as committed to training because he's bigger, faster, stronger, but now he's going to play at a level where everybody is equal and you get your edge from your year-round commitment to training.
IT: When did you first know that you had a special player in Cedric?
Risien: I always knew Cedric had the potential to be a national recruit, the thing that I needed to see him do to qualify that I hadn't seen completely his sophomore and junior years. Spring training before his senior year, I saw him finally start to play with the play-by-play intensity that I believe you have to play with in order to play at a top 10 program. And then, throughout 10 ballgames his senior year, he maintained that consistency. That's when you know, this guy's a national recruit. Because of maintaining that high level of play, that to me was, 'OK, he's ready'. That's when I knew my job had been done and we had accomplished the goals we had set out for him.
Note from Will: The first stop we made in the Dallas area was Lakeview Centennial High School to visit with Cedric Dockery and coach Risien. Cedric is a BIG kid but his coach told us that he has great footwork and the ability to make blocks in space and on the run.
Cedric comes across as a very happy, upbeat guy. He has an easy smile and we were stopped several times as we walked through the halls of Lakeview Centennial by girls who ran up to him and gave him a big hug.
Despite being a gentle giant off the field, Cedric told me that his favorite thing to do as an O-lineman is to "flatten people" and dominate the guy across the line from him. We walked over to the weight room to do his picture and loaded up over 400 lbs. of weights (his current max for the bench press) on one of the bars.
Cedric said that he chose Texas for several reasons, including the fact that his brother had been a Horn and enjoyed his time at the Forty Acres so much. Like many other kids, he also cited the family atmosphere that Mack Brown has created as another major factor in his decision.
NEXT UP: GREG DOLAN (Sunday, Feb. 8)