AP NEWS

Coker, Gbenda, Stripling sign early with Big 12 schools

December 22, 2018

The Big 12 Conference just added a few more Katy ISD alumni to its football talent base.

Katy Taylor offensive lineman Andrew Coker signed with TCU to start the national signing day early period, while Cinco Ranch linebacker inked with Texas and Mayde Creek defensive lineman Marcus Stripling selected Oklahoma.

Stripling had yet to announce his commitment prior to signing with the Sooners. He had at least 20 offers from Football Bowl Subdivision teams, including three of the four in this year’s College Football Playoff.

LSU, Texas and Texas A&M were the other finalists for Stripling on signing day. Oklahoma offered the opportunity to play early, similar to current Sooners sophomores CeeDee Lamb (Foster) and Kenneth Murray (Elkins), both in their second year of starting.

“He told me I can come in as a freshman and literally change the game,” Stripling said of visits with Oklahoma coaches. “That’s what I’m trying to do. I’m going to try to ball out.”

A four-star prospect, Stripling was ranked by 247Sports as the No. 17 strong-side defensive end in the nation and the No. 31 overall prospect in Texas.

Stripling recorded six sacks in both his senior and junior seasons, making a combined 67 tackles, 12 for loss. He added five fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and a blocked punt as a senior.

Gbenda signed with Big 12 runner-up Texas, which takes a 9-4 record into the Sugar Bowl against SEC finalist Georgia. The Longhorns finished 7-2 in conference play, their best mark in five years.

A four-star prospect, Gbenda had at least 24 offers from FBS programs. He is ranked No. 15 in the nation among inside linebackers and No. 33 overall in Texas.

Gbenda had a stellar senior year at Cinco Ranch with 15 tackles for loss, 79 tackles (61 solo), four sacks, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, blocked punt and five rushing touchdowns. He finished with 146 career tackles, 23 for loss.

Coker is likely the first of several FBS signees at Taylor this year. A three-star prospect, he was ranked No. 42 in the nation among offensive tackles and the No. 69 overall recruit in Texas.

The Mustangs star had at least 17 FBS offers, most with Power 5 conferences. He joins a TCU program that takes a 6-6 record into the Cheez-It Bowl against Cal. The Horned Frogs were 4-5 in the Big 12 this year, placing fifth.

Coker helped lead the Mustangs to a 6-6 record, highlighted by their fourth bi-district championship in five years.

Houston Chronicle staff writer Adam Coleman contributed to this report.

AP RADIO
Update hourly