Its never too early to look toward football season ...
Two decades after David and Jimmy Klingler lit up scoreboards across the Southwest while quarterbacking Houston's run-and-shoot offense, their sons plan to continue the family tradition.
But this next generation of Klinglers offers a twist.
Luke Klingler, the son of former Cincinnati Bengals first-round draft pick David Klingler, plays his dad's old position at Katy (Texas) Cinco Ranch. But his cousin Cory Klingler, the son of former Houston quarterback Jimmy Klingler, is forging his own path as an offensive tackle at Manvel (Texas) High. Both are participating Sunday in the Rivals Underclassmen Challenge at DeSoto High School near Dallas.
One look at Cory Klingler explains why he opted against playing quarterback. The 16-year-old simply outgrew the position.
"When Cory was in kindergarten, he was six inches taller than every kid in his class and 30 pounds heavier," Jimmy Klingler said. "He was always the biggest kid for his age group, and he was always the youngest one. I knew he was going to be big. I just didn't know how big he was going to get."
How big did he get?
Well, he's only 16 years old, yet he already is about 6-foot-4 and 270 pounds. For comparison's sake, Luke Klingler said he's 6-foot-2 3/4 and 196 pounds.
Cory also got a namedrop in Dave Campbell's Texas Football as a player to watch for Manvel. Last season, Luke was the third QB in a 3 QB rotation for Cinco Ranch. He looked the rawest of the three, but he was only a sophomore. He'll have time to develop and I'm guessing Cinco Ranch continues with the rotating QB system that seems all the rage these days.
I managed to catch Manvel at the state championship game. Tough luck of the draw going up against Aledo, but they made a game of it in the second half before Aledo's Jonathan Gray went nuts and ran all over everyone. This year, Manvel moves up to 5A and is in the same district as Pearland High. They square off at the Rig the day before my birthday. On a related note, I only have one birthday wish this year ... revenge for my 2010 Trinity Trojans!
This year, I'll likely be able to catch Manvel when they travel near my neck of the woods to play Bellaire at Butler Stadium. I'm not sure that I'll have a chance to get over to Rhodes Stadium in Katy to check out Cinco Ranch, but they should have a date at Strake Jesuit for Luke's senior year.
I'm not panicking over the Baylor shirts the kids are pictured in. Hope springs eternal that both will get offers to play for Houston and my bargain with a higher power probably means I'll have to buy season tickets for four or five years in exchange. Neither has a scholarship offer just yet. But it sure would be nice if Coach Levine would get on the phone with these kids now.
Video report from the article ...
SIDENOTE: The boys may not have scholarship offers yet. But the next generation of Klinglers have already gone off to college with an athletic scholarship. Courtney Klingler, an all-state softball catcher for Manvel, is now off to Campbell College in South Carolina on scholarship. And yes, I will be posting updates on college softball next season. I never thought it would come to this, either.
SIDENOTE #2: HCN took notice of Luke Klingler last offseason, focusing on David's involvement with the 7-on-7 tournament.