There is no shortage of talent on DeSoto's football team. Several of their seniors will play in college next year, some at major division I schools like Texas and Texas A&M. They're all tremendous athletes; they're big and strong and fast.
And they're all lousy kickers ... all except one. Bryson Echols is a shutdown defensive back who will play at Texas next year. He's also DeSoto's kicker.
"He good at it. He probably should get a scholarship in kicking too," said Curtis Riser, an offensive tackle who will play with Echols at Texas. "So he going to go down to Texas when he's a sophomore or when he's a freshman and he's going to start at corner and he's going to start at kicker."
"It started for me 'cuz I was playing soccer and everything, so I already knew how to kick," said Echols. "So I came out and did it and they're like, Wow you're pretty good. They moved me up and started kicking for varsity."
"Bryson's always been our backup, but this year he's really committed because we don't have nobody else," said head coach Claude Mathis. "And he's just flawless, man. He does a great job at doing it."
So far, most of DeSoto's games have been blowouts, and none have come down to a pressure kick. But if it ever does, Bryson -- as a starting cornerback and a blue chip athlete -- should be well-equipped to handle the pressure.
"I think I already have the mindset ready for it, 'cuz I play corner and everything," said Echols. "So I think I'm ready for it."
Bryson's talented teammates showed they could make a kick, but just barely. One attempt banged off the bottom of the upright and bounced through. But they'll never get the chance in a game. Coach Mathis made that clear.
"Nah, we're going to keep Curtis where he at, (Michael) Richardson where he at, Echols where he at -- which is our kicker. Alex Lyons and (Devin) Rushing, nah, they're going to have to sit in the back seat."