DICKINSON — Clay Honeycutt is heading to the big time.
The Dickinson High School junior has given an oral commitment to join the Texas A&M University football team in the fall of 2010.
Aggies head coach Mike Sherman offered Honeycutt on the College Station campus last week and got a commitment right away. The quarterback said Baylor and Houston have been hot on is trail, too, but that it didn't matter once his No. 1 choice extended the invitation.
"It's a real big deal," Honeycutt said. "It sort of relieves the pressure for next season. I'll already know I'm committed. I won't have to worry about impressing anybody."
Honeycutt's situation is an interesting one. He has not entered either of the last two seasons as Dickinson's starting quarterback but finished both of them. The starting nod went to Baylor signee Brody Trahan. Midway through each season, though, Trahan tore a knee ligament and missed the rest of the games.
Honeycutt guided the Gators to the playoffs both times. As a junior, he quarterbacked Dickinson to victories over Fort Bend Travis and Beaumont West Brook before losing to eventual two-time state champ Katy in the Region III-5A, Division 2 semifinals.
In eight games, Honeycutt completed 51-of-99 passes for 650 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions. He also rushed 62 times for 240 yards and two touchdowns. He was a wide receiver for the first part of the season and had 11 receptions for 136 yards and two touchdowns.
In 7½ games as a sophomore, he completed 69-0f-146 passes for 1,041 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions. He had 44 carries for 232 yards and two touchdowns.
Because he hasn't been the starter for a full season, he doesn't have the kind of numbers other quarterbacks may have. Honeycutt said that doesn't bother him.
"A&M didn't look at my stats," he said. "They looked strictly at my ability to play and make plays."
The Aggie coaches first saw Honeycutt at their camp last summer. Honeycutt said they already knew of his situation as the backup to Trahan and urged him to do as well as he could as a receiver during his junior season.
He said Sherman told him the door would be left open for Honeycutt to play another position at A&M but that for now they view him as a quarterback. That may sound like the Aggies are counting on Honeycutt as a backup plan at that position. Honeycutt said he plans to have a good enough senior season that the Aggies have no choice but to play him at quarterback.
"I've always been labeled as the backup," Honeycutt said. "This senior year is going to be a big confidence booster not only for me but for everybody else."
Corey Roepken; Sports Writer for The Galveston County Daily News