There's not a high school football team in Texas with a more talented secondary than LBJ. Don’t believe that? Just pick up a copy of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine, which lists Jaguars seniors Latrell McCutchin and Andrew Mukuba on its prestigious “Super Team” of blue-chip recruits.

Both defensive backs earned first-team honors.

“Those two guys are special,” LBJ football coach Jahmal Fenner said. “It says something about them, and I think it says something about us. At LBJ, we have developed a reputation for our style of play. We play hard, we play fast, and we play physical. We may not have the most numbers, but we’re going to give you everything we have. Those two certainly do that.”

Ironically, McCutchin and Mukuba have yet to play together. Mukuba sat out his sophomore year after transferring in from neighboring Northeast High School, and McCutchin missed last season with a knee injury. They’ll now compete in an abbreviated season for the Jaguars, who dropped down into Class 4A Division I after the UIL’s biennial realignment earlier this year. The UIL will allow 4A schools to start their season on time despite the coronavirus pandemic, but it's unclear when LBJ will be able to play its first game because of health regulations in Travis County and the city of Austin.

That means the Jags have six regular-season games on the schedule, including five in District 13-4A DI.

But the presence of McCutchin and Mukuba may help the Jags make up for their missed games with a long playoff run. The 6-foot, 180-pound McCutchin is a four-star cornerback who pledged to Oklahoma earlier this summer, while the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Mukuba is a four-star safety weighing offers from college football blue-bloods such as Texas, Alabama, LSU and Clemson.

Having Mukuba and McCutchin together in the secondary has already raised the intensity of workouts, said Mukuba, especially since both spend time at wide receiver. That’s made for some spirited one-on-one matchups.

“It gets competitive out there,” Mukuba said. “Sometimes, it gets out of hand with the trash talk. But we both want to win, and we both want to compete. You know what they say: iron sharpens iron.”

Fenner, who graduated from Reagan, played defensive back at UTEP in the early 2000s. He understands the rigors that student-athletes endure at the next level, and he believes that both Mukuba and McCutchin will continue to thrive once they get on a college campus.

“It’s about doing the right thing, in everything you do,” he said. “Go to class, be on time everywhere you go, be coachable, be a good person. It’s really all about the leadership skills that we’re trying to help instill.

“The thing about coaching these kids is that you try and develop the right mindset with them. They are shining stars on the field, and we try and teach them to be that way off the field, too. We tell them, ‘People are going to follow you.’ I mean, they’re leaders whether they want to be or not, and they need to lead by example. These guys understand that. They get it. They can take what they have learned here and apply it to college.”

Texas Football magazine has served as the state’s most comprehensive preseason guide for high school football since first publishing in 1959. This year’s edition has a few more highlights involving Austin-area schools.

Mukuba and McCutchin aren’t the only notable next-level athletes in the Austin area, according to the magazine’s recruiting section. Its Texas Top 300 includes Lake Travis quarterback Nate Yarnell, Austin High quarterback Charles Wright, Westwood quarterback RJ Martinez, Round Rock quarterback Seth Ford, Lake Travis running back Weston Stephens, Del Valle running back Tavierre Dunlap, Lake Travis tight end Lake McRee, La Grange athlete Matthew Johnson, Georgetown offensive lineman Connor Heffernan, Westlake offensive lineman Aidan Kinnaird, Lampasas offensive lineman John Long, Del Valle offensive lineman De’Kedric Stearns, Cedar Park offensive lineman Luke Williams, Manor defensive back Devin Lemear and Hutto defensive lineman Landyn Watson.

The class of 2022’s top 100 includes Weiss athlete Tavian Cord, Lake Travis defensive back Derrick Johnson, Del Valle linebacker Kalen Brown, Westlake quarterback Cade Klubnik and Del Valle receiver Caleb Burton. The top 25 for the class of 2023 includes Westlake receiver Jaden Greathouse.

The magazine’s Class 6A top-50 poll, which is topped by defending Division I champion Galena Park North Shore, includes three area teams in No. 4 Westlake, No. 9 Lake Travis and No. 37 Vandegrift. Hutto’s Watson is a preseason all-state selection, and Westlake and Lake Travis are each picked to win their region.

The magazine’s two Class 5A top-25 polls, which are topped by Denton Ryan in Division I and Ennis in Division II, include No. 8 Cedar Park and No. 21 Dripping Springs in Division I and No. 14 Liberty Hill in Division II. Cedar Park’s Williams is a preseason all-state selection.

The magazine’s two Class 4A top-25 polls, which are topped by Waco La Vega in Division I and Carthage in Division II, include No. 3 Lampasas and No. 13 LBJ in Division I as well as No. 4 Wimberley in Division II. The magazine predicts Lampasas to reach a state title game and Wimberley to win its region. Lampasas quarterback Ace Whitehead, the AP’s defending Class 4A offensive player of the year and the subject of Texas Football’s Class 4A coverboy feature story, joins Wimberley receiver Christian Marshall, Wimberley offensive lineman Ryan Rubio and Lampasas’ Long on the preseason all-state team.

The magazine’s two Class 3A top-25 polls, which are topped by Brock in Division I and Gunter in Division II, include No. 25 Lago Vista in Division I.

The magazine’s two Class 2A top-25 polls, which are topped by Shiner in Division I and Mart in Division II, include No. 16 Thorndale in Division I and No. 20 Granger in Division II.