By BRAD KEITH
Tarleton State reeled in a McDonald's High School All-American nominee with the second high school member of its 2010 recruiting class last week.
Austin LBJ star Donald Dallas, a 4A All-State selection, has signed a letter of intent to play for Tarleton.
"Donald was receiving heavy Division I interest throughout the season," Tarleton associate head coach Chris Reisman said. "When he came on his visit I think he immediately fell in love with the campus and our program."
Dallas, a 6'2" combo guard, was a four-year starter for LBJ's varsity basketball team, and a three-year starter for itsfootball team. He is also a strong student, graduating seventh in his class of 193.
"Donald is an excellent student and will be a great ambassador of our academic programs at this university," Reisman said.
Dallas, who plans to major in engineering physics, also received recruiting interest from Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, Texas State, UT-Arlington, The Citadel and Northeastern (Mass.).
"When I went to Tarleton, the coaches and players made me feel like part of their family," Dallas said. "From that point on I knew that's where I wanted to call home."
After averaging 18 points and four assists - including a 38-point outburst against Houston Forest Brook - Dallas was one of just 20 4A standouts named all-state by the .
Dallas led LBJ to a 25-7 mark and the regional quarterfinals, where he had 22 points in an overtime loss to Lake Travis.
He was voted Offensive MVP in District 26-4A and was named first-team all-district for the second straight year.
Dallas finished his senior campaign as the 67th-ranked player in Texas according to hoopscooponline.com. He was ranked 72nd in the preseason by texashoops.com.
Dallas, who was given a grade of 80 by ESPN.com's college basketball recruiting service, also had a big junior season when LBJ went 29-7 on its way to the 2009 state semi-finals. He made three all-tournament teams that year, including the prestigious Whataburger Classic in Fort Worth.
In his first year on campus, Dallas hopes to make a smooth adjustment to college life.
"I want to play hard and do good in school, because the first year is always the landmark you build around," he said.
On the court, he only cares about winning.
"The consistency of the program impressed me. With Coach Reisman I know I'll be in good hands because he's a proven winner," Dallas said. "There is already a high-set bar of expectations.
"I want to do anything I can to help my team win," he continued. "I always want to win."