In Texas, which annually produces many of the top high school players in the country, private schools are considered the shallow end of the talent pool.
The kiddie pool, if you will.
But every once in a while, players with big-league talent emerge from the prep schools. Texas brothers Sam and Emmanuel Acho are two of them and both are starting on defense for the No. 2 Longhorns.
Sam Acho, a junior defensive end on Texas' revamped line, forced one fumble and recovered two more in the Longhorns' 59-20 win over Louisiana-Monroe last week. Emmanuel, a sophomore linebacker, also forced a fumble.
Texas keeps public and private schools in separate athletic leagues with exceptions for two large Catholic schools in Houston and Dallas. They may meet in regular-season games, but they don't compete for the same state championships.
The state's reputation as a high school football factory rests with the University Interscholastic League and its 1,300 public schools that churn out top-division players every year. Some of the largest schools have more than 5,000 students.
By comparison, private school football is generally regarded as quaint and genteel.
The Achos went to the private St. Mark's School of Texas in Dallas. They are the only two Longhorns scholarship players from Texas prep schools.
Neither would be considered lightweights. Sam Acho, who goes by the nickname "Macho Acho" is 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, and his younger brother is 6-foot-2, 235 pounds.
"People try to knock private schools, but a football player is a football player," Sam Acho said as the Longhorns (1-0) prepared for Saturday's game at Wyoming (1-0).
"Whether you go to a big school or small school, you can still come up and get to where you want to go," Sam Acho said.
After two seasons as a reserve, the Longhorns needed Sam Acho to emerge as a playmaker this year after losing three starters on the defensive line, including consensus All-America end Brian Orakpo.
Sam Acho can play tackle and end. The Longhorns expect he can be a top pass rusher as opponents concentrate on protecting quarterbacks from Sergio Kindle, who doubles as a linebacker and defensive end.
On the second play against Louisiana-Monroe, both Acho and Kindle were in on the pass rush that caused a fumble and led to Texas' first touchdown. Acho picked up a second fumble in the third quarter that led to another Texas TD on the next play.
"I just saw the ball and I jumped on it," he said.
Jeremy Crabtree, a Big 12 recruiting analyst for Rivals.com, said while Texas private schools produce far less talent, the top players easily stand out. Analysts and college recruiters also like to see how they perform against other elite players at summer camps.
"When they are at that level and they are really true blue chip prospects, they stand out like a sore thumb. They easily dominate," private school competition, Crabtree said.
"The Achos did that," Crabtree said.
St. Mark's was already familiar recruiting ground for the Longhorns. Coach Mack Brown's second recruiting class at Texas included defensive lineman Kalen Thornton. The Longhorns beat back a host of suitors for the Achos.
"(Sam Acho) was recruited by everybody, USC, Virginia, Oklahoma" Brown said, adding he'll take athletes from any public or private school if they're good enough.
"We recruit players," Brown said. "When you think we've had (three) from St. Mark's all start for us, that's pretty good."
The Acho family enrolled the brothers in St. Mark's when they were in elementary school and they dreamed of Ivy League destinations for college.
By high school, however, it was clear they had blossomed physically into big-time football recruits. Sam Acho's first recruiting letter came from nearby TCU when he was just a sophomore.
"That's when I started thinking this might be pretty cool," he said.
Harvard, Stanford and Dartmouth had been possible destinations for college, but Sam Acho chose Texas, where he tested out of 26 college hours in foreign language, calculus and rhetoric before he got to campus. He is now a business honors student.
"That guy is a genius," Kindle said. "A big head with a big brain in it."