Jermaine Abron, Warner Robins, OL
Info: Abron has drawn interest from several FBS-level programs after making the All-Region 2-AAAAA team in 2012. He played in the prestigious Rising Seniors game in Atlanta in December, helping him gain exposure. The All-Middle Georgia pick is integral to the Demons’ wing-T offensive attack.
Lance Austin, Lamar County, QB/DB
Info: Austin took over as the quarterback in head coach Franklin Stephens’ wing-T last season. Austin did exactly what the coaches needed, leading the Trojans to the Class AA semifinals. He passed for 666 yards and seven touchdowns, while rushing for 800 yards. Austin added 50 tackles and two interceptions as a cornerback. He committed to Georgia Tech in June.
Lawrence Austin, Lamar County, RB/DB
Info: Like his twin brother, Lawrence Austin makes an impact on both sides of the football. As the Trojans’ lead rusher, Austin rushed for 1,206 yards and 12 touchdowns -- with an absurd 10.4 yard per carry average for a fullback -- and added two touchdown receptions and a touchdown pass. He finished with 70 tackles and two interceptions as a cornerback. Like his brother, Austin is committed to Georgia Tech.
Cortez Broughton, Veterans, DL
Info: Broughton has started every season since the Warhawks started the football program. He has 14 tackles for loss and four sacks in his career, but he’ll be counted on to lead the defense this season. Broughton, the younger brother of former Veterans receiver Malik Broughton, played on the Warner Robins team in the 2009 Little League World Series. He committed in July to play college football at Middle Tennessee State.
Chavis Dickey, Peach County, OL
Info: Dickey heads into 2013 with two years of starting experience. He played on a talented offensive line that helped push the Trojans to the state championship game in 2011, and he had another full season starting for a team that made it to the quarterfinals last year. Dickey committed to Central Florida over Cincinnati, Southern Miss and Wake Forest.
Johnny Dwight, Wilcox County, OL/DL
Info: Dwight found himself on the recruiting radar as a junior thanks to college coaches going to Rochelle to recruit Johnathan Howard, who signed with North Carolina in February. Dwight played well at the Rising Seniors game and earned an offer from North Carolina around National Signing Day. Interest in Dwight picked up even more during the summer camp season, garnering an offer from LSU before committing to defending national champion Alabama on June 4. Dwight had 72 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles as a junior.
Akebren Ralls, Mary Persons, DB
Info: After Ralls earned all-state honors as a sophomore, teams started to avoid throwing the ball near him. He still finished his junior season with six interceptions, eight pass breakups, two forced fumbles, two blocked kicks and three fumble recoveries. Ralls also pitched in on offense, rushing for two touchdowns and catching two more touchdown passes. He also returned two punts for touchdowns and two fumbles for scores. Ralls has scholarship offers from Charlotte, Furman and Presbyterian.
Tavon Ross, Bleckley County, QB
Height/Weight: 6- 1/200
Info: Ross has sacrificed individual statistics to take over as the leader in the Royals’ wing-T offense. He passed for 633 yards and eight touchdowns and rushed for 682 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior. He rushed for 1,210 yards and 18 touchdowns as a sophomore in a spread attack that allowed him to run the ball more. Ross has offers from Charlotte, Middle Tennessee, Missouri and Western Kentucky.
Caleb Samuel, FPD, OL
Info: Samuel jumped into the recruiting spotlight when he was selected to the Rising Seniors game. Blessed with a large frame, Samuel performed well enough to land scholarship offers from Boston College, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Missouri and Temple. Samuel picked North Carolina in April and ranks 20th nationally among offensive tackles, according to 247Sports. Samuel transferred from Stratford to FPD during the summer.
Qua Searcy, Lamar County, WR/DB
Info: Searcy was an All-Middle Georgia pick as a sophomore following an eight-interception season. He didn’t see as many opportunities as a junior -- he also had two FBS cornerbacks on the field -- but managed five pass breakups, three interceptions, three forced fumbles, two fumbles recoveries and 68 tackles. Like teammates Lance and Lawrence Austin, Searcy is committed to Georgia Tech.
Glenn Smith, Northside, QB/ATH
Info: Smith’s ability as a dual-threat quarterback helped lead the Eagles to the state semifinals in 2012. He had a huge help from Keshun Hill, the 2012 All-Middle Georgia Player of the Year. Smith passed for 1,010 yards and 13 touchdowns while completing 58 percent of his passes. Eight of those 13 touchdowns went to Hill, who’s now at Georgia Southern. Smith was the team’s third-leading rusher with 905 yards and eight touchdowns. Smith could fill Hill’s role this season as a do-everything running back and receiver as well as seeing time under center. Whatever his role this season, Smith remains one of the most dangerous players in Class AAAAA.
Shakenneth Williams, Rutland, WR
Info: Williams has been a productive player for a few years now. He made a big step, however, as a junior by catching 38 passes for 684 yards and eight touchdowns. The first-team All-Region 2-AAAA selection also caught two touchdowns and passed for another. He has made an even bigger leap this offseason if you listen to folks who cover recruiting camps. Williams was rewarded for the growth with scholarship offers from Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Alabama, Central Florida and Vanderbilt. He committed to Georgia on July 12. He’s currently ranked as a four-star recruit and the 37th best receiver in America by 247Sports.
12 others to watch
LB Will Black, FPD, Sr.
QB Taylor Boyett, Houston County, Sr.
WR Courtney Clark, Dooly County, Sr.
OL Jamal Green, West Laurens, Sr.
RB Melvin Hill, Washington County, Sr.
RB Danny Hite Jr., Warner Robins, Sr.
WR/DB Jacari Mann, Westside, Sr.
RB Mark Riley, Perry, Sr.
QB Tavon Ross, Bleckley County, Sr.
TE/LB D.J. Sanders, Washington County, Sr.
WR Da’Qavius Walker, Westside, Sr.
QB Greg Williams, Peach County, Sr.