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Georgia High School Football Daily-08/10/11

August 10, 2011
By Calvin Scandrett of Lamar County Trojans

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Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011



Stephenson easily tops list

of state's recruiting hotbeds

There are Web sites devoted to ranking college teams' recruiting classes. Which high schools have the best recruiting classes? That's easy. With about 15 seniors expected to sign with FBS (formerly Division I-A) schools in February, Stephenson leads Georgia, if not the country.


Here are 10 Georgia high schools that are getting a lot of attention from college coaches this year:


*Brunswick - This Class AAAA school has three mid-major Division I pledges in DB Willie Bolden (UAB), OL Dominique Stallworth (East Carolina) and WR Demetrius Frazier (Louisville). The Pirates have two or three others with a shot to go FBS.


*Buford - Does this school have a shot at five consecutive Class AA titles? With as many as eight Division I signees? Yes. Committed are LB Dillon Lee (Alabama), DB Paris Head (Vanderbilt), DB C.J. Moore (Virginia) and OL/LS Reid Ferguson (LSU). OL Vadal Alexander and TE Kurt Frietag have several SEC and ACC offers. DT Dequan Clark and DB Ryan Dillard also have D-I offers. This is the most college-bound Buford team in history.


*Carver - The Columbus school had more than 20 college signees, seven to D-I schools, including five-star RB Isaiah Crowell. Those big numbers won't be repeated, but DB Deion Bonner and WR Artimas Samual have several major D-I offers, and underrated DL Derious Bennett (Wake Forest offer) is getting there.


*Columbia - This program had only nine players on college rosters last fall, and only one of those (Tank Sessions of FSU) was D-I. But things are changing. WR Keithon Redding has committed to Tennessee. RB Kenno Loyal, a 240-pounder, has reported offers from Georgia Tech and several Big Ten schools. DE Jhaustin Thomas has offers from Georgia and Alabama.


*Colquitt County - TE Ty Smith (Georgia) and OL Bryce Giddens (Southern Miss) are committed. OL Preston Mobley has an offer from UAB. DT Brett Smith and QB Cole Segraves could be headed D-I, as well.


*Creekside - Few schools have two better cornerback prospects than Joshua Holsey (committed to Auburn) and Davion Tooks (Virginia Tech). Eric Berry's younger twin brothers, Evan and Elliott Berry, both sophomores, also are in that secondary. All will play high D-I.


*Henry County - DT Dalvin Thompson is a four-star recruit and Georgia Super 11 candidate. QB Chris Moody has offers from Georgia Tech, South Carolina and others. QB Jonathan Jean-Bart has committed to Georgia State. This is a school that's putting high-profile players at the next level, including WRs Markeith Ambles (Southern Cal) and Jamal Patterson (Stanford).


*McEachern - The Indians have three D-I pledges in DE Darius English (South Carolina), OL Kofi Amichia (South Florida) and WR Amba Etta-Tawo (Maryland). QB Trent Thompson and PK Nicholas St. Germain will have D-I opportunities by February.


*Sandy Creek - DB Mike Hilton (Ole Miss) became the defending AAA champions' fourth preseason Division I commitment this week. The others are DT Quinteze Williams (Florida), WR JaQuay Williams (Auburn) and OT Will Adams (Georgia Tech).


*Stephenson - There are a dozen already committed to Division I schools, and the march isn't over in what could become the best signing class for a high school team in Georgia history. Three are four-star recruits in LB Raphael Kirby (Miami), RB Mike Davis (Florida) and DE Jarontay Jones (Virginia Tech).


Ten more schools with a pair of Division I committed players:

Brookwood - RB Nick Tompkins (Michigan State), DB Zach Jackson (Illinois)

Calhoun - PK Adam Griffith (Alabama), DE Reed Allen (Air Force)

Camden County - DT Devlyn Cousin (Southern Miss), junior QB Bryce Ramsey (Georgia)

Crisp County - DB Marshall Taylor (Air Force), WR Jontavious Carter (Miami)

Jenkins County - DL Jonathan Taylor, James DeLoach (both Georgia)

Lassiter - DB Niles Clarke, WR Charlie Hegedus (both N.C. State)

Marist - PK Austin Hardin (Florida), OL Nick Brigham (Maryland)

North Hall - RB Imani Cross (Tennessee), WR C.J. Curry (Georgia)

Tucker - DL Josh Dawson, LB Jacob Sealand (both Vanderbilt)

Walton - DB Zach Blaylock, DB Daron Blaylock (both Kentucky)


And furthermore: Collins Hill lacks blue-chippers, but four have mid-major offers in DT Kyle Scott (Rutgers offer), DE Nick England (Troy, Georgia State), LB Samuel Batiste (Air Force, Georgia State) and WR Andrew Everett (Southern Miss, Georgia State). ... Central Gwinnett is not exactly Gwinnett County's source for college talent in recent years, but things may be turning. DE Francis Kallon has committed to Georgia Tech, and RB George Morris has offers from Illinois and Vandy, among others. Mid-majors are after DB Aaron Taylor, and WR Malachi Jones has camped with several top schools. ... Lanier County, a Class A school, will have two linemen go D-I in Junior Gnonkonde (Georgia Tech) and Super 11 candidate Jeremy Daniels (uncommitted). ... St. Pius has Super 11 contender Geno Smith and South Carolina-committed LB TJ Holloman. ... Hillgrove has RB Kenyan Drake (committed to Alabama), plus Joran Marshall and John Silas, who have mid-major offers. ... Banneker LB Larry Jefferson has committed to Louisville, but the top recruit is S Chaz Elder, rated the No. 8 safety nationally by ESPN. WR Trey James (Georgia State, Marshall) has D-I offers, and a couple of other teammates can expect them.

Random Stuff 

Pate put West Georgia football on map

Our list of former Georgia high school coaches who moved on to success in college football neglected to mention Bobby Pate, who won an NCAA Division III national title at West Georgia in 1982.


Bobby Pate
Bobby Pate led West Georgia to the 1982 Division III national title /

University of West Georgia

Pate had been 72-13 in eight seasons as a high school coach at Toccoa, Norcross and Cherokee before starting West Georgia's football program. He remained at West Georgia for four seasons, then returned to high schools at Hart County, where he posted three 10-win seasons and reached the semifinals in 1989.


Three current Georgia head coaches played for Pate at West Georgia: Hal Lamb (Calhoun), Keith Maloof (Norcross) and Frank Barden (Cartersville). Maloof and Barden played on the '82 national championship team.


Thanks to Brian Gregory, Milton's TD Club president, for reminding us of Pate. Gregory also played for Pate at West Georgia.


Davenport at Savannah State

Steve Davenport, former head coach of Redan and Decatur, is the head coach at Savannah State. Thanks to Newton head coach Cortez Allen for that reminder.


Davenport was the offensive coordinator on Southwest DeKalb's 1995 state championship team, whose players included Allen and Quincy Carter. Davenport was on UAB's staff before going to Savannah State.


And then there's Rance

Valdosta coach Rance Gillespie leveraged his state titles at Peach County (2005, 2006) and some high-powered offenses to get the job as offensive coordinator at Georgia Southern in 2007. He's back in high school ball at Valdosta, where he was 11-2 in his first season.


We hear ...

Mark Downer, one of the 30 U.S. soldiers killed Friday in Afghanistan, is a former Northside of Warner Robins football player, Wayne Crenshaw of the Macon Telegraph notes in this story. Downer was a 2004 graduate who finished eighth in the Class AAAAA triple jump. ... Tyren Jones, the leading rusher at Lassiter as a freshman and sophomore, has transferred down the road to Walton. ... M.L. King hopes to have a more balanced offense (less passing, more running) because of RB Andrecus Jackson, who transferred from Southwest DeKalb. ... Lowndes star Josh Harvey-Clemons, an all-state linebacker last season, will play strong safety and wide receiver primarily this season but has practiced at quarterback occasionally in coach Randy McPherson's Wing-T offense. ...Colquitt County's Bryce Giddens and Preston Mobley, the pair of Division I recruits on the offensive line, are not as seriously injured as some feared last week. Mobley (knee) is expected to play by next week, with Gidden (back) ready by the Sept. 2 game against Thomas County Centeral, reports Wayne Grandy of the Moultrie Oberver.


South Georgia's Breakfast Belt

And finally, a reader from Riverside, Calif., asks if there's really a Bacon County High in Georgia. Well, as a matter of fact, there are high schools that go by the names of Cook, Coffee, Bacon County and Crisp County in Georgia. Makes you hungry for breakfast. The schools form a triangle in middle South Georgia. There's Peach County in middle Georgia. North Georgia doesn't have anything like that, except maybe East Cow Eater. That's Newnan's arch rival.

TD Club memberships

The Touchdown Club of Atlanta is seeking memberships for the fall season. It's $150 per year and gets you 10 weekly meetings that feature guest speakers from Paul Johnson to Bill Curry.


Georgia coach Mark Richt won't come this year as he's decided no longer to speak during the football seasons. He was a guest in 2010. In his absence, new athletics director Greg McGarity will speak.


The TCA is a big supporter of high school football. The club honors high school players and coaches of the week at each meeting. Go here to join.


Here is the club's schedule of events and speakers:

Aug. 24: Kickoff reception, Tony Barnhart

Sept. 12: Shawn Eichorst, Miami AD

Sept. 26: Bill Curry, Georgia State

Oct. 3: Mal Moore, Alabama AD

Oct. 10: Joker Phillips, Kentucky

Oct. 17: Greg McGarity, Georgia AD

Oct. 24: Vince Dooley; Vaughn Williams, Kennesaw State AD

Oct. 31: Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech

Nov. 7: TBA

Nov. 14: TBA

Feb. 1: Signing Day

Feb. 11: TCA annual awards


Milt Miller should have been in our list of coaches with the longest time between state titles. Miller won at Worth County in 1987 and Lowndes in 1999.

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In This Issue
Spotlight: Stephenson easily tops list of state's recruiting hotbeds
Random Stuff: Pate put West Georgia football on map
List: U.S. Army All-Americans
Trivia: Champions before Buford
Scrimmage Updates


U.S. Army All-Americans:


*Josh Clemons, Lowndes

*Ukeme Eligwe, Stone Mountain

*Geno Smith, St. Pius


Buford has won the past four Class AA championships. What was the last non-Buford team to win AA? (Answer Thursday)


Answer to Tuesday's question: Chattahoochee (opened in 1991), Sandy Creek (1992), Wesleyan (1998) and Peachtree Ridge (2003) are the only schools still younger than 20 years old that have won state titles in Georgia.

Scrimmage Updates

Our list of preseason scrimmage games had several errors and omissions, which was not unexpected. No official list of scrimmages is kept by the GHSA, so it's a constant work in process. Thanks to all who have helped. Here is the updated list, with corrections or additions in red:



Glynn Academy at Bluffton, S.C. 

Norcross at Walton



Baconton Charter, Randolph-Clay at Calhoun Co. (jamboree)

Crisp County at Warner Robins

Dalton at Northwest Whitfield

Fannin County at Towns County

Glenn Hills at Grovetown

Gordon Lee at Ridgeland

Johnson (Gaines.) at East Jackson

Portal vs. Tattnall Co.

Savannah Christian at Jenkins

Tattnall Co. at Portal

Westover at Thomasville

Whitewater at East Coweta



Alpharetta at Lambert

Aquinas at Harlem

Arabia Mountain at Meadowcreek

Armuchee at Gordon Central

Baldwin at Wilkinson Co.

Banks Co. at Franklin Co.

Banneker at Hughes

Benedictine at Calvary Day

Berkmar at Collins Hill

Bleckley Co. at Hawkinsville

Blessed Trinity at Sprayberry

Buford at Clarke Central

Burke Co. at Swainsboro

Cedartown at Pepperell

Central Gwinnett at Duluth

Chapel Hill at East Paulding

Charlton Co. at Camden Co.

Chestatee at East Hall

Clarkston at Towers

Claxton at Wheeler Co.

Colquitt Co. at Dacula

Columbia at Morgan Co.

Cross Keys at Our Lady of Mercy

Darlington at Whitefield Academy

Duluth at Central Gwinnett

Dunwoody at Marietta

ELCA at Eagle's Landing

Elbert Co. at Washington-Wilkes

Flowery Branch at Lassiter

Forest Park at Monroe Area

George Walton at Strong Rock 

Gilmer at Sonoraville

Greene Co. at Athens Academy

Groves at Statesboro

Habersham Central at Stephens Co.

Haralson Co. at Alexander

Harris Co. at LaGrange

Hart Co. at Madison Co.

Hebron Christian at Riverside Military

Henry Co. at Luella

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