Friday Night Lights At Super Six

TUSCALOOSA— If you didn't mind temps in the low 40's and pre-game rain, you high school prospect fans would have loved Auburn vs. Hoover at Bryant-Denny Stadium Friday in the 6A AHSAA title tilt. The Bucs won it, as usual, 20-3, notching their 30th straight win. To the categories:



TOP PROSPECTS: This is a draw, and because Alabama is in contention for both, it was appropriate to see them in Bryant-Denny. Both Hoover's Marlon Humphrey (6-1, 180) and Auburn's Rashaan Evans (6-3, 220) are five stars. For reference, there are four senior five stars in Alabama. This game had two, and both have Alabama as a finalist for their services. The Tide is considered the leader for Humphrey over FSU, while Auburn holds the edge for Evans over UA and Georgia.

Humphrey was asked about playing in an SEC stadium and he responded, "You can't go wrong with the SEC." Humphrey, a corner/returner who is rarely thrown at or kicked to, notched a caused fumble to go with a punt return for 18 yards. One play, the Tigers ran a double-reverse to Evans, but Humphrey cut his legs after a four-yard gain.

FNL has documented Humphrey's exploits for three years now, but this was our first look at Evans. He's an end in the AHS base defense, and he finished the year with 17 sacks. He also moonlights on offense both at wide receiver and Wildcat quarterback, where he shook off several Bucs' tacklers on a fourth-and-1 to pick up an early first down. "I just try to do whatever I can to help my team," he said. Evans final stat line showed five tackles, two for a loss, a sack, 22 rushing yards and 12 receiving.

Said winning coach and former Tide player Josh Niblett of Evans: "He had a big sack. He's got total speed and great ball get-off on the corner. You've got to know where he's at all times."

JUNIORS TO WATCH: Hoover linebacker Darrell Williams (6-2, 215) is the top pass coverage linebacker in the state regardless of classification, per our John Garcia, Jr. He plays the run well, too, and finished with 11 stops, two behind the line. He's a C.J. Mosley-type guy. Another guy to watch is sack artist Christian Bell, a 6-3, 230-pounder who notched 1.5 sacks Friday and ended the year with 15. Running back Bradrick Shaw is 6-1, 210 and holds offers from Mississippi State, Vandy and Cincinnati. He scored both the Bucs' offensive touchdowns on a 39–yard Utah pass and a one-yard run. Toss in 53 rushing yards and Shaw accounted for 92 total yards.

SUPER SOPHS: The "other corner" at Hoover is 5-11, 177-pound P.J. Hall. He's among the state's best in his class. Then there's Scout four star linebacker Jeremiah Moon, a 6-4, 198-pound backup who shines on special teams and will start the next two years. Moon's uncle is former Bama linebacker Darius Gilbert.

Auburn running back Tyus Flakes is a 5-8, 175-pound bowling ball who rarely goes down on first contact. On several occasions, Flakes made would-be tacklers go snap, crackle and pop. He finished with 127 yards, and reminds me of former Super Six star DeMarcus James of Demopolis, now at Jax State.

STARS OF THE SUPER SIX: As the event title indicates, there were five games played prior to the Hoover/Auburn shindig. Congrats to AHSAA state titlists Pickens County (1A), Tanner (2A), Madison Academy (3A), Oneonta (4A) and Spanish Fort (5A).

Oftentimes sleeper recruits surface at the Super 6, and 2013 was no exception. Here are a few: Pickens County running back Jermarcus Brown (a 5-11, 170-pounder who is about to be a senior in January) ran for 329 yards against Maplesville. You can bet the Mississippi jucos are battling for Brown. His young teammate, Patrick Plott Jr, caught 17-yard touchdown pass. Plott (5-4, 123) is a still-growing eighth grader.

We covered Leeds two weeks ago, but in the Green Wave's loss to Madison Academy sophomore quarterback Tadarryl Marshall (6-0, 170) rolled up 286 yards of offense. The winning Mustangs' two top prospects rose to the occasion, as 6-1, 195-pound junior Kerryon Johnson rushed for 93 yards, while MVP soph Malik Miller (6-0, 225) toted the rock 20 times for 168 yards and two scores.

In the 4A game, Charles Henderson junior linebacker Richard McBryde had seven stops. Many feel the 6-2, 215-pounder is the state's top junior at his position. In the 5A contest, sophomore quarterback Tyler Johnston finished 10-15 passing for 219 yards. The 6-1, 195-pound Johnston could be the best 2016 kid at his position.

CRIMSON CONNECTIONS: Besides Niblett, two other former Tide players coached their squads to titles Friday. Oneonta's Don Jacobs and Tanner's Laron White (who has won two straight) are to be congratulated. Meanwhile, former UA and NFL corner Deshea Townsend was on hand to scout for his current employer, Mississippi State. It seems the Bulldogs have offered most of Hoover's junior class, along with Humphrey.

SEC CONNECTIONS: Former Auburn assistant Trooper Taylor is a volunteer assistant for the high school, where his son Blaise is a senior receiver/corner for the Tigers. He could be a steal as an invited walk-on at AU if that works out.

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