Friday Night Lights In Central Alabama

MONTGOMERY – If you are just a fan of recruiting in general, or SEC recruiting in particular, you can almost never go wrong at a Prattville-Carver game in central Alabama. Such was the case again Friday, as Prattville tamed the Wolverines, 25-7, at stately, historic Cramton Bowl in the Capital City. To the categories:

TOP PROSPECT: Lyndell Wilson -- better known as Mack, as in the truck -- of Carver is widely recognized as one of the top players in the state’s class of 2016. We at have him at No. 3 in the state’s 2016 class. We suspect he's ranked pretty high by Alabama recruiters, too.

“We evaluated and our team, and we moved him to middle linebacker,” said Carver Coach Billy Gresham of his senior star. “It’s new for him, and he’s done a phenomenal job. He’s been playing downhill for us, and making some big tackles. He’s playing all over the field, and playing great in space. He’s been a great leader for us, and he’s been that complete player that we’re always looking for.”

When not roaming sideline to sideline on defense, Wilson finds time to punt. Sadly for Carver, he gets lots of chances. He helped his team early by taking a roughing call. It didn’t matter much. Three plays later, he punted again, for 32 yards. It was not returned. He was especially impressive on two plays: a hit in the hole for a yard loss on a Michigan pledge running back, and a sack, caused/recovered fumble.

Said Prattville Coach Chad Anderson: “(Wilson) is just very athletic. He can recover from things that a lot of guys can’t recover from. He can have a missed read or a misstep, and then get back to (the ball) and make the play. He just runs so well.”

SENIORS WHO SHINED: Prattville’s offense is diverse, but a huge part of it comes from a man who FNL first wrote about two years ago. That would be Michigan pledge Kingston Davis, a bruising yet speedy 6-1, 230-pounder. Also pledged to Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines is hard-hitting linebacker Dytarious Johnson (6-0, 215).

For the Carver Wolverines, receiver Xavier Lane (6-4, 200) is a long, lean, pass-catching machine. He has offers from Troy, Jacksonville State, Georgia Southern and Alabama State. He led his team in touchdowns last year, and has seven through four games this season. . He was impressive on a 20-yard grab where he outfought two Prattville defenders for the pigskin. Later, it happened again for 28 yards, and he caught a late 39-yard TD pass to put him over 100 yards receiving. No question he’s a D-1 kid.

JUNIORS TO WATCH: Prattville receiver DeKeith Whatley (5-9, 160) is kind of his team’s Marquis Maze. He is quick, fast, runs good routes and rarely drops a pass. He will get some D-1 looks. Whatley also runs the ever-popular jet sweep for the Lions.

For the Wolverines, defensive end Stanley Tally is nicknamed “Busta” for a reason. At 6-2, 250, he brings the lumber when he tackles you. A guy to remember at receiver is 6-6, 205-pound Jamal Turner. Gresham says he’s getting a lot of looks from colleges.

SUPER SOPHS: Carver defensive Isiah Forte is already 6-3, 240, and the big schools know his name. You should, too. His teammate, running back Justin Lewis (5-10, 190), showed some flashes. Linebacker Quandre Giles (6-2, 200) has many of the same traits as Wilson, but he’s currently sidelined by an injury.

For the Lions, running back Jacorian “J.J.” Jackson is small, but he’s as quick as the proverbial hiccup. How small? He’s listed at 5-1, 140. That’s tiny for 7A. That’s tiny for 1A. That said, his legs are like tree stumps.

CRIMSON CONNECTION: They still love Shaun Dion Hamilton at Carver. He graduated two years back, and is now a sophomore in the Crimson Tide’s linebacker rotation. “He’s playing well,” said an obviously proud Gresham. “He’s excited about Alabama football. Right now they’ve got him swapping in and out with Reuben Foster in several packages.”

They still love Brandon Austin around Carver, too. He’s a freshman basketball player at Alabama who was coached by former Tide player J.J. Jackson. Coach Jackson was in the press box Friday, and said, “I talked to Avery (Johnson) about a week ago, and they’re real pleased with ‘B.A.’ He’s shooting the ball well, he just has to work on that defense and get that on point.” Good stuff, and true of most freshmen in the SEC.

HOW ‘BOUT THAT ‘Q?: No trip to the central Alabama area is complete without a stop at Jim’s BBQ in Billingsley. That’s rural Autauga County, about 10-12 minutes from Prattville proper, on Highway 82. The pork is melt-in-your-mouth tender. The potato salad is sweet, as is the tea. The baked beans have a hint of molasses, and the place is LOADED with Bama memorabilia. My table featured a vintage poster of all-time Tide kickers, folk like Chris Mohr, Van Tiffin, Phillip Doyle, and Michael Proctor. Good stuff.

NEXT UP: FNL will feature American Christian at Gordo. Many of you remember hard-hitting former Tide linebacker Wayne Davis, and now it’s time to scout his son, Ben Davis, and the Gordo Green Wave. Ben is off to a good start at both linebacker and tight end.

BamaMag Top Stories