South: Scout on the Town, Recap

We were at a handful of games around the Southeast this past weekend, including games in Florida, Georgia and Alabama.


Chad Simmons, National Recruiting Analyst
Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek vs. Carrollton (Ga.)

This was a battle between No. 1 and No. 2 in the state of Georgia. Sandy Creek has won back-to-back state titles and they may be on their way to a third. Top ranked Sandy Creek beat Carrollton 24-7. Carrollton returned the opening kick-off into Sandy Creek territory, they then scored on fourth down on that drive, and it was all Sandy Creek from then on. Carrollton finished with less than 100 yards. Sandy Creek stopped the Trojan offense, they controlled the tempo of the game, and quarterback Cole Garvin (Marshall commitment) threw one touchdown and junior four-star running back Eric Swinney ran for two scores. Ole Miss commitment Chris Williams was strong on the defensive line and the entire Patriot unit played their assignments and stuffed Carrollton. If Carrollton did not hurt Sandy Creek on kick-off returns, then they did not make the big play. Sandy Creek showed why it is considered the team to beat in AAAA. Chip Walker has his team playing at a very high level.

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Jamie Newberg, National Recruiting Analyst
Clearwater (Fla.) Countryside vs Pinellas Park (Fla.)

This was a huge district game between the Cougars and Patriots. The winner would make the playoffs and the loser would not. Pinellas Park's run game was just too much, as they ran away from Countryside with a huge second half, winning 46-10.

The Patriots were led by junior running back Donte Maxson. He didn't have that many touches but when he did Maxson made the most of them. He scored on runs of 80, 25 and 22-yards. This is a young man to keep an eye on next season in the class of 2015. Maxson is explosive, showing home run speed. He's 5-foot-11, 195-pounds and he runs hard. Pierre Johnson, a senior with some small school offers, lines up everywhere for Pinellas Park at running back, wide receiver, wing back and in their secondary. This versatile athlete is a nice player that looks best suited to be a slot receiver or safety in college. He had a 35 yard touchdown run and a long kick return in their win. The Patriots defensive star of the game was junior outside linebacker Antonio Harris. He made plays everywhere, finishing with ten plus tackles, several for a loss. Harris also had an interception and sack. He's thick in the lower body and long. While he doesn't have blazing speed Harris is fast enough. He can play in traffic and in space. Plus, he's aggressive and physical.

Another junior standout is cornerback Rashaan Watson. He transferred from St. Petersburg Northeast just before the season started. He provided some tight coverage on the night and was actually penalized twice for two very questionable pass interference calls. Watson is a 2015 recruit that looks to have D1 skills for the position. Another intriguing prospect in next year's class is fullback/middle linebacker Kal-El Williams. I see him more as a traditional fullback. He has the size and girth and is an impressive runner and a load to bring down at 225-pounds. It's impressive watching him churn his powerful legs. It took gang tackling to bring him down. When he gets his shoulders square and he's running down hill he is an absolute load to bring down.

Pinellas Park offensive tackle Brandon Kubisak will have a chance to play on Saturday's as well. He is a senior that stands close to 6-foot-5 and weighs 325-pounds. I see him more as a guard in college. Kubisak needs to re-distribute some of his weight but even for his size he moves his feet well and is a nice drive blocker. According to his coach he could end up playing for one of the Ivy League schools.

Countryside was without their star cornerback Mike Johnson. He sat out this game because of an ankle injury. Offensive tackle Giovanni Negron had a big night, especially in the first half. He was playing as if someone had stolen his lunch money. I love his attitude and demeanor on the field. He's so physical, aggressive and just plain nasty. Negron is always looking to knock someone's head off. On the first series he had four knockdown blocks and two on one play. He moves well in the run game and in his pass set. Much of the night he was blocking against someone smaller and much quicker and he handled that defender in space. He looks best suited to play right tackle or offensive guard in college.

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Pat Burnham, Florida Recruiting Analyst
Gainesville (Fla.) vs Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln High School

Gainesville High School defeated Tallahassee Lincoln 20-14 on Friday night in a game that was played in heavy rain that led to very muddy field conditions and seven turnovers.

Gainesville took the lead on the first drive of the game driving the ball 80 yards for a score. The key play on the drive was a 72 yards run by running back Tony James who is committed to Oregon. The senior totaled 122 yards on the night and scored the game winning touchdown on Gainesville's first posession of the second half. Lincoln linebacker Jeff Williams, who is committed to Louisville was the defensive star of the game. The active defender totaled 17 tackles on the night. The bright spot on offense for Lincoln was running back Matt Donaldson who ran for 163 yards on 24 carries. Donaldson tied the game up on a 56-yard run in the second quarter.

Junior wide receiver John Burt, who has several BCS offers, was held without a catch on the night. Burt did get a chance to show off his speed on a nice 35-yard punt return.

Gainesville was led defensively by senior outside linebacker/strong safety Juan Jenkins and junior defensive end Calvin Brown. Jenkins, who has four Big Ten offers among his over a dozen, was constantly around the ball. In the second quarter the physical defender caused a fumble with Lincoln deep on it's side of the field which led to Gainesville second score and an early 14-0 lead. Brown, who has two FBS offers, showed good speed and quickness of the ball and was a force off the edge for Gainesville.

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Geoff Vogt, Florida Recruiting Analyst
Naples (Fla.) Lely vs Immokalee (Fla.)

Points were at a premium in this one as Immokalee was up 7-0 and 13-7 before Lely moved ahead 14-13 midway through the fourth quarter. Lely was on the move driving to put the game away when the Indian defense made a play. They stripped the ball and returned it 50+ yards, setting up the winning touchdown. Immokalee's J.C. Jackson and Lely's Karbiel Dirogene provided the big plays, each scored on a 40+ yard TD run. Jackson's pure speed stood out all night. We once again were very impressed with Lely junior Marcus Brown. At 6-foot-3 and over 300 pounds, he moves extremely well and he dominated much of the night.

The win gave Immokalee the district title and a home playoff game with Fort Lauderdale (Fl) Cardinal Gibbons. Lely is just 3-6, but the Trojan's have played much better over the past month, as the district runner-up they will travel to 5A favorite Plantation (Fl) American Heritage to start the playoffs.

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Amy Campbell, Southeast Field Reporter
Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast vs Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood

First Coast took out Sandalwood 40-21 in a come-from-behind win Friday night to claim the district title. Sandalwood didn't get the win, but receiver Desean Blair had quite a good night. The Louisville commitment had 115-yards receiving on 10 catches, many in traffic. First Coast junior quarterback DeAndre Johnson didn't get rattled when his team fell behind. He remained poised and confident and lead his team to victory. The Florida State commit was 15 for 18 and three touchdowns on 220-yards passing. Rutgers commit Kam Lott made several big-plays for the First Coast defense. The senior corner had a diving interception and grabbed a blocked punt and returned it 50-yards for a touchdown. Iowa State commit Reggan Northrup lead First Coast in tackles with seven.

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John Garcia Jr., Alabama Recruiting Analyst
Hoover (Ala.) High vs Opelika (Ala.) High

The top prospect in the state of Alabama played his part in this 29-7 win for Hoover in rematch of the 2012 state title game, but Marlon Humphrey was not tested much by the Bulldogs at cornerback. The Buc defense was led by junior four-star linebacker Darrell Williams, who did a bit of everything while out on the field. He made countless plays against the run and against short passes up the middle and as a pass rusher, but he continues to impress Scout with his ability to play very well in space, which included one-on-one responsibility against wide receivers at times. He's a special athlete in a deep junior class at Hoover. The offense was paced by 2015 running back Bradrick Shaw, who had to earn each of his three scores on the ground against a very good Opelika defense. With an offer from Mississippi State and Cincinnati already to his name, expect more programs to give him a look going forward because of his patience, burst and grit at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds.

Opelika hung tough for about three quarters, and Alabama commitment Stephen Roberts had plenty to do with it. He was playing quarterback for the third straight game, and looked more comfortable a passer and overall decision-maker, accounting for the Bulldogs' only score early with an athletic scramble play in which he faked out Williams before hitting an open target in the end zone. Roberts ran decisively for more than 100 yards as well. The defense was on the field for most of the game, and wherever Shaw and others ended up, one was sure to hear the name Roy Yancey more times than not soon after. The junior linebacker registered well over a dozen solo tackles against some of the state's top talents and showed an improvement against the pass as well, forcing two incompletions in the process.

Mobile (Ala.) St. Paul's Episcopal vs Mobile (Ala.)UMS-Wright
Alabama commitment Joshua Casher capped a week in which he was presented his Under Armour All-America jersey with a big performance to lead St. Paul's offense line in a dominant 28-0 win over rival and 2012 state champ UMS-Wright. The offensive tackle, who projects as a center at the next level, made a pair of pancakes to open the game and never slowed down in a run-heavy win. He moved well in space and finished blocks with authority, as did Auburn commitment Tre Williams on offense. The four-star will be utilized as a linebacker at the next level, and he was the best player on the field in that role. He plays well in space and on the edge, and he helped to bottle up one of the state's best running backs in the process.

UMS-Wright was dominated on both sides of the ball, but quarterback Gunner Roach and running back Troy Dixon each flashed some potential despite being shutout. Roach, a Southern Miss commitment, ran well out of the read-option look and threw some accurate fastballs underneath when given time by his offensive line. Dixon, who never quite busted loose for one of his signature long runs, still made defenders miss in the open field and ran with better power than Scout anticipated to finish runs. The junior doesn't yet have an offer, but Mississippi State, North Carolina State and others are showing considerable interest at this time.

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Bob Redman, Managing Editor of
Jacksonville (Fla.) Bishop Kenny vs Macclenny (Fla.) Baker County

The matchup played at Bishop Kenny was a chance for baker County to get in the playoffs. A win would have by baker County forced a three way tie for the district title and a three team playoff to see who would represent.

Baker County was led by super junior 5-star defensive end CeCe Jefferson. Jefferson certainly did hs part in the game playing from all over the front to try and confuse the blocking schemes of Kenny. The thing that is easy to like about Jefferson is the way he just turns on the juice when the ball is snapped and is relentless to get to the ball and through anything that stands in his way. On one sack in the game he had two linmen hanging on him and he pushed through both draped on him for the seven yard sack. On offense, receiver Mike Boone is a super fast receiver that is committed to Cincinnatti. Boone has been the main target for most of the season for quarterback Jacob Carter and hauled in an 80 yard bomb for a touchdown in the late part of the second half, making it a close game at the time. Carter missed the last three games with a broken collar bone, he should be healthy for the off-season and starting in about 6 weeks.

Bishop Kenny is a fun offense to watch and it starts with quarterback John Wolford. The senior who is committed to East Carolina has a big league arm and terrific athleticism, if he was 2-3 inches taller he would have been on everyone's wish list. Still, the kid makes plays out of nothing and set state high school career records for pass completions and tochdowns during the game Friday night. He reminds me of Rex Grossman and how he plays the game. Another big prospect on Kenny is 2015 offensive tackle Tyler Jordan. Jordan stands 6-foot-5 and about 285 pounds. He didn't face Jefferson too much all night because of the way Baker County lined up their star, but Jordan continuously delivered at the left tackle position during the game. He is someone to keep an eye on.

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