Road Report: Notebook

Taking the show on the road can be both rewarding and frustrating. There is never a best time to see everybody you want to see. High School coaches have a variety of responsibilities both in the field house and throughout the school day not always football related. I am always thankful when those gentlemen are able to take some time out of their hectic schedules and talk a little football.

There is only so much you can learn about a prospect behind a desk watching highlights and making phone calls.

Having the chance to get out on the road to speak to players and their coaches can be an extremely educational experience.

Here is a look at some of the information gleaned from recent road trips.

A pair of rising juniors

Salmen High School (LA) head football coach Jerry Leonard has some high expectations for his 2014 running back Christopher Thomas.

Some area coaches agree with Leonard's belief that Thomas can be a "Big Time" college prospect. One suggested that Thomas is the player that makes the Spartan offense go more so than any other skill player on the roster.

LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and others have already begun expressing interest in the rising junior.

Speaking of juniors, St. Paul's (LA) Marcus Gaines is beginning to create some buzz for himself. Gaines recently ran the second fastest 100 in the New Orleans metro area as just a sophomore.

Gaines will likely be a slot receiver on the next level in an effort to increase the variety of his offensive touches.

This fall will be extremely important for Gaines. His progression this season will determine if he is a local prospect or a regional talent with big time college potential.

Top Mississippi QB adds offers

Jackson Prep (MS) quarterback Ryan Buchanan continues to collect college options. Arkansas State and Oklahoma State extended offers this past week.

Buchanan is still enjoying the process although he admits he would like to make a decision soon and get to work putting a class together for his future team.

A Rival connection?

One player close to Buchanan who may end up as a potential teammate is offensive lineman Jamaal Clayborn who currently plays for rival Jackson Academy (MS).

Buchanan and Clayborn both claim each other as friends and the possibility of them playing together on the next level has been a topic of discussion.

To that end, Clayborn, who plays for the Raiders, lives with a pair of brothers who line up along side Buchanan for Prep.

Like links in a chain

One of the question I like to ask players and coaches alike is, "What other players did you play against last year that you really liked?"

At North Forrest, the trio of prospects there led by Dallas Carter mentioned Thamaz Taylor of Purvis as a talented player to watch.

Newly promoted head coach Ken Carter echoed his players' thoughts.

When posed with the same question, Taylor of Purvis of said Tylertown and Tyre'oune Holmes.

Players from Tylertown, North Forrest and Purvis all expect Bassfield to be in contention for the 2A state title again this year.

FCAHS head coach Larry Dolan and his 4A Aggies squeaked out a 15-12 win over the Yellowjackets last season on the road.

The Aggies will host Bassfield this year and Coach Dolan admits with a smile that the Jackets are far from a non-district pushover.

Looking Ahead

FCAHS saw Adarius Perkins sign with Mississippi State earlier this year. From the sound of things, folks in Brooklyn, Mississippi might be hosting some additional signing day press conferences over the course of the next two years.

Junior linebacker Stacey Garner is receiving a lot of interest from college programs especially Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Southern Miss.

Garner is name to make a note of as college coaches make their spring rounds.

Perhaps the top offering from Aggieland for the 2014 signing class is running back Dontavian Lee.

The 6-0, 200 pounder rushed for 1,163 yards and 14 scores during his sophomore campaign.

Lee has the size and look of a college prospect. His high school production should only improve as he continues to develop as a player.

Batman and Robin?

Hattiesburg High might prove to have the best senior wide receiver tandem in the state of Mississippi this fall.

Brandon Acker and Tony Bridges are both beginning to see their recruitments pick up now that the spring evaluation period has begun.

Both players are still waiting for their first D1 offers, but the summer camp sessions should remove any concerns about their college potential.

Expect both Acker and Bridges to make names for themselves over the course of summer and fall.

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