Georgia always threatens Florida, Texas and California as one of the top high school football states in the country, and it's not just in Atlanta. FOX Sports NEXT stopped by a trio of schools south of the capital to check in on some sleepers and young talent set to make their impact in recruiting.
FOX Sports NEXT/Scout.com National Recruiting Analyst Chad Simmons and John Garcia Jr. hit the road in South Georgia on Monday to take in time with several under-the-radar talents that may be on their way to becoming known commodities.
From class of 2014 sleepers to players you need to keep an eye on in the current freshman class of 2016, Scout saw a bit of it all.
Griffin (Ga.) Spalding High School
Jacke Jeffcoat, a rising senior linebacker for the Jags, checks in at 6-foot, 215 pounds and he carries it well. With a firm hand-shake and positive attitude, he is a solid prospect on and off the field - and schools are beginning to take notice. Jeffcoat has already heard from Georgia State and Yale, one of several Ivy League schools interested in him considering he carries a 3.5 GPA.
Rodney Jackson, also a class of 2014 talent, has the potential to play either cornerback or free safety at the next level. The senior-to-be measures in at 5-foot-11, 160 pounds but he says he is more physical than one would think. "I love to hit," he added, before admitting that his interests have all come this spring as schools like Alabama, Purdue, Georgia State, Appalachian State and others have visited the school. Most, including the defending national champs, covet his range and frame at the cornerback spot at this point.
The youngest of the prospects at Spalding is class of 2016 defensive lineman Brodarious Hamm, though he is the biggest at 6-foot-4, 290 pounds. The freshman is an intriguing 15-year-old, with the ability to play on either side of the ball both now and at the next level. Alabama beat Scout to the school by an hour or so, and it was there to see Hamm, as many other schools have done already this spring.
Thomaston (Ga.) Upson-Lee High
The Knights had a promising 2012, and 2013 is poised to be another step in the right direction with great young talent on the roster. SEC talent? Maybe so, as Georgia went by the school of late to see a pair of prospects. The younger, but bigger one, is 6-foot-4, 270 pound David Marshall. The class of 2016 defensive lineman looks the part early in the process and his handshake rivals that of 2013 No. 1 overall prospect Robert Nkemdiche.
The other current freshman at Upson-Lee is a versatile one in Kenderious Pennyman. Admittedly a running back before anything because of his sheer power at 6-foot, 203 pounds, he will also contribute as a linebacker going forward. Both Knights prospects expect to camp at plenty of SEC schools this summer, including Alabama, Georgia and Auburn among others.
Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes High
The one prospect we saw on the trip already on radar was three-star Tre' Jackson, a rising senior linebacker already committed to Georgia Tech. He showed it during practice as arguably the most physical and vocal player on the defensive side of the ball. Jackson is all of 232 pounds and looked poised for a big senior year on Monday.
Class of 2014 talent Brandon Roberts was as impressive as any prospect on the hoof, with a lanky frame at 5-foot-11, 177 pounds. He worked out as a defensive back and as the Vikings' primary punt returner, and he wasn't afraid to get physical early in the day. Roberts has a laundry list of schools interested at this point, though his first offer has yet to be extended.
If Roberts' long arms were impressive, than Voldosta (Ga.) High transfer Dyran Sims' wingspan was jaw-dropping. Already carrying 275 pounds at 6-foot-4, he has room to improve both in his physique and technique although the raw talent and power is there. The athleticism is too, considering the biggest lineman on the team was one of the swiftest down the field on special teams. Roberts may be one of the state's top rising senior sleepers at this point, but it may not last long as Georgia was in town to see him Monday with Alabama set to check him out on Tuesday.