Scout on the Town - South Recap

Here's a recap of Scout on the Town - South Recap from this weekend's high school football action. The FoxSportsNext/ crew was at games in Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Mississippi. Some prospects evaluated were Ricky Jefferson, Standish Dobbard, a ton of kids in the Bradenton Manatee/Miami Central game, '14 running back Racean Thomas and much more.

Chad Simmons, National Recruiting Analyst
New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr vs. Destrehan (La.) Destrehan

LSU commitment Rickey Jefferson got things started for Destrehan when he took a bubble screen 64-yards for a touchdown. He ended up getting rolled up on and sprained his ankle late in the second quarter. He showed a lot of athleticism and he really can accelerate quickly. He looks like a natural wide receiver with hands, speed, and big-play ability.

Jefferson is the top 2013 prospect for Destrehan, but there are a few underclassmen to watch too. 2014 quarterback Donovan Isom has great size (6-4/230) and a very strong arm. He made a few very impressive throws and they looked like lasers coming out of his hand. He also moves well for a bigger signal caller.

Alfred Smith is a slot receiver with very good quickness and he is elusive in space. He is a 5-foot-9, 175 pound sophomore who looked good when he had the ball in his hands Friday.

Texas A&M commitment Noel Ellis was not really challenged in this game. He is a solid cornerback with good feet, ball skills, and he is a very good technician. Karr won the game 45-7 and the Karr front seven controlled this game.

Standish Dobard is one of the top tight ends in the country and he is committed to Miami. The 6-foot-5, 240 pound tight end had a touchdown reception, but he was most impressive when blocking. He is a strong blocker, he holds his blocks well, and he can really handle the defensive ends. He needs to improve on catching the ball and looking it in, but he will be an every down tight end in Coral Gables.

Karr has two elite 2014 prospects and they are defensive lineman Gerald Willis and athlete Devante Noil. Willis was arguably the most impressive player on the field in this game. He has a good first step, violent hands, and can turn that corner and attack the quarterback. He has offers from all over and he is the younger brother of 2012 Alabama signee Landon Collins.

Noil played quarterback most of the night, but when they moved him to wide receiver, he caught a 40-yard touchdown on the first play. He is an elusive athlete who is very quick, and he plays as fast as he needs to. He is a left-handed quarterback in high school, but will likely be a slot receiver on the next level.

Jamie Newberg, National Recruiting Analyst
Miami Central vs Bradenton Manatee

Mississippi State bound signal caller Cord Sandberg looks like the perfect fit for Dan Mullen's spread offensive attack in Starkville. He can run the zone-read very effectively. While he doesn't have blazing speed like Denard Robinson at Michigan, he has good enough speed to be a threat within this scheme. He deceptively athletic and has good size (6-3/211). Sandberg does take some un-necessary chances in the option game. As a passer, he throws a nice, catchable ball. Sandberg doesn't have that lights out arm but has good enough velocity. He can also throw with touch. Sandberg does need to improve his accuracy with the longer throws. He missed a few wide open receivers on Friday against Central. Overall though, it was a good performance against a very talented Rockets team. Manatee won 44-34 and Sandberg had three touchdown passes on the night. Sandberg is a three-star prospect.

Manatee is simply awesome up front defensively, particularly with their tackles Derrick Calloway and DeMarcus Christmas. Calloway is the more active of the two. He's an absolute load at 6-foot-1 and 300-pounds because he had a very good get off, he plays with outstanding leverage and this kid knows how to use his hands effectively. Calloway does a nice job of moving the line of scrimmage. He sometimes got in the backfield so quickly that he would overrun the play. He shows very good short space quickness for a big man. Calloway played over the center most of the night and is much more suited there then at the three-technique. This kid is a beast, who at times is simply overpowering despite at least a double team on every play against Central. Calloway is a three-star prospect.

Christmas, 6-foot-4 and 290-pounds, plays mainly at the three-technique. He's bigger than Calloway and runs better than his teammate. Christmas just needs to works on his technique and playing with better hands like Calloway. He does get off blocks well and is a better pass rusher than Calloway. Christmas is powerful and is only going to get stronger. He's only a junior and will be one of the most sought after recruits in the 2014 class from Florida.

Miami Central is home to two of the top running backs in the state next season in the '14 class with Joseph Yearby and Dalvin Cook. Both have made their decisions already, Yearby is headed to Florida State while Cook is committed to Clemson.

Yearby, 5-foot-9 and 190-pounds, had an outstanding night. He played quarterback and running back and actually made some nice throws. But Yearby did his damage running the zone-read and pounding the ball between the tackles. This kid is so deceptive and he will do whatever the situation dictates. If he needs to run by a defender Yearby will use his great speed to do so. If he needs to run through a defender, he will lower his shoulder and use his power. In the open field he can also be so elusive with his outstanding quickness. This kid has balance, super feet and super vision. He doesn't dance around, rather runs north-south and at a good pad level. Yearby has it all.

Cook, 5-foot-11 and 190-pounds, didn't have nearly as many touches as Yearby. He did score on a really nifty catch and run late in the fourth quarter where he showed a few things like his outstanding speed and the ability to sift through the defense. This was impressive, especially considering that this is not what Cook does best. He's a pure north-south guy that uses his speed to just run right by people. He's not known to cut and dance through the second level. He did block well for Yearby, particularly on the perimeter.

A future star is emerging for the Rockets in 2015 wide receiver Da'vante Phillips. He's a 6-foot-1 and 190-pound wide receiver that has a chance to turn himself into a truly elite wide receiver. Phillips can do it all. He has good size and is very long. Phillips can really run, creates separation and shows good quickness. And he has good hands and will block down field for his teammates. He was open all night long and it didn't matter the route he was running or the situation. It's just unfortunate that his quarterback missed him on several open routes. There is no question that this kid has a chance to be truly special in the 2015 class.

Miami Central junior offensive lineman Trevor Darling had an up and down evening. In his defense though, this junior right tackle was battling the state's top defensive line unit. He mainly manned up against Manatee defensive end Marquis Dawsey and had his hands full. Dawsey beat him a few times with just an outside speed rush. There were other times when Darling just showed his natural strength to throw Dawsey to the ground. Darling has size (6-5/314) and long arms. He shows pretty good feet. It will be interesting to watch his development over this season and next. Darling could eventually sldie inside and become a guard. He has committed to Miami.

Oklahoma commitment Ahmad Thomas had a solid game. He played mainly as a slot cornerback/defensive back. Thomas showed good cover skills and had one terrific pass breakup when he was originally beaten by the receiver but showed excellent makeup speed on the end of the play. Thomas was good in run support, where he showed ranged and the ability to close to the football. And he's not soft and doesn't shy away from contact.

John Garcia Jr., Southeast Recruiting Analyst
Oxford (Ala.) vs. Gadsden City (Ala.)

Several seniors on the field in this one are already committed to SEC schools, but each was looking up to 2014 Oxford running back Racean Thomas in terms of impact. Despite coming up short in the end, the elite prospect racked up 255 yards and a pair of scores on the ground. While he blazing speed isn't much of a surprise based on his 6-foot, 197-pound frame, his power and talent in between the tackles is just as vital to his game. Thomas was patient in waiting for lanes to develop, then he displayed excellent burst through the hole before making several defenders miss in the open field with quickness and power. It often took two or three Gadsden City defenders to slow him, much less bring him down. The most impressive run on the night was an 82-yard scamper that was eventually called back despite Thomas breaking a tackle in the backfield before stiff arming a defender on the sideline and outrunning the rest. Alabama leads for him at the moment, but the rest of the SEC is right on his heels and he isn't in a particular rush to make a decision.

Mississippi State wide receiver commit B.J. Hammond was unable to get into a rhythm with his young quarterback on Friday, but when he did get the ball in his hands, the game changed immediately. Using his 6-foot-4, 207-pound frame, the senior routinely got off of the tight bump-and-run coverage that Oxford attempted to slow him with - and he even got behind the safety after one such play on a 75-yard score. Hammond uses his length well initially, before running solid routes and displaying good body control on a pass that was headed near out of bounds. After hauling it in, there wasn't a Yellow Jacket defender on the field that matched his speed.

Amy Campbell, Southeast Field Reporter
Pigeon Forge (Tenn.) Pigeon Forge vs. Knoxville (Tenn.) Fulton

It was nothing short of a blowout in Knoxville Friday night as Fulton put a 55-0 beating on Pigeon Forge. The first four Falcon possessions were one play touchdowns, giving Fulton the quick and early lead. Pigeon Forge struggled all night to even get a first down. With Fulton up 55-0 at halftime, the officials went to a running clock for the remainder of the game. The big man on the Fulton offensive line, 6-foot-6, 315-pound Akeem Cooperwood was happy about the win. The 2014 offensive tackle doesn't have any offers yet, but he's hearing from Duke, Tennessee, Alabama, LSU, and more. Cooperwood is a big fan of the hometown Volunteers and was on hand to watch them welcome Florida Saturday.

Kristen Ledlow, Southeast Field Reporter
Sharpsburg (Ga.) East Coweta vs Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek

With a decisive win over East Coweta, Sandy Creek continued its impressive run toward a promising postseason. 2014 wide receiver Demarre Kitt stole the show, setting the pace in the first half with a layout catch in the end zone to improve Sandy Creek's lead to 14-0 before halftime. Just a junior, Kitt is committed to the University of Georgia, but is being recruited "hard" by Auburn, Clemson, Florida and USC and plans to take his visits.

Sandy Creek's headliner, 2013 cornerback Shaquille Wiggins, suffered a concussion in the second half and was taken to the hospital overnight at the game's completion. He has since reported that he's "feeling okay," but no word from the trainers on his return to the football field. Wiggins is also committed to the University of Georgia, but plans to take his official visits this fall.

2013 offensive lineman Alan Knott proved his worth on the line and is fully committed to South Carolina. Although it's not yet on the calendar, Knott will take only one visit to see the Gamecocks this fall.

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