We were at a handful of games around the Southeast this past weekend, including games in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana.
Chad Simmons, National Recruiting Analyst
Rivers Ridge (La.) John Curtis Christian vs New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr
This game had a lot of hype and it lived up to it. John Curtis Christian jumped out to an early 23-0 lead in the first quarter, but Edna Karr then scored came back to take a 33-30 lead in the fourth quarter. With under a minute to go, John Curtis Christian scored the go ahead touchdown and they held on to win 38-33. These are clearly two of the top high school teams in the country and the stars showed up. On the losing end Devante Noil threw for 273 yards and four touchdowns. He is electric with the ball in his hands, but he was not able to use his legs due to a sore groin. Others that shined for Edna Karr were five-star defensive lineman Gerald Willis (close to double-digit tackles and multiple pressures), wide receiver Glenn Irons (two touchdown receptions), and Oklahoma State commitment Juwann Offray (solid in coverage and a caused fumble).
The winning team was John Curtis Christian and they did what they do best, run the football. They finished with over 300 yards and the leader out of the backfield was senior George Moreira. He had 160 yards on 19 carries finishing with a couple of touchdowns. He ran hard and broke tackles. Moreira is going to be a steal for someone. The starting quarterback went down in the first half with a collarbone injury and sophomore Myles Willis stepped in to run the team. He is one to watch, not as a quarterback, but as a running back in 2016. Five-star wide receiver Malachi Dupree doesn't put up huge numbers playing in the John Curtis Christian system, but he had a key 18 yard run late in the game to set up the final score. On defense, Kenny Young, a four-star linebacker led the way and was constantly around the ball. Safety Mattrell McGraw was solid at safety as well.
West Monroe (La.) vs Bossier City (La.) Airline
The talk all week leading up to this game was about defense and how the offenses would likely struggle in this contest. Well, one offense didn't get that memo and it was West Monroe. West Monroe jumped out to a 44-0 lead at the half and cruised to a 44-14 win. Many different prospects had highlights in this one, but this was the best game of the season for 2016 quarterback Jon Randall Belton. He tossed a couple of touchdown passes, he had a high completion percentage, and he felt good about his performance. Top offensive lineman Cameron Robinson was a machine on the field. He had a few pancakes, he played right and left tackle, he opened big holes, and he impressed. He is committed to Alabama and Airline defensive tackle O.J. Smith is as well. Smith was in on a few plays in this game, but neither he or his teammates had an answer for the West Monroe offense this night.
Metarie (La.) Rummel vs Baton Rouge (La.) Catholic
This was a battle between two top 10 teams and the lower school won this contest. Rummel defeated Catholic 32-7 and they controlled the game all four quarters. Catholic could not get anything going on offense and Rummel controlled things in the trenches on both sides of the ball. They are bigger and more athletic up front. Little (5-foot-5) scatback Ivan Phipps had close to 100 yards and three touchdowns for Rummel and he was tough to touch in space. Houston commit Steven Dunbar had a nice game with over half a dozen catches and just under 100 yards. He did not score a touchdown, but helped set up a couple of them. The top prospect on the field was 2015 Scout 100 running back Derrius Guice of Catholic. He did not have many, if any holes to run through Saturday night, but ran hard and finished with 96 tough yards on 16 carried and a touchdown. He also had a nice kickoff return for the Bears.
Jamie Newberg, National Recruiting Analyst
Tampa Plant vs Tampa Bay Tech
Tampa Bay Tech upset Tampa Plant 14-7 in this defensive struggle. Tech was led by two-way standout senior Tajee Fullwood
. This South Florida
commitment had a roller coaster of a game. He lined up at cornerback, safety, wide receiver, punter, and returned kicks and punts. And that was in the first quarter alone. Fullwood did finish with three receptions, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a few tackles. On the other side of this he also had two fumbles and missed at least five tackles from the safety spot. This was the position I thought he was destined to play but he will need to become more consistent in run support and tackling in general. I do believe he could play receiver. He has size, speed and soft hands. But Fullwood believes he will be a cornerback in college. At 6-foot-2 he would certainly big a big one at that and those guys are hard to come by. Fullwood told me after the game he's still committed to the Bulls but wants to make his visits. He went to Orlando on Saturday for the South Carolina
game. Fullwood also wants to make official visits to Rutgers
The other big prospect for the Titans is junior quarterback Deon Cain. This 2015 recruit plays quarterback but appears to have more upside at wide receiver or even safety. He got loose on one long run in the first quarter and showcased his elite speed. He also has good quickness. As a quarterback, Cain is just raw. If he really wants to play this position in college then he has his work cut out for him. FSU, UCF and USF have all offered Cain up to this point.
Tampa Bay Tech running back Deon Thompson is a nice talent at running back. He just lacks great size. He's only 5-foot-8ish. Thompson is cat quick with super feet. He also has good speed. He had several nice runs on the late including two touchdown runs, one of which was a 28-yarder. Thompson just picked up at Florida A&M offer on Friday. Marshall and Bethune-Cookman had previously offered him. He will visit the Thundering Herd this weekend.
Lastly for the Titans is Florida International bound linebacker Fred Russ. He's a tiny linebacker that plays much bigger than his size. He stands 5-foot-10 and plays on the inside. This kid is physical and not shy of contact. He's sound against the run and is quite the linebacker surprise. Pound for pound Russ is a terrific player.
For Plant, they just couldn't get into an offensive rhythm despite having super size on the offensive front. Here they are led by bookend tackles Ray Raulerson and Jake Fruhmorgen.
Raulerson, a Tennessee commitment, may project better on the inside at guard. He's big, has good length and good feet. At times he got in a little trouble in pass pro blocking the smaller, quicker defensive end on the edge.
Fruhmorgen is a good looking junior tackle that is huge and has a terrific frame. He's a long tackle with quickness and athleticism. He can bend and move. You can see why he has a handful of impressive offers from teams like Florida, Florida State, Miami, Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Tennessee and others.
Texas-bound senior linebacker Andrew Beck from Plant had a solid but unspectacular game. He was in on a handful of tackles and had a reception from the tight end position. Beck has good size and should develop nicely in his frame once he gets to Austin. He moves well, whether it's playing the run or dropping in coverage. He's disciplined, aggressive and one of the Panther leaders.
eclipsed 100 yards for the fifth straight game as Palmetto Ridge held off Lely for a hard fought 13-10 win. A 5-foot-11, 205 pounds, Johnson has really come on as a senior and showing the type of talent that should land him at the BCS level of football. Johnson showed some toughness running inside. Lely junior linemen
is a player to keep an eye on. At 6-3, 330 he lined up at left tackle where he showed every tool there is athletically. He played some defensive tackle in goal line situations and we can envision him at nose guard at the next level, like Terrance Cody (Alabama) who also came from Southwest Florida. Quarterback Karbiel Dirogene is a play-maker, but will need to change positions at the next level.
Stephenson had its way with Southwest DeKalb, taking the 35-7 victory. The Stephenson defense was solid, nearly getting the shutout, and Southwest DeKalb couldn't get anything going in the air or on the ground against them. Stephenson cornerbacks
locked down the Southwest DeKalb receivers. Sophomore cornerback
is another name to remember. The 2016 standout was great on defense and special teams. On offense, Stephenson running back
was the star of the game, and he only played the first half. The
commit rushed for 116-yards on 14 carries and three touchdowns. The offensive line gave him plenty to work with, lead by