If you follow high school football, you saw the historic 2015 season the Roswell Hornets had last year. They dominated opponents all season, but lost to a strong Colquit County team in the state championship. As good as they were last season, I'ts clear they are trying to win it all in 2016. This team is loaded with talent, they're coached well, and they have deep playoff experience. All key ingredients for a championship team.
At quarterback, the Hornets are led by Virginia Tech commit Malik Willis. The 6-foot-2 181-pound senior is a good runner, but can really spin it as well. He was getting praise multiple times during practice, showing excellent touch on a few deep balls. He can shed a defense with the read-option, and should be in for a big season this fall. Willis has a ton of weapons around him, so it's important that he spreads the ball around to his multiple playmakers.
One of those playmakers? Sheldon Evans. Evans looks like a bowling ball with his 5-foot-10 200-pound frame, and is no doubt one of the leaders of this team. Minnesota, Tulane, Georgia Southern, Western Kentucky, among others have offered the three-star prospect. Look for Evans to have big senior season.
It's tough to find a better wide receiver combination around than Jayden Comma and Corey Reed. Comma is 6-foot-2 207-pounds while Reed is listed at 6-foot-2 190-pounds. Both have good size and can make big plays down the field. Whether it's the deep ball or the screen, these guys will get their hands on the football often. Reed is a top five receiver in the state of Georgia for the 2016 class in my mind.
Another new weapon for the Hornets is senior athlete Kentrell Barber. Barber will play all over the field this fall, and will be an excellent option in the slot with his speed and explosiveness. Barber also took reps at kick return, and has the versatility to play on defense as well. Illinois and Kennesaw State have offered so far, with more possibly on the way.
Tyneil Hopper is a tight end who will also make some plays this season. One of the top tight end prospects in Georgia for 2017.
The offensive line is led by left tackle Jordan Tucker. The massive 6-foot-6 320-pounder stands out immediately from a physical standpoint, and should pave running holes for Evans all season. Tucker is a three-star prospect currently committed to Tennessee.
On defense, Xavier McKinney and LeAnthony Williams will lead the way in the secondary. Both are big-time prospects in the 2016 class, with Williams currently committed to Clemson. He made a couple nice hits on the big receivers, and broke up multiple passes. He's a very good get for the Tigers. Not many will be able to throw on Williams in 2016.
McKinney, a former Alabama commit, made plays all day. When I first walked up to the practice, the first play I saw was McKinney blow up a screen and almost intercepted the pass for a would be pick-six. He showed good burst on the ball, and reminded me how physical he was. McKinney overpowered some guys when blocking, and made some nice catches down the field when lining up at receiver.
Defensive end Koby Cumberlander brought some serious energy out there today, The 6-2 230-pounder made a ton of plays, and has the chance to have a breakout senior season.
What I like most about this team is their confidence. They know they are good, but they also know they need to keep grinding and keep getting better in order to reach their goals. The laugh and have a good time, but they work hard as well. They are a tight group that rags on each other, but praises each other at the same time. Roswell will host a good Langston Hughes team at home next Friday.