The top overall group today was the defensive backs. Four-star Derrik Allen led the group, and looked great in drills early on, but the 6-foot-1 210-pound Allen struggles at times in coverage against smaller and faster receivers. He definitely had his moments out there, and was a vocal leader for the group. He admitted that schools are still recruiting him at safety, but he sure looked more like a linebacker out there.
Valdosta cornerback Jayce Rogers made plays all day at cornerback. He’s a small guy but plays much bigger. He was great in coverage, at one point jumping a route for an interception against Peach County’s Kearis Jackson. He does a lot of talking out there, and plays with that South Georgia swagger. He also made some tackles in the backfield which was impressive seeing his size.
Colquitt County’s Kaleb Dawson, Dutchtown’s Trey Dean, and Thomasville’s Charlie Thomas also made nice plays on the ball during practice. This was a very strong group.
In my eyes Peach County playmaker Kearis Jackson was the best player on the field today. He looks the part physically and showed great hands all morning. He consistently got open and had multiple long touchdown receptions after beating his man deep. Toward the end of practice, Jackson made a one-handed catch that got everyone’s attention. He spun, caught the ball with one hand, and then kept running up field with ease. Marquez Ezzard was very good yesterday, but Jackson might be the top receiver in Georgia for 2018.
Veterans’ Jeremy Horton was also impressive. He looked great this summer at MVP camp, had a big junior season this fall, and is now making a name for himself at Rising Seniors. He’s not the biggest guy, but he’s so quick and gets separation so easily. He showed good hands as well and caught just about every ball thrown his way that I saw. Look for more schools to start offering this off-season.
Richmond Hill’s Sam Jones also impressed as did Tucker’s Josh Vann.
Not the best group, but there were a few guys who stood out from time to time. Brunswick’s Kam Futch is a shorter compact middle linebacker type who has a nose for the football. Mays’ Antonio Grier made some nice hits in run support. Valdosta’s Zakoby McClain didn’t stand out like I was expecting, but he had his moments. Blessed Trinity linebacker Jake Rudolph showed good instincts and is a guy who really likes to hit. He didn’t stand out physically from the rest but he definitely made some plays when he was around the football.
Ola’s Austin Smith sprained his knee early in practice, but came back in later and was a force on the line. He’s a big kid who plays with a mean streak. The three-star defensive tackle has offers from North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, among others.
Ja’Quan Griffin was among the smaller defensive lineman there, but he showed great quickness off the ball and was tough to block all day. He was a big reason why Rome won the state championship this year.
North Cobb’s Thurman Geathers, Fitzgerald’s Kierron Smith, and Tucker’s Antonio Showers also made some nice plays in 1 on 1 drills.
This group struggled most of all, but there were a few guys who stepped up and held their own.
Stephenson guard Jalil Irvin is the team’s highest rated lineman, and he looked solid in pass protection during 1 on 1. He’s a big kid who opened some holes in the running game as well.
Southwest Dekalb lineman Angelo Miller protected well also. He is listed at 6-foot-1 304-pounds and was one of the better offensive linemen during practice today.
Central Gwinnett’s Jarren Williams had a very good day today. The Kentucky commit made some good reads all morning, and was getting some nice praise by the coaches. He throws an accurate and catch-able ball, and showed that he can stretch the field with some deep passes as well. He hit Jackson and Jones multiple times on some great deep passes.