Elite Sophomore Classic News and Notes:

Dawg Post was in attendance for the annual Elite Sophomore Classic, showcasing the top sophomore players in the state of Georgia, including multiple UGA targets.

American Team:

The American team was led by a strong defense including two top defensive linemen in Nolan Smith and Derrick McClendon. Smith is a major Georgia target in the 2019 class and he was in the backfield constantly, especially in the first half. McClendon looks the part physically and was strong against the run. Bowden DT Zaylin Wood and ECI DE Curtis Fann also made an impact on the defensive line.

At linebacker, JD Bertrand was all over the place. He made multiple tackles all game, and showed a true nose for the football. He has gathered interest from some major programs, but look for some offers to come in shortly.

At defensive back, Columbus safety Ray Thornton and North Gwinnett cornerback DJ Tuner stood out. Thornton is a quick safety that looks a little undersized, but he showed good instincts and did a nice job of tackling in the open field. Turner made a couple of nice pass breakups in coverage, and had some good battles with receiver Tyler Fromm. Turner intercepted an under-thrown pass intended to Fromm, but then gave up a touchdown to Fromm later in the game on a jump ball. He had a huge size disadvantage, but Turner still looked good and should be a highly ranked prospect in the 2019 class.

On offense, tackle Keiondre Jones was as good as advertised. The American team ran behind him for most of the game, and he did a nice job against the longer defensive end King Mwikuta. He had a great pancake block on Riverdale’s Dante Walker throwing him down like a rag doll. Jones will be a nationally ranked prospect and is a possible 5-star player in the 2019 class.

Parkview athlete Malik Washington made plays early and often for team American. He is undersized, but he’s a great athlete who can play all over the field. He played on offense and made some really nice runs on jet sweeps. He made multiple defenders miss in the open field, and showed he’s one of the more versatile athletes in the 2019 class. Auburn offered early, and more big offers should be on the way. Size might be the only thing holding him back.

The running game couldn’t get much going early on, but it picked up in a major way in the second half led by Lownes County back Travis Tisdale. Tisdale showed great patience, and excellent speed when a hole opened up. Tisdale had a 60-yard touchdown run right before halftime. North Gwinnett back Tyler Goodson also ran hard when given carries.



National Team:

Like the American Team, the National team was led by two gifted defensive lineman in Upson Lee’s Travon Walker and Troup County’s King Mwikuta. Walker is 6-foot-4 242-pounds and showed great athleticism. He excelled in rushing the passer and was in on almost every tackle on the first two series. He also showed a great vertical when deflecting a pass right before halftime. He has massive hands and it’s easy to see why he’s such a great basketball player as well. He could be a top tight end prospect in the state if he were on offense. Georgia has offered early and they are in a very good position in his recruitment right now.

Mwikuta also looks the part at 6–foot-4 210-pounds. He has the frame for that outside linebacker edge rusher with his lean look and long arms. He made an impact as a pass rusher and deflected at least three passes from his defensive end spot. He had a little trouble when he went up against Keiondre Jones, but overall Mwikuta had a great game and will start earning more offers sooner than later.

Deangelo Griffin from Crisp County and Jaelin Humphries from Mountain View also made an impact on the defensive line.

At defensive back, Grayson’s Kenyatta Watson and Lovett’s KJ Wallace were both impressive. Watson made at least four tackles on the day and broke up a touchdown pass in the end-zone. Wallace is a little smaller, but showed great ball skills in coverage. Watson has already earned numerous offers and is on Georgia’s radar. I’m expecting the Bulldogs to offer down the road. Auburn, Tennessee, South Carolina among others have offered Wallace.

Dacula cornerback Jalen Perry and Archer safety Jayln Phillips also stood out.

On offense, running back Jonathan Sewell had a great game. He’s a tough runner who has some wiggle as well. Look for the Clarke Central back to start earning some big offers down the road. He will be a nationally ranked prospect in the 2019 class.

Grayson back Ronald Thompkins got off to a slow start, but then got going toward the end. He’s another back with great size at 6-foot-1 185-pounds and showed good speed once he broke through the line. Look for him have a monster junior year in 2017 and start earning some major offers in the future.

The receiver group was very strong. Walton’s Dominick Blaylock has five-star potential, and made some great grabs late in the game. The team also gave him the ball on jet sweeps to showcase his ability in the open field. The 5-foot-11 189-pounder is such a smooth runner with great hands who is only getting better.

Milton Jackson is another receiver to know for the future. The Coffee County star showed great speed and scored the game’s first touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. He showed good agility and made defenders miss in a small space. He has multiple catches on the day.

Tight end Ryland Goede is a massive prospect at 6-foot-6 217-pounds with early offers from Georgia and Tennessee. The National team ran to Goede’s side on the field when he was in, and opened plenty of holes for the two backs to run through. He also caught at least two passes from what I saw. He and Cartersville’s Jackson Lowe look to be the two top tight end prospects in Georgia for the 2019 class.

Houston County receiver Tyler Fromm is a good athlete with great size. He was one of the taller receivers in the game, and made a nice touchdown grab on a jump ball late in the game. He also beat his man for a wide open touchdown at one point but the ball was severely overthrown. He is a name to know in the 2019 class.

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