The Atlanta Opening Regional Insider Notes:
While this group didn’t stand out like last year’s did, the quarterback group still had plenty of talent. Heard County (GA) quarterback and Ohio State commit Emory Jones headlined the group, and was sharp throughout the day. 2020 quarterback Harrison Bailey out of Marietta (GA) looks the part physically, and has that overall look in a major prospect. Pinson Valley (AL) quarterback Bo Nix was the top quarterback of the day, and picked up a Georgia offer two weeks ago.
North Gwinnett QB Cade Fortin, Pickens County QB Jacob Brumby, Hapeville Charter QB Hajj-Malik Williams, and Oconee County QB Max Johnson (2020) also made nice throws on the day.
The running back group was very good in Buford with Callaway (GA) back Cartavious Bigsby leading the group and being named a top performer. Only a freshman, the 6-foot-0 186-pound athlete looked great physically, showed nice agility, and displayed some explosiveness as well. Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, among others have offered.
Buford (GA) back Christian Turner also had a big day, and was selected to the Opening Finals in California. Mountain Brook (AL) back Harold Joiner III stood out physically, and Jonathan Sewell impressed also with his size and quick feet.
Newton (GA) back Nuru Tinch, Austin (AL) back Asa Martin, and 2020 back Mecose Todd also impressed during the 1 on 1s.
Like the quarterbacks, the receiver group didn’t stand out like it has in years past. 2018 Habersham Central receiver Jim Barnett was the big winner on the day, showing great hands and agility. He’s a long athlete with great agility and showed good hands in traffic. Look for his recruitment to pick up the next few months.
Central Phoenix (AL) receiver Justyn Ross was very athletic and proved why he’s one of the top receivers in the country. He has great size at 6-foot-5 195-pounds and was tough to handle in every rep that I noticed. After his stellar performance, he earned an invite to the Opening Finals in California.
Georgia targets Kearis Jackson and Marquez Ezzard both had great days. Neither are overly tall, but they are built well and still have great speed. The two are close friends and they both know Georgia plans to take only 3 receivers in the 2018 class. The Bulldogs are in a great position to land both at this time. Both are dynamic in their own way, and are tough to bring down once they have the ball. Ezzard visited both Auburn and Georgia this past Saturday.
Josh Vann looked crisp the only two routes I saw him run. Matthew Hill had some nice catches early, and Veterans (GA) receiver Jeremy Horton also had some nice grabs.
The offensive line group was led by two of the country’s best in Pace Academy (GA) guard Jamaree Salyer and 2019 LSU commit Kardell Thomas. Both looked dominant at times with great size and strength. Georgia is still in a great spot for Salyer, and he plans to be back in Athens for the spring game. Clemson and Ohio State are Georgia toughest competition for the nation’s top offensive guard. He plans to make a decision around Signing Day.
Tennesse commit Cade Mays and 2019 tackle prospect Pierce Quick also had some strong reps. Lowness (GA) tackle Jalen Goss was one of the more impressive looking guys out there, and Duke commit Casey Holman had his moments as well.
The defensive line group was led by Stockbridge (GA) defender Brenton Cox and Athens Christian (GA) lineman Richard Jibunor. Cox is being recruited as an outside linebacker but worked with the defensive line during the event. He was so quick off the ball, and was tough to block for anyone during the 1 on 1s. Georgia is in a great spot with Cox at this time. Ohio State, Clemson, Alabama, and Auburn are other schools he’s considering.
Jibunor looks a little small to play defensive end at the next level, but that’s where he lined at during the camp. Jibunor was named a top performer on the defensive line, using his speed and quickness to get around the tackle during the 1 on 1s. He does not hold an offer from Georgia, but an offer down the road could happen soon. Auburn and Alabama have offered and both are in a good spot at this time.
Newton (GA) lineman Darnell Jefferies and Grayson (GA) lineman Tru Thomspn also won some good battles during the 1 on 1s.
At linebacker, Spring Valley (SC) prospect Channing Tindall stole the show, earning an invite to The Opening Finals. Tindall has offers from Florida, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, among others.
Troup County defender King Mwikuta looked great as well. He’s easy to notice with his long frame and height at 6-foot-5 225-pounds, and showed good athleticism getting to some of the smaller backs. He got as many reps as anyone out there, and he looks to be one of the top pass rushers in the state for the 2019 class. Georgia, Auburn, and Clemson are teams in mix, as is Alabama and Miami.
Michael Harris out of Lovejoy (GA) is a big dude. The hard hitting four-star had some trouble with some of the smaller backs, but was more impressive in coverage than I was expecting. He stood out physically and showed good strength. Ohio State is the clear leader with Georgia and Alabama also in the mix as of today.
Mary Persons (Ga) linebacker Jatorian Hansford impressed throughout the day. He’s another big kid with long arms and a tall build. He looks like an ideal out-side linebacker prospect who can set the edge with his strength and size, but also rush the passer with his length and quickness. He looked great in 1 on 1s, and has the chance to see his recruitment explode in the next few months.
Colquit County LB JJ Peterson, Peach County LB JaQuez Jackson, and Valdosta LB Zakoby McClain also made plays throughout the camp.
The defensive back group was the best group of the day by a mile. Lassiter (GA) defensive back Derrik Allen earned an invite to the Opening Finals, but I still see him as strong safety who can drop down and play linebacker down the road. Allen is committed to Notre Dame.
GAC (GA) defensive back Kyler McMichael impressed with his 4.5 and 6-foot-1 195-pound frame. He is a versatile guy who can make an impact at cornerback, safety, and running back at the next level. McMichael visited Georgia on Saturday, and Georgia is in the mix here along with Tennessee, Clemson, and Alabama. McMichael plans to narrow his list before the season, commit during the season, and take his official visits after the season.
Hapeville Charter defensive back Chris Smith was named a top performer at the camp, and he is a major target for the Bulldogs in the 2018 class. Smith is coming off a recent visit to South Carolina, and the Gamecocks are going all out for him. He has a great relationship with the Gamecock coaches, but he is very familiar with the Georgia coaches as well. The four-star corner had multiple interceptions n the day and looks to be gaining some good weight. He plans to visit Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State this weekend.
Thomson (GA) DB Christian Tutt stood out as well, and earned a spot in the top defensive back group at the end of the camp. He made multiple plays on the ball and showed good footwork in drills. Tutt has always been high on Georgia, and the Bulldogs are in a great spot to land one of the state’s top cornerbacks likely this summer.
Tre’ Douglass of Eagles Landing Christian (GA), Grayson DB Jalen Alexander, Carver (GA) DB Quindarious Monday, and Lee County (GA) defensive back/linebacker Otis Reese also impressed throughout the day. Georgia is behind Ohio State and possibly more for Douglass, are in the mix with Auburn and others for Monday, and Reese is committed to Michigan.