At Scotland County is Hilee Taylor, a hybrid player with tremendous athleticism but no home. The 6-foot-3, 200 pounder has plenty of potential and one of the best highlight films I saw this year with tons of explosion, power, vision, and instinct. Even his coach is not sure of where to play him.
"We had Hilee at defensive end for the first game of the year against a passing offense and he had five sacks," says Scotland head coach Mark Barnes. "We moved him to middle linebacker, but we are going to put him back down. We are not going to do that because he is not good, because he had 15 tackles in the next game, but because he has more of an impact to disrupt there."
Taylor, who has committed to North Carolina, will play that hybrid position as he will use his 4.45 speed at linebacker and play defensive end on third down.
Meanwhile, Richmond County continues its string of success with several Division 1-A recruits for this season including Jamar Bryant, Dannell Ellerbe, and Marcus Rush. While watching these players the first thing that sticks out is just how well-coached they are, and Ed Emory is a well-known commodity in the area.
Bryant has the most potential of all the prospects. A wirey 6-foot-3, 190 pounder, Bryant is projected to play wide receiver though he is a quarterback this season. Jamar runs crisp routes, has soft hands, amazing balance, and a knack for the big play at either receiver or quarterback. Some teams are a bit leery of his speed, but Bryant is continually working on his stride and could eventually become a very good possession receiver that can makes some moves in space or even a superstar depending on how hard he works on his raw game.
Dannell Ellerbe is a bit of a ‘tweener with schools having to choose between linebacker and safety. While Ellerbe runs a bit stiff with his pads, he knows how to hit and can be a terror in college on special teams. Among the well-coached talent, Ellerbe is the one that sticks out with picture-perfect tackling and taking correct angles. At 6-1, 185, Ellerbe has the speed to play safety and should project well at the strong safety or rover positions depending on the college.
The starting running back for Richmond County, Marcus Rush, could be the top sleeper on the team. While he is almost strictly used as the premier player on the running team, Rush could most likely project as a corner at the next level depending on the school. Rush is a bit smaller and has deceptively fast speed in choppy steps, but he has amazing hips and is very gritty to allow him to play a tough defensive back.
Overall, coaches are almost certain to visit Richmond County to continue to evaluate and reevaluate the talent there, while Scotland County has teams cooling a bit due to Taylor's commitment. However, their game October 10th in Laurinburg should be a great one.
Up next, some great kids in Columbia, South Carolina including the Spring Valley linemen and Ridge View's Dorrel Scott.
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