One of the top juniors in the state is running back Orleans Opoku-Darkwa 5-10, 180 pounds from Nashville-Ensworth. Opoku-Darkwa has had a solid 2008 campaign but took things to another level this past Friday night against Nashville-Montgomery Bell Academy. He rushed for 304 yards including runs of 99 yards and 80 yards in the 41-28 victory over the Big Red. The season has been a great success as Opoku-Darkwa has rushed for 1071 yards and 12 touchdowns on only 104 carries. Fans should watch for his progression throughout the rest of 2008 and going into the 2009 season. Look for Opoku-Darkwa to be listed early in the off season as one of top prospects for 2010.
Jacques Smith, 6-3, 235 pound defensive end from Chattanooga-Ooltewah is one of the best defensive players in the state. Smith is a good sized prospect who displayed a great amount of speed with 4.7 40 yard dash speed. Smith has led the Chattanooga-Ooltewah Owls to an impressive 5-1 record to start the 2008 season. Fans should expect Smith to compete for the top spot of prospects for the class of 2010.
Knoxville-Farragut is the top team in the state rankings for class 5A and some of the most impressive performances have come from several talented juniors. One of the top performers to watch for is junior quarterback Reese Browning, 6-0, 215 pounds. For the 2008 season Browning has already thrown for 1098 yards and 13 touchdowns. On the receiving end of a few of those touchdowns has been junior wide receiver Lee Van Dyne, 6-2, 186 pounds. Van Dyne has hauled in six touchdowns and 480 yards so far in the 2008 season. The combination of Browning and Van Dyne has helped the Admirals open up their running game and allow junior tailback D'Andre Purty. The junior is watching his stock quickly rise as he has started off the 2008 season with 535 yards on the ground and five touchdowns.
Being a part of a program that is putting out as few as two major college prospects and as many as four really helps your stock. For Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy running back Joshua Tate, 5-11, 178 pounds the exposure of teammates offensive lineman Alex Bullard, 6-4, 290 pounds and tight end Thad McHaney, 6-4, 240 pounds will be a great benefit to getting his name out there for the class of 2010. Tate is also helping himself to a solid season in which he has rushed for 621 yards and three touchdowns already.