As I reported from Hallford Stadium Friday night, the Mack Brown-versus-Kendrun Malcome matchup in the M.L. King-Southwest DeKalb game did not live up to its billing. Neither player managed even 100 yards rushing in the defense-dominated contest, won by the Lions 13-9.
Thanks to M.L. King quarterback Cameron Myers, Southwest DeKalb defensive end T.J. Stripling had to take in a lot of water Friday night. (Photo by C. Towers)
This is not to demean either players’ abilities or reputations. In fact, you could see flashes that justified the fuss even as Brown struggled for 66 yards on 20 carries and Malcome 75 on 17. Brown had a spectacular 26-yard run for a touchdown that was called back for an illegal shift. And the majority of Malcome’s yards came after being hit at the line of scrimmage or behind. And you had to like the Knowshon Moreno-like, pop-up-and-walk Malcome threw in after a good gain.
Actually, the matchup that ended up holding the most intrigue for me was the battle of SWD defensive end T.J. Stripling versus MLK quarterback Cameron Myers.
You can see why Georgia is so excited about winning the sweepstakes for Stripling. The 6-foot-6, 215-pound pass-rusher is incredibly quick and spent the better part of the night in the Lions’ backfield. Likewise, Myers spent the majority of the evening running for his life with Stripling never far behind. Unofficially I had Stripling with three sacks and there’s no telling how many hurries he had. But the elusive Myers managed to get loose long enough to fire two touchdown passes and a long, scrambling completion late that helped MLK put away the victory. He with 11 yards passing and 27 rushing. Quite impressive under the circumstances.
Said Stripling: “He’s a good quarterback; I can’t say anything bad about him. We kept pressure on him all night but he managed to come out with the win. I’ve know Cameron since we were younger and he’s always been a good athlete. I knew I was going to have a tough time with him and he showed me what he could do out there.”
To date, the 6-foot, 180-pound Myers has gotten only lukewarm interest from BCS schools and no firm offers. But that’s likely to change soon. I plan to talk to Myers (I missed his call-back Sunday night) this week and tell you more about him.
Here are some other notable performances from major college prospects from Atlanta and around the state:
- RB Charles Perkins: While the focus was on the Florida and Georgia commitments Friday night, it was this Georgia Tech commitment from Collins Hill that made the most noise this weekend. Perkins had an astonishing 303 yards rushing on 33 carries in the 10-7 win over Parkview. Oddly enough the 6-1, 210-pound back scored only once and didn’t break any long runs. His production was described by colleague Todd Holcomb of Georgia High School Football Daily as “workmanlike” and “not spectacular.” You’d also have to say “effective.”
- WR Da’Rick Rogers: The Georgia commitment from Calhoun High, generally considered the top receiver in the state, certainly looked like it in the Yellow Jackets’ spirited win over rival Dalton. The 6-foot-3, 206-pound speedster had 204 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, including 101 yards receiving on four catches and a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. He had another kickoff return called back for a penalty. Another big number for Rogers — three excessive celebration penalties for 45 yards.
- QB B.J. Bostic: Another Georgia Tech commitment that played big, this Jefferson County standout had 189 total yards (106 rushing, 7-of-10 passing), ran for two scores and passed for another in a 28-20 win over Laney. He will play a different position for the Paul Johnson’s Jackets
- QB C.J. Uzomah: In his first start as North Gwinnett’s quarterback, the rangy Uzomah — an uncommitted junior — outshined Prattville, Ala.’s, LSU-committed signalcaller Sam Gibson with 119 total yards, including 10-of-18 passing for 65 yards and two TDs, in the hard-fought 14-11 victory. Don’t let the little offensive numbers fool you. This was a slobber-knocking defensive slugfest. The Bulldogs’ bookend offensive tackles — Alabama commitments Jawuan Jones and Austin Sheppard — were also impressive.
- QB Blake Sims: The Alabama commitment accounted for 254 total yards — including 177 passing — in Gainesville’s walkover win.
- QB Connor Shaw: This South Carolina commitment had 80 rushing yards and 156 total in an easy victory.
- RB Storm Johnson: The shaky LSU commitment (more on that this week) had 123 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries in a 20-15 loss to Clarke Central.
- RB Raymond Sanders: The Kentucky commitment had 125 yards on six carries in a 42-0 win over McNair. That’s 20.8 yards a pop for those of you without a calculator handy.
- DE Quenton Brown: The UCF commitment had 13 tackles, three sacks and a pass break-up in Tucker’s 26-20 overtime win over Brunswick. The Lions, it should be noted, were playing without highly-touted junior linebacker James Vaughters, who will be out at least three more weeks with an arm/wrist injury.
- RB Aaron Wimberly: I actually don’t know that much about this kid (yet) but the 5-10, 165-pound junior averaged nearly 19 yards a carry and scored three TDs for South Gwinnett.
- RB/WR Trenton Pruitt: The Vanderbilt commitment from Fitzgerald accounted for four TDs.
- K Joe Mansour: The Kentucky commitment from La Grange High had three field goals, including a 57-yarder.
I’m sure there were numerous other notable performances from high-profile recruits in Atlanta and across the state. These are the ones I saw, was told about, tracked down or otherwise heard through the grapevine. So feel free to use the comments section below to tell me about performances I missed or e-mail me and I’ll follow up on them. HIGH SCHOOL COACHES PLEASE NOTE: I’ll be doing this every week so be sure to get the info to me if one of your players has one of those spectacular nights.