Union Grove’s talent overshadowed by MLK, Stephenson
Tonight’s contest between classic Atlanta powers Southwest DeKalb and Marist will be a game chocked full of college prospects, but the most star-studded contest of the weekend might be tomorrow night’s matchup between Stephenson and Union Grove.
The Jaguars have gotten publicity aplenty for their roster of a dozen-plus prospects and they did not disappoint in last week’s nationally-televised game against talent-laden M.L. King, with defensive tackle Mike Thornton and running back Raymond Sanders (Kentucky commit) assuming starring roles.
Less publicized is the powerhouse program coach Steven Collins has been quietly building down in McDonough. The Wolverines feature three players with major-conference college offers and several others holding mid-level offers and major schools still looking at them.
- Senior defensive end Anthony Williams already has verbally committed to Georgia Tech.
- Multitalented skill player Jordan Akins, who plays wide receiver, quarterback and safety and returns some kicks, is quickly losing his distinction as best-kept-secret in Atlanta. He got a scholarship offer from Georgia Tech on Thursday, is on the verge of receiving one from LSU and already has offers from Connecticut and UCF.
- Junior cornerback Avery Walls has a scholarship offer from Oklahoma, among others.
- Linebacker Dareon Mays has at least a half-dozen offers, including UAB, Western Kentucky, Western Carolina and Kent.
- Running back Donavon Johnson just this week got an offer from Wofford.
Like the Jaguars, Union Grove is undefeated (7-0) in Region 2-AAAAA. So something has to give on Saturday.
“Traditionally speaking it’s been those two (MLK and Stephenson) in the region and we’re yet to step up against either on of them,” Collins said. “Everybody wanted their game [last week] to be the region championship and that’s fine. But we’ve still got them both and all we can do is prepare and go out and play the way we know we’re capable of playing.”
Union Grove can probably match Stephenson in the skill areas. But it’s the line of scrimmage you must control if you’re going to handle the Jaguars, and nobody has come close to that yet.
“Their defensive front is as good as we’ve played all year.” Collins said. “We’ve lost five seniors from last year but we have seven guys we rotate and they’ve gotten better every week It should be a good battle up front.”
- CSS Game of the Week: The game drawing the most attention tonight is a classic matchup of Atlanta powerhouses Marist and SWD, which will be televised tonight as the Nissan High School Game of the Week on Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS). As noted by Georgia High School Football Daily (GHSF), these two programs currently have 39 players between them playing college football right now, with the Panthers leading the way with 21. . . . Coach Buck Godfrey’s team is led by Georgia commitment Ken Malcome, a running back who leads DeKalb County in rushing (894) and touchdowns (14). They also have three other seniors headed to the SEC: DE T.J. Stripling (Georgia), DB Jonathan Mincy (Auburn) S Sharrod Golightly (Vanderbilt). Also, CB/WR/KR Marcques Dixon has offers from Southern Miss and Central Michigan and OL Brandon Clark has been offered by UCF and Michigan State. Junior DE Terrance Smith is expected to be a major college prospect for 2011. . . . Marist quarterback Andy Perez is a terrific player who can beat you running or passing.
- Lassiter vs. Walton: Recruiting is heating up for Lassiter quarterback Hutson Mason, who’s coming off a record-setting 545-yard passing performance last week. But he’ll get a considerably tougher test tonight against the Raiders, a perennial 6-AAAAA power.
- ESPNU High School Showcase: Not much local interest tonight with a 10 p.m. kick between California schools Foothill and Monte Vista. But next Thursday they’ll be in Temple, Texas, where the top back in America (in my opinion) Lache Seastrunk will be on display. A week later, on Nov. 6, they’ll be at Little Rock Christian in Arkansas where Michael Dyer, generally regarded as the No. 3 back in the nation, plays.