UK commit Sanders turning it on for Stephenson

Last week I wrote about how Union Grove’s talent had been overshadowed by region rivals Stephenson and M.L. King, and the Wolverines do indeed have some talented football players. But they weren’t just overshadowed this past Saturday night, they were overwhelmed in a 27-7 loss to the Jaguars.

Raymond Sanders, a Kentucky commitment who wowed an ESPN national-television audience last week against MLK, had his most dominating performance to date. Stephenson’s senior running back piled up 232 yards rushing on just 17 carries, scored three touchdowns and added a 23-yard reception.

Other standouts for the Jaguars included DB Kenneth Ladler with eight tackles, a pass breakup and a blocked field goal; LB Jabari Johnson with eight tackles; OLB Tyrone Cornelius (Miami) with six tackles and a pass breakup; and DT Mike Thornton with four tackles and another dominating night blowing up the middle of the line.

Some other standout performances from the area’s top prospects this past weekend:

  • RB Ken Malcome, Southwest DeKalb: The Georgia commitment ran roughshod over Marist with 182 yards and a 74-yard touchdown in a 21-7 win. Malcome sat out most of the fourth quarter with leg cramps.
  • RB Rajion Neal, Sandy Creek: The Mississippi State commitment piled up 242 yards on 29 carries and scored two touchdowns in a 31-13 win over Starr’s Mill.
  • RB Storm Johnson, Loganville: One of the state’s top uncommitted tailbacks, Johnson ran for 216 yards and three TDs in a 34-25 win over Monroe Area.
  • RB Rajaan Bennett, McEachern: Another top uncommitted back, Bennett had 123 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns in a 48-8 win over Harrison.
  • QB Hutson Mason, Lassiter: The uncommitted senior followed his state-record, single-game-passing performance of the previous week (545 yards) with 347 yards and five TDs in a 42-28 win over Walton.
  • RB Ean “Pinball” Pemberton: The 5-foot-4 dynamo had 181 yards on 16 carries in limited work during a rout of Meadowcreek.
  • RB Charles Perkins, Grayson: The Georgia Tech pledge got back on track after being shut down last week with 107 yards and two TDs in a 35-0 defeat of Mill Creek.
  • QB Nash Nance, Calhoun: The Vanderbilt commitment was 16-of-21 for 194 yards and three scores in a blowout win over Dade County.

Those are just a few I had in my notebook. Please tell us of any notable performances you witnessed or heard about this past weekend.

24 comments Add your comment

Master of the Obvious

October 26th, 2009
11:54 am

Wow, after that performance I’m sure Storm will get more offers :rolleyes: Pretty bad when the state schools won’t even take a look at a kid with those kind of numbers.

reality check

October 26th, 2009
12:51 pm

Storm seems to create storms where ever he is at. Changes high schools like he changes shirts.

Could it be he will change colleges if he doesn’t like? Integrity and committment has a place.


October 26th, 2009
12:53 pm

Master of the Obvious:

I don’t get the antipathy towards Storm Johnson that is being displayed by so many. The Buford contingent enraged that he would have the gall to transfer for more playing time (and even that is assuming that the family wasn’t just moving to a better place to live) is absurd seeing how it happens ALL THE TIME. Are people thinking that UGA, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee etc. would be all over Johnson had he stayed at Buford? Or the people blaming Johnson’s father for being so involved … would they be happier if Johnson was being raised by a single mother? Or again, would Mark Richt be falling all over Johnson if his dad took a “whatever, kid, it’s your life, you handle this huge decision that is going to impact your choice of career, earning potential, almost certainly where you will meet your future spouse, etc. all by yourself” attitude of TOTAL AND COMPLETE NEGLIGENT ABANDONMENT OF RESPONSIBILITY? I guess the people bashing Johnson’s dads either A) grew up without fathers themselves, B) had fathers who took no interest in their education or future and played no role in picking high schools and colleges for their sons, C) did not attend college or D) are complete and total hypocrites who resent Johnson for having the opportunity that they never got. I would guess that it is mostly a combination of C) and D). What about you? The truth is that every last one of these people would switch their kids’ high school in a New York minute if a free education to a good school was on the line, and would CERTAINLY play a huge role in helping their kid decide between a full ride to Emory or a free trip to Mercer. And where were these people bashing Archie Manning for being so involved in Peyton’s and Eli’s college AND NFL destinations? Or have we forgotten how Archie publicly demanded the Chargers not to draft his kid, saying that Eli would never sign there? Or how about Phil Simms’ role in Chris Simms’ committing to Tennessee and then reneging to sign with Texas because Mack Brown guaranteed him the starting job as a freshman (a promise that wound up costing Brown a national title)? Going back in time a little, what about the shell game that John Elway and his father Jack Elway pulled to make sure that the Colts trade his rights to Denver, claiming that he would go play baseball rather than play for the Colts? So many bitter hypocrites, so little time.

Also, Darius Walker didn’t get an offer from UGA either despite breaking a ton of state high school records. He turned out fine … three year starter at Notre Dame and is now on the Broncos roster after spending a couple of years with the Texans. In other words, a better college and NFL career than practically all of Richt’s higher rated RB recruits save Knowshon Moreno. Looking at all these 4 and 5 star RBs fail to move the ball for UGA year after year, Johnson would almost certainly have a better career at a place other than UGA anyway. But if these major schools keep acting silly, Johnson should be smart and just head to a mid-major team. Houston and TCU are both ranked higher than every SEC team but Alabama, Florida and LSU anyway.


October 26th, 2009
1:27 pm

Hey Gerald , When is your next book coming out?….this is a blog..not a place to compose novels.Keep that in mind next time you want to tell everyone how much they don’t know.


October 26th, 2009
2:03 pm

I have to agree with you.Gerald was “trippin” on that novel that he wrote.Um thinkin to myself,Darned is this cat leavin any room for anyone else to blog.


October 26th, 2009
2:13 pm

Just FYI Raymond Sanders was a big part of Stephensons Basketball teams success two years ago and was named that squads “Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore.He was tough but yet disiplined as a guard on that state playoff team.


October 26th, 2009
3:14 pm

I know several people HIGH up in the Buford hierarchy, and I’m not talking about fans. Buford was not, repeat not, begging Johnson to stay. There’s a reason the SEC’s elite are not falling all over each other to get him. There’s a reason LSU stopped calling. And it doesn’t have a thing to do with Johnson’s Dad. A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E


October 26th, 2009
3:56 pm

I watched Sanders against King in the ESPNU game a couple of weeks ago. He appears to be the real deal. Love to see him as an A Back in Johnson’s offense. But that is the way it goes. He will have a nice career at UK.

Master of the Obvious

October 26th, 2009
9:00 pm


You lost me @ I don’t get…. I’m not a Georgia fan, I just noted how both of the state schools don’t want anything to do with him. With a kid that has put up numbers like he has, that is a red flag. LSU dropped him and they have a history of taking Me first type of kids. At this point in time, it would be best for his Dad, er I mean, Storm to commit to one of the mid-majors before those dry up also. Best of luck to him and his Dad, maybe at some point they both will realize that a better attitude would have presented better opportunities as far as college choices.

By the Way

October 26th, 2009
11:17 pm

FYI with justahfan Raymond Sanders was also a big part of the 2009 4×1 State Champ Track team at Stephenson. Right, He will a nice career at UK.


October 27th, 2009
12:35 am

What’s the word count limit on blogs here ? I thought a few appropriate words like FU or Go to H$LL was sufficient for most of the blogging needs here.


October 27th, 2009
9:02 am

Raymond has ALWAYS been a winner. Most may not know this, but he lead his little league team to the National Championship, defeating a much larger team that was not only undefeated, but unscored on all year. His Stephenson Middle School team went undefeated enroute to the Championship. He is on a mission this year to “finish the drill” and make a serious bid for a AAAAA State Championship. I see no reason why he and his teammates will not complete that mission. He sets the example by always giving his best. The young man truly has heart! Go Jags!!

Chip Towers

October 27th, 2009
9:24 am

Master of the Obvious: Raymond is small. That’s the only reason Tech and Georgia haven’t pursued him with vigor.


October 27th, 2009
9:59 am



October 27th, 2009
11:03 am

@Jaggsswagger… No disrepsect but the first line of business for Stephenson is to get out of the first round. I’m pulling for them but the early exits have got to stop.

Storm Johnson running over Monroe Area was expected. The Purple Hurricanes are a very bad football team. And for as the Gerald blog, hey Gerald there are no word counts keep hitting hard. I did get what you were saying. I really think a parent can be “too involved” becasue they tend to “live through their kids”. The one thing that will get you excepted in to a school is grades hands down. It’s just a very fine line when it comes to parents/kids and choosing college’s now. And on top of that people fail to realize that a school only has 25 scholarships per season. You can’t get them all.


October 27th, 2009
12:40 pm

After owning this season so far including a nationally televised game where he out-performed a much higher rated back, I am praying that Sanders actually makes it to Lexington.

I hope this trend continues and UK gets more kids like Derrick Locke and Randall Cobb because the in-state schools overlook them until it is too late.

SEC FB Rules

October 27th, 2009
12:45 pm

Coming from a UK fan, we are very excited to get a great player, no matter what size, into our FB program.

Keep it up Raymond and stay healthy.

Master of the Obvious

October 27th, 2009
12:56 pm


Sorry for the confusion – I was talking about Storm Johnson not getting any interest from the two state schools. I’ve been very impressed with Sanders and I think he will prosper in the UK offense.


October 27th, 2009
2:10 pm

People act like Stephenson has lost in the first round so many times. It was TWO years folks. Get over it. Let’s not forget bout all the times they have made it much deeper in the play offs in prior years. SHS can get the job done; dont sleep on them!

an All-timer?

October 27th, 2009
3:00 pm

Could be UK’s best RB in a Long time.


October 27th, 2009
9:49 pm



October 28th, 2009
3:40 pm

More fame for first-year Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin. Now it’s the world of Hip Hop.

Grammy-award winning rapper Lil Wayne references the coach in his new song “Banned From TV” off the”No Ceiling” release.

Talk —- like Coach Kiffin . The reference to Kiffin is made at 1:10 into the song.

Lil Wayne’s “Put Me In The Game” could be heard blaring from the sound system during UT practices in August.

To listen to the song go to the Web site.

© 2009, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.


October 28th, 2009
11:14 pm

i dont wanna sound like a homer or a whiner, but as i was told Union Grove was tied at half with Stephenson . I myself head from fans and players that there were some pretty questionable calls and lack of calls by the officials. To say we were overwhelmed by the #6 team in the state when we did well, in my opinion, is an overstatement. Union Grove is repeatedly told we don’t measure up to teams such as MLK and Stephenson, however we put more points on Stephenson’s vaunted defense then the overly hyped MLK offense couldnt score on them, and yet we dont get half the recognition they do. At the end of this season we will see who has the better record after Union Grove beats MLK.

Not Disappointed

October 29th, 2009
1:25 am

Young talent and stars of tomorrow. Study hard. Ramblin Wreck!