You may have noticed of the 10 schools in the Georgia High School Association state championship games this weekend at the Georgia Dome, half are from schools south of Macon and half are from north of that. However, the majority of “blue-chip recruiting prospects” participating in the state finals are from the five North Georgia schools: Buford, Calhoun, Clarke Central, Gainesville and Sandy Creek.
My buddy Todd Holcomb over at Georgia High School Football Daily pointed this out to me in a recent e-mail exchange about which areas of the state are producing the most top-shelf football players. We both found it odd, and certainly not in keeping with Georgia tradition, that there aren’t really any major prospects among the five South Georgia teams.
Other than Northside-Warner Robins defensive back Brison Williams, a South Carolina commitment, I can’t find much in the way of “major prospects” among the South Georgia teams. Camden County has running back Ean Days, a fine player for sure but one of whom hasn’t generated a lot of recruiting interest. Wilcox County has a highly-regarded junior in dual-threat quarterback Nick Marshall. Now I’m not as familiar with a lot of the South Georgia rosters as I am those in the north, especially with regard to underclassmen, but I just don’t see as many heading to major colleges out of those schools.
Meanwhile, you’ve got a five-star recruit and the state’s top overall prospect in Calhoun wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers (Georgia), plus quarterback Nash Nance (Vanderbilt). Buford has three SEC commitments in FB/LB Jessel Curry (Auburn), OL/DL Kolton Houston (Georgia) and OL/DL Du’Von Millsap (South Carolina). Sandy Creek features Isaiah Johnson (Georgia Tech), Rajion Neal (Mississippi State) and Jarret Davis (Louisville). Gainesville’s has four D-1 commitments: QB Blake Sims, (Alabama), WR Tai-ler Jones (Notre Dame), S Daunte Carr (Stanford), and junior LB A.J. Johnson (Tennessee). Clarke Central has a couple of hot 2011 prospects in QB Martay Mattox and OL Alan Posey.
Holcomb also pointed out that among the top 20 prospects in the state for 2010, only two are from south of Macon: Jeffrey Whitaker (uncommitted) of Warner Robins and Ed Christian (Auburn) of Lowndes County. Lowndes linebacker Telvin Smith is No. 21.
Looking at the coaches’ all-conference teams that have been released in the last week or so, of the 19 Georgia players that made first- or second-team all-conference from the BCS conferences (ACC, SEC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-10), only six came from South Georgia.
How to explain? Of course, the majority of the state’s population resides in the northern half of Georgia, including a whopping 5 million plus in Greater Atlanta. But Todd and I still found the dearth of South Georgia talent somewhat surprising. Is it fading or just less publicized?
Following is a list of the coaches’ all-conference players. Let me know what you think about all this. And please point out any South Georgia standouts I may be overlooking.