You can call Zack Witchett a lot of things and he will answer: Zachary, as in his full first name; Demonta, another given name; Zach with an ‘h’ on the end; Zack with a ‘k;’ Yung Zack. Or perhaps Superstarzackthrashin.
The last one is one of the names he uses in his rap group, “Yung Superstars.” Witchett and about a dozen guys from the long-since-demolished Harris Homes area of downtown Atlanta get together four or five at a time pretty much every week and rap about the way things are or shouldn’t be or oughta be.
Or whatever, he says.
“We just do few songs together,” said Witchett, a rising senior at Booker T. Washington High School. “It’s just something to stay out of trouble. When I don’t have anything to do I’ll call up one of my partners and go rap. We’ve got some good songs, too. ”
Such as “Swagga Back,” one of Witchett’s personal faves.
But that’s just something Witchett and his friends “play around with.” This football thing? He’s pretty serious about that.
In fact, a two-way star as a wide receiver and defensive back for Washington, Witchett is just about ready to lock up one of the scholarship offers he has been dragging around for a while now.
The 6-foot-1, 192-pound athlete says he’s not quite ready to go public with his decision. That, he said, will come later this week. But he doesn’t make much of secret about where his heart lies.
“Since I’ve was a young kid I always knew what college I wanted to go to,” Witchett said. “Then Georgia was first to offer and I was like, ‘I already know what school I’m going to.’ But I didn’t really know what the recruiting process really was then. A lot of teams started coming on and I was really confused there for a minute. But I just feel like now I know what I want and I’m just going to go ahead and commit.”
Witchett didn’t want to say to whom. “I’m trying to keep it secret right now,” he said. But he is scheduled to be in Athens on the University of Georgia campus this Friday to participate in a 7-on-7 camp.
The reality is, Witchett hasn’t been widely recruited. His offers to date are from South Carolina, Maryland, Minnesota, West Virginia and Toledo.
Then again, Witchett said he hasn’t really shopped himself around much or attended many camps outside of UGA’s.
“They’ve been in my head and in my face the most and I’ve been to their campus the most,” he said. “I just feel at home every time I go there.”
It doesn’t hurt that Witchett’s good buddy Branden Smith also goes to UGA. Witchett and Smith, a Washington grad, have known each other for years .
Not surprisingly, the two players are extremely competitive.
“We’re kind of similar,” Witchett said. “I’m a little bigger than Branden was when he was a senior and a little more physical. We both have speed but he’s just a little bit faster.”
Like Smith, Witchett believes he can play on either side of the ball. He’s being recruited by Georgia and most every school as a wide receiver. But a recent conversation with coach Mark Richt made Witchett think he may want to give cornerback a shot.
“A while back when I went to visit Georgia, Coach Richt and I were just joking around and made the comment that I could jam A.J. Green and wouldn’t let him off the line,” Witchett said. “Coach Richt just kind of laughed. He said, ‘if you can come down here and learn receiver and show me you can keep A.J. Green on the line, then I’ll let you start both ways.’”
Witchett could have some influence on another downtown Atlanta college prospect. He and Grady defensive back Damian Swann are tight.
“Damian is one of my best friends,” said of the state’s top-rated cornerback. “We’ve been friends for a long time but we’ve never had a chance to play on the same team. So we’ve talked about playing on the same college team. I’m trying to get the inside scoop on who leads for him, but he says he’s going to keep it quiet until later on. But I’m going to try to get him to come with me.”
Just exactly where, Witchett’s not saying right now. But he’s expected to be rapping about it soon.
Oh, and for the record, it’s Zack with a k. At least that’s how he spells it.