Back Prospect Review: Week Three

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Prospect Review: Week Three

By Barry Every
SouthernPigskin.com
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Barry Every breaks down some of the top recruits from New Hampstead at Pierce County & Dodge County at Appling County.

Blackshear & Baxley, Georgia – Thursday night’s tilt between Bloomingdale (Ga.) New Hampstead and Blackshear (Ga.) Pierce County kept the scoreboard operator busy till the final seconds of the game. Coach Ryan Herring and his Bears achieved victory in this 49-40 high scoring OK Corral shootout.

 

Pierce County’s defense struggled to stop the Phoenix aerial assault, as they were torched for 379 yards through the air. But a stiff Bear run-defense and total domination of all facets in the kicking game proved to be a winning formula.

New Hampstead (1-2) will visit Richmond Hill (Ga.) (1-1) this Friday, while Pierce County (3-0) heads out-of-state to take on Starke (Fla.) Bradford (1-1)  in a Georgia-Florida border brawl.

Friday evening Baxley (Ga.) Appling County exacted revenge from last season’s loss at the hands of Eastman (Ga.) Dodge County. Senior fullback RJ Conaway along with junior backfield mate’s Jeremiah Holmes and Sharode Roberts combined for 326 yards rushing in leading the Pirates to a 42-7 non-region win.

Dodge County (1-2) is on the road again as they head to Fitzgerald (Ga.) (3-1) in a non-region battle between successful GHSA-AA programs. Appling County (3-0) will also be taking on a non-region opponent, in the same classification, as they head to Adele (Ga.) Cook (0-4).

Below are my top performers for each team based on their performance and athletic potential. Though only six players were chosen for this piece, 20 players from these schools were included in the weekly XOS Digital Prospect Report, which is distributed to over 200 DI through DIII colleges.

The short synopsis below is based solely on the games. It does not take into account the body of work these young men have accumulated over their entire high school careers.

New Hampstead Phoenix

Sam Brown, 6-3/190, WR (2020)

Offers: (25) UCF Commit
Comments: His performance Thursday night was simply jaw-dropping. Brown caught seven passes for 229 yards and three scores while chipping in four tackles on defense. But that’s not all; he started the Phoenix scoring with a Houdini-like 65-yard pick six. Brown has excellent overall size and body structure to go along with very good top end speed. But most amazing were his ball skills and body control, snatching the football out of the air like it was a ping-pong ball. Most astonishing was his twisting pirouette while being held by a defender. Somehow he kept his balance, drawing the ball in with one hand while tight roping the sideline to glory. Brown is one of the most heavily recruited prospects in the Savannah area and more Power-5 offers could be on their way.

Justin McKithen, 5-10/155, WR (2020)

Offers:  (7) FAU Commit
Comments: While Brown is the giant vertical space eater, McKithen is the Whirling Dervish speedster that makes defenders miss in space. The prototypical slot receiver caught six passes for 61 yards and a touchdown while running a reverse nine yards for score. New this year is his extra duties as a defensive back, where he chipped in on a trio of tackles. For those who didn’t know; McKithen has run the fastest 100-meter dash in the Savannah area this year with a time of 10.58. The Pierce County defenders looked listless in chasing him on his touchdown run. Maybe they weren’t loafing, just looking pedestrian-like beside a thoroughbred. Though committed to Florida Atlantic, I could possibly see another school or two adding their name to McKithen’s dance card.

Pierce County Bears

Quavien Bell, 5-11/201, FS/LB (2020)

Offers: None
Comments: He missed a good chunk of last season with an injury and Bell’s wasting no time making up for his absence. No player had a bigger impact in the outcome of this game then Bell, who starred in all three facets of the game. Defensively he recorded seven tackles, one TFL, one QBH, one FF and he closed the game out with an interception. Bell also scored two rushing touchdowns, caught two passes for 29 yards and returned a punt 46 yards for score. Though listed as a safety he looks more like a potential ILB/FB at the next level. Bell is very muscular and thick through the shoulders but most importantly nimble enough and fast enough to make plays all over the field. This young man could be a real sleeper on the recruiting front.

Avery Jernigan, 6-4/290, OL (2020)

Offers: (11) Auburn Commit
Comments: It’s easy to just focus on the ball when passing has become the fancy of high school football. That being said, without lineman a quality passing game would not be possible without gridiron behemoths. One of Jernigan’s evening feats that stood out was his blindside-style downfield blocking in the red zone. Another play even more impressive, in my opinion, saw Jernigan picking off a blitzing backside safety to keep his quarterback upright. The high school left offensive tackle is most likely an offensive guard at the next level. Jernigan is getting plenty of work at right offensive guard in the Bear’s unbalanced jumbo package. Said it before and I’ll say it again, Jernigan is a high character, high quality pickup for the Tigers. He is an intelligent fighter willing to do the dirty work on the field of battle.

Dodge County Indians

Daylon Gordon, 5-9/190, RB (2021)

Offers: (1) Western Kentucky
Comments: Gordon and his teammates had their hands full Friday night, down a Head Coach and five starters. Though slightly outmanned, Gordon was able to flash the potential and ability that is starting to make him a household name. The junior all-purpose back possesses incredible overall body structure. He may be considered a smaller back, but he is jam packed of quick-twitch muscle fiber. There simply is not a muscle out of place. Gordon carried the rock 14 times for 71 yards, unfortunately he had a long touchdown run called back for a block in the back. Early in the third quarter Gordon looked like the pinball wizard, careening off defenders for a hard fought ten yard gain. Not only can he make defenders miss, he can bounce off and outrace them.

Appling County Pirates

Tyrell Gibson, 5-11/180, OLB/SS (2021)

Offers: None
Comments: The Pirates have several underclassmen that are receiving recruiting attention and some that will soon be garnering that interest. But based on his performance in this game Gibson impressed me the most because of his affinity for contact near the line of scrimmage. This linebacker took linear attack angles while recording a game high ten tackles, most of which within three yards of the line of scrimmage. Though a bit undersized for a linebacker he did look like someone that could project as that OLB/SS type in a 3-5-3 defense. Gibson was not even on my list of players to watch prior the contest but his Herculean effort helped keep the Dodge County offense from ever smelling the end zone. He’s got a nice frame and is someone worthy of being added to recruiting radars.