Photo by Heather Middleton
By Derrick Mahone
Jarrett Laws stood in the back of the Mount Zion High library as four of the school's former football players signed college scholarships.
Four years ago, Laws watched as the foursome entered the ninth-grade, and he predicted big accomplishments for the group. Two years ago, Laws left Mount Zion to start the Drew program.
With no senior class, he is awaiting the school's first National Signing Day ceremonies. From early indications, Drew's first recruiting class will be headlined by a pair of Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Div. I) signees.
Titans defensive backs Devon Miller and Jadarius West have offers from South Carolina.
"Hopefully this will cut the light on for some other kids on the team," Laws said. "If you are a kid not being recruited, and you see your teammates are, you will probably work a little harder."
For the most part, the 2011 recruiting class has been completed with Wednesday's National Sign Day festivities across the county. There are a few more players that will sign in the coming weeks, but the majority of the FBS scholarships have all been taken up.
Coaches are now turning their attention to the 2012 class, which is shaping up to be another big class for the Southern Crescent area. Wednesday there were 46 players that signed college scholarship, including 10 with FBS schools.
In addition to West and Miller, five other juniors hold FBS scholarship offers from the area.
The two give the Titans, which will play their second season on the varsity level, one of the fastest cornerback combinations in the area. Both were members of the school's 400-meters relay team that won the Clayton County Championships last spring.
Laws said that West has been clocked at a 4.23 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
With this being the school's first recruiting class, Laws said it should be a special moment for the school. He said the coaches are working hard to get the players noticed by college coaches in hopes of having a big recruiting class.
"When it is your first, you want it to standout," Laws said. "We are working as hard as possible to get as many in college."
The area's top prospect coming into the season will probably be Henry County's Dalvin Tomlinson. The 6-foot-3, 270-pound defensive end holds offers from Southern Cal, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Virginia, South Carolina, Duke and Georgia Tech, according to Warhawks coach Mike Rozier.
Teammate Chris Moody, a quarterback, has offers from Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and South Carolina.
Several other juniors could land offers during spring practice.
Southern Crescent's top junior prospects that have major college offers.
Player School Comment
Rico McWilliams Lovejoy WR/DB holds three SEC offers
Devon Miller Drew South Carolina has offered speedster
Chris Moody Henry County QB holds offers from SEC/ACC schools
Darian Smalls Dutchtown Could be school's first BCS signee
Dalvin Tomlinson Henry County Big DE holds offers across the country
Jadarius West Drew Has been clocked at 4.23 in 40
D.J. White Union Grove DB/RB has offers; several interested