Class of 2013 football prospects step into spotlight

Jeff Hurndon Photography
Lovejoy linebacker Zane Fields (7) received offers from Indiana and Mississippi State after leading the Wildcats to the Class AAAA finals last season.

Jeff Hurndon Photography Lovejoy linebacker Zane Fields (7) received offers from Indiana and Mississippi State after leading the Wildcats to the Class AAAA finals last season.

With spring comes spring football, and with spring football comes college football coaches.

Several high schools get spring practice started Monday, and college coaches are sure to descend upon the Southern Crescent in the coming weeks to search for new talent and woo targeted players.

Here’s a look at some of the top rising seniors in Clayton and Henry counties, and a few players you might not know, but should:

5 players you already know


School: Lovejoy

Position: Running back

Vitals: 6-0, 210

Who’s looking: Committed to Georgia Tech on April 2 to become the Yellow Jackets’ first commitment of the 2013 class.

What’s to like: One of the strongest players on the team with a 400-pound bench press. Compared flavorably to former Yellow Jackets star Tashard Choice, but considered a little faster.

2011 stats: Rushed for 1,839 yards on 297 carries and 30 touchdowns. He averaged 6.2 yards per carry. Custis also had 10 receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown.


School: Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy

Position: Running back

Vitals: 5-9, 195

Who’s looking: Committed to UCLA on February 22 over offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Virginia Tech among others.

What’s to like: Has been a starter since his freshman season at the Class A school. Can play both the linebacker and running back positions. Has been effective in the Chargers’ “Wildcat” package.

2011 stats: Rushed for 970 yards on 115 carries and 16 touchdowns. Missed about four games with an injury. Also had 104 tackles, including 21 for losses and six sacks.


School: Lovejoy

Position: Tight end

Vitals: 6-6, 240

Who’s looking: Has offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Louisville, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Missouri, Nebraska, Purdue, South Florida and Vanderbilt.

What’s to like: Could develop into a hybrid-type receiver on the college level. Some colleges like him at the defensive end position. With his size, he towers over smaller defensive backs.

2011 stats: Had 16 receptions for 151 yards and four touchdowns for the state finalist.


School: Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy

Position: Defensive end

Vitals: 6-5, 260

Who’s looking: Has about 20 offers including Notre Dame, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Clemson and South Carolina.

What’s to like: Considered a four-star prospect by Rivals.com. Has been on the varsity the last three years and has a lot of experience.

2011 stats: Had 97 tackles and seven sacks. Also finished with 24 tackles for losses. On offense, he graded out at 85 percent and averaged five pancake blocks per game.


School: Jonesboro

Position: Wide receiver/defensive back

Vitals: 5-11, 175

Who’s looking: Has offers from Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Virginia Tech. Plans to commit before the season.

What’s to like: Can play multiple positions on the field, including wide receiver, quarterback and cornerback. A dangerous return specialist. Is a three-sport standout.

2011 stats: Had 1,056 all-purpose yards and 14 total touchdowns on offense, and 14 tackles and two interceptions on defense.

5 players you should know


School: Lovejoy

Position: Linebacker/defensive end

Vitals: 6-2, 235

Who’s looking: Fields has offers from Indiana and Mississippi State.

What’s to like: Fields knows how to get to the quarterback. He’s strong enough to rush the passer at defensive end, but quick enough to speed around the edge as a linebacker. And Fields has good hands as the team’s second tight end.

2011 stats: Had 66 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, six sacks, three fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. Also had 21 quarterback hurries.


School: Jonesboro

Position: Defensive back

Vitals: 5-10, 175

Who’s looking: Ferguson committed to Vanderbilt on March 31 over offers from Akron, Ole Miss and Wake Forest.

What’s to like: As teams shied away from attacking teammate Cameron Sutton in the passing game, the pressure was on Ferguson, and he shined. He’s got great speed — he’s a state title contender in the hurdles in track — and has a knack for making big plays.

2011 stats: Caught 12 passes for 205 yards and three touchdowns on offense, but really starred on defense — 21 tackles, four interceptions, two returned for touchdowns, four blocked punts, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.


School: Dutchtown

Position: Quarterback/defensive back

Vitals: 6-1, 175

Who’s looking: Jones got his first official offer from Cincinnati on Wednesday, but several schools are interested.

What’s to like: Oozing with versatility and athleticism, Jones did it all for Dutchtown, making big plays at quarterback and safety. Jones seems to project better at defense on the college level, and he’s got the combination of size and speed that schools covet.

2011 stats: Passed for 1,076 yards and four touchdowns, rushed for 650 yards and seven touchdowns and had one touchdown reception.


School: Locust Grove

Position: Quarterback

Vitals: 6-2, 195

Who’s looking: Wise has one official offer, from Mississippi State, but is on the radar of several schools. Cincinnati and Tulane were the most recent to visit.

What’s to like: Wise is a dual-threat quarterback. His speed makes him dangerous on designed runs and broken plays, but he has the arm strength to make tough throws. He’s ranked among the top 50 prospects in Georgia by ESPN.

2011 stats: Passed for 1,010 yards, rushed for 1,100 yards and accounted for 11 touchdowns directing the Wildcats’ triple-option offense.


School: Riverdale

Position: Linebacker

Vitals: 6-1, 212

Who’s looking: Has interest from Georgia Tech, Indiana, Purdue and Temple, according to Rivals.com.

What’s to like: In one word — production. Wyche took to first-year coach Olten Downs’ defensive system quickly and thrived. He navigates well through traffic at the line of scrimmage, is a sound tackler and can run down the ball carrier in the open field.

2011 stats: Had 130 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, nine forced fumbles and two interceptions. Selected honorable mention all-state in Class AAAA.


jennee72 3 years, 6 months ago

Only Derrick Mahone would leave Bennifield off of the list. But that's okay, we love proving you wrong!


Sign in to comment