Photo by Derrick Mahone / Riverdale wide receiver Rashad Canty has committed to play at Appalachian State in North Carolina.
Players you already know
Justin Brown, Lovejoy
The massive offensive lineman is garnering offers from some Football Bowl Series caliber schools this spring. He is projected to play on both sides of the line for the Wildcats, but is usually on the offensive side of the ball. He was a main reason that running back Travis Custis had over 4,000 yards the last two seasons at the school.
DeMarquis Gates, Lovejoy
Despite missing the first five games of the season with a knee injury, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound linebacker more than made up for it in the next 10 games. He finished with 90 total tackles, including 14 tackles for loss for 86 yards. In addition, Gates also had four sacks, four pass breakups and a caused fumble. During the offseason, Gates committed to Ole Miss. After having knee surgery in February, he is not participating in spring drills. Kentucky has also offer Gates, who is also listed as a strong safety and running back for the state runner-up Wildcats. Because of his vast knowledge of the Lovejoy defense, head coach Al Hughes said that Gates not being on the field this spring will not hurt him.
Cortez McDowell, Locust Grove
In its short history, the 6-foot-2, 203-pounder has become the highest recruited player for the Wildcats. He is listed as a four-star recruit at safety by online recruiting services. McDowell plays all over the field for the Wildcats, who had their first winning season since the school opened in 2009. He is an explosive game-changer with good speed. On the defensive side of the ball, McDowell had two interceptions. As a junior, he had 63 tackles from the safety spot. He has offers from two-time defending national champion Alabama, Georgia, Florida State and West Virginia. In all, McDowell has 18 offers from major college programs.
Kendarius Webster, Stockbridge
He was perhaps the best defensive player on Class AAAA’s top defense. The speedy defensive back is starting to garner some looks from some colleges.
This spring, he was a big part of the Tigers track and field team. He was on the
second-pace 400 relay teamas the anchor leg. In addition, he placed fifth in the 100-meter at the state meet in Jefferson.
Andrew Williams, ELCA
There is no question that he will likely be the next big-name prospect coming out of the powerhouse Class A school. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive end has been offered by just about every major college in the country. He is rated as a four-star recruit by all the major online recruiting services. This past season, Williams played opposite Isaac Rochell on the Chargers' state championship team. According to Scout.com recruiting service, he's rated as the No. 31 defensive end in the country.
Players you should know
Randy Anyanwu, Lovejoy
Simply put — there wasn’t any room for Anyanwu last season. The Wildcats had the top scoring defense in Class AAAAAA on their way to the state finals with experience and talent at every position. So Anyanwu, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound defensive end had to be patient. If his off-season is any indication, Anyanwu is poised to have a breakout season. He was a standout at the Rising Seniors game in December and has offers from Marshall, Old Dominion and West Virginia.
Rashad Canty, Riverdale
Those recruiters in need of wide receivers probably spent most of their time at Lovejoy last season. JuMichael Ramos and Arshad Jackson got much of the attention; Ramos signed with N.C. State while Jackson signed with Ole Miss. Canty meanwhile had one of the best seasons recruiters might have missed in helping the Raiders get back to the state playoffs for the first time since 2007. The 6-foot-4 wide out is starting to get noticed now. He got his first offer from Furman and has interest from Wisconsin, among others.
Corey Holloway, Eagle’s Landing
The Golden Eagles probably haven’t had a running back quite like Holloway before. The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder burst onto the scene last season rushing for 1,449 yards and nine touchdowns on 180 carries, averaging almost eight yards per carry. Locally, he’s regarded as one of the top running backs to come through the county in awhile. But he’s just starting to get noticed on the recruiting scene. An offer from Georgia State is a good start.
Sedrick Palmer, Eagle’s Landing
Eagle’s Landing’s offense was one of last season’s biggest surprises. The Golden Eagles’ scoring average improved by two touchdowns from 10.8 points in 2011 to 24.5 in 2012. Now, Palmer, a 5-foot-9, 205-pound running back transfer from Henry County, gives Eagle’s Landing another dangerous runner. He’s a bruising runner with 4.5-second speed in the 40-yard dash. Though he doesn’t have any scholarship offers, Palmer’s made visits to Georgia, Georgia State, Kentucky, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.
Maetron Thomas, Stockbridge
Stockbridge’s defense gets much of the acclaim for the Tigers’ unprecedented success last season. Stockbridge went 11-2 and reached the Class AAAA quarterfinals for the first time in school history. But the Tigers’ offense was more than adequate last season and it should be even better with the return of Thomas. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound running back has run an impressive 4.47 seconds in the 40-yard dash, offers from Charlotte and Old Dominion and serious interest from West Virginia.