ATLANTA -- Some of the players in the new ESPN 150, such as No. 2 Carl Lawson (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton), did not have any offers before they were invited to play in the 2011 Georgia Junior Bowl. Some had only one offer, like running back Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga./Norcross), who is now the No. 32 player in the 150 and is set to choose between Alabama and Georgia.
This year, tailback Sedrick Palmer (McDonough, Ga./Henry County) hopes to be the breakout player whose performance in the Junior Bowl has heads turning.
Palmer is a powerfully built 5-foot-10, 205-pound junior who has also played linebacker. He impressed his coaches and onlookers in the first three practices before the all-star game.
“I mean, even in practice I was burning some people -- I never got caught from behind,” Palmer said. “I think I turned a lot of heads and I think I changed a lot of opinions on me. I had some doubters before I came here, but it was a good experience. I liked the competition. I like being able to do good against great players.”
The Rising Seniors event was held on Dec. 31 and it was during the contest featuring 100 of the top players in the Peach State that Palmer made his mark -- literally and figuratively. On one play he ran over Malcolm Parrish (Quitman, Ga./Brooks County) with a cringe-inducing pop that elicited cheers from those in attendance. The strike on Parrish made sharing the backfield with Georgia commit Stanley Williams (Monroe, Ga./George Walton Academy) a little bit easier.
“Well, in the first quarter I couldn’t get in -- we had a two in/two out policy,” Palmer said. “Then the coaches saw me running hard and they told me in the second quarter they’d give me the ball more. It kind of got hectic with the carries and stuff, but when I got my carries I did what I could.”
Palmer knew a lot of coaches would be watching the game on ESPN3 and hoped to have a big game to impress more college programs.
“I have a lot of schools that want film from the practices we had this week and from the game,” he said. “I had an offer from Duke but that is it.”
At the top of his list would be the Florida Gators.
“Florida, yeah, Florida,” Palmer said. “I like how the program is set up, how it is turned around. They changed their whole offensive system to an I-back, so that’s real good. So I want to hear from Florida most definitely. It’s very attractive to me. I had never even heard of [Mike] Gillislee but they put the ball in his hands. They changed the whole offense and they still have a 1000-yard rusher so that’s a huge plus.”