Georgia Bulldogs: Syracuse Orange

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LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Myles Autry is still on the sidelines. A vicious injury to his knee last fall, with tears to his ACL, MCL and meniscus, has kept the Norcross (Ga.) High School athlete from participating in basketball, track, spring practice and now the summer camp series. And it is killing him.

NORCROSS, Ga. -- ESPN 150 defensive end Lorenzo Carter seems to never stop grinning, even on the football field. His 100-megawatt smile calls to mind another affable defensive end, Michael Strahan, complete with the trademark gap. Even a shoving match with a teammate resulted in Carter falling down laughing about it later.

During the Norcross spring game on Friday, Carter and offensive tackle Horatio Walker tangled as they went at each other in the trenches. Walker held Carter’s jersey and was rewarded with a shot to the helmet.

“Well it was a run, and I don’t think Horatio respects me on the run yet, but it is all good,” Carter said between guffaws. “He tried to bully me around, but I was not having that so I had to hit him back. I was having fun out there.”


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JEFFERSON, Ga. -- A bystander watching Preston Williams (Lovejoy, Ga./Lovejoy) warm up at the Georgia state track and field championships simply said, “Who is that guy?” Williams stood on the edge of the long jump pit -- where he was challenging for a state title as only a sophomore -- and exploded with a flat-footed jump to the middle of the pit, reaching a height and distance that turned heads.

As did his outfit. Williams wore blindingly bright yellow shoes, mismatched socks (one was a multi-colored, neon leopard print, while the other was decorated with cupcakes), cut-off camouflage sweat pants over black leggings and a Lovejoy t-shirt. The ensemble was topped off with a gray scarf that would look great on a 78-year-old retiree from Boca Raton but seemed out of place wrapped around Williams’ noggin as a headband.

Preston Williams
Radi Nabulsi/ESPNSophomore Preston Williams is turning heads, and for more than just his fashion sense.
“This is my look,” Williams said. “My jumping look -- I am exotic.”

While his fashion is eclectic, the true answer to who Williams is a lot more complicated.


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BUFORD, Ga. -- ESPN Watch List defensive end Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) credits his blindingly pink socks and highlighter yellow shoelaces with helping him win the defensive lineman MVP award at the Atlanta NFTC on Saturday.

The award came with a brilliant gold dog tag that complemented his outfit. But what really caught Carter’s eye, and fashion sense, was the big gold box that he was handed that contained his invitation to The Opening.


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ATHENS, Ga. -- For most high school players, the end of practice means they get a break from the incessant nagging and ceaseless instruction of their coaches. They go home, eat dinner, study and enjoy the respite until the whistles start blowing next time. For ESPN Watch List safety Quincy Wilson (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./University School), that is not the case.

Wilson’s father is the defensive coordinator and the defensive backs coach at the University School, so Wilson jokes that he gets no respite.

“Oh no, there’s no break, there’s no break,” Wilson said. “Monday through Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Yeah, I get it at practice, before practice, after practice, in the car, at the dinner table ...”

The talented junior laughed about the nonstop instruction but he also credited his father with making him the player he is today -- one of the most coveted safeties in Florida.


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Top safety target plans to hit road 

February, 13, 2013
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Cortez McDowell’s extensive offer list has grown yet again. Tennessee and Kentucky are the two most recent entrants into the race for the signature of the Locust Grove (Ga.) High School safety. Programs such as Alabama, Florida State and Georgia are among the 13 schools that have already extended scholarship offers to the 6-foot-1, 200-pound junior.

To help make sense of all the opportunities and figure out a favorite, McDowell is hitting the road.


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ESPN Watch List athlete Myles Autry (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) has close to 20 offers, some as a running back, some as a receiver but most are just as an all-around offensive threat. He plays the slot, runs out of the backfield and even plays quarterback occasionally for the state champion Blue Devils. Where does Autry hope to line up in college? Simply put, everywhere.


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Georgia offers ESPN Watch List DE 

January, 25, 2013
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When Georgia lost defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner to Auburn, the worry amongst the Georgia fans was more focused on how his departure would impact recruiting so close to signing day rather than what would happen on the defensive front. But according to one ESPN Watch List standout, Garner’s replacement will do just fine.


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With just a few remaining targets for the class of 2013, the Georgia Bulldogs’ coaching staff is spending some valuable time January recruiting time focusing on the next batch of prospects.


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Cortez McDowell drafts lesson plan 

December, 28, 2012
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ATLANTA -- Locust Grove (Ga.) safety Cortez McDowell hopes to renew a friendly rivalry with running back Corey Holloway (McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing Christian) at the Rising Seniors Bowl game on Dec. 31. The two have met on the field before.

“We played against Corey Holloway this year and I laid a couple good hits on him,” McDowell said. “But then he would score past me after that. We would talk trash to each other because we both played both ways. When I was on offense as a receiver he was guarding me as a cornerback and we were talking junk to each other. I ran past him on a fly route and he said, ‘Man, you can’t make me look stupid on my own field.’ I told him to stop juking me out and embarrassing me and I would stop running past him.”

Few tailbacks get past the 6-foot-3, 200-pound defensive back. McDowell’s skills have earned him offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, NC State and Syracuse. He recently visited the Bulldogs for a junior day program.

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As Cortez McDowell (Locust Grove, Ga./Locust Grove) was escorted into the defensive coaches’ meeting room, he thought he was just on the next part of a regular recruiting tour. The 2014 prospect plunked down in a chair and began perusing a playbook on the table, marveling at the different packages the Bulldogs used. While he had his nose buried in formations, someone called his name out.

He was surprised not only to see that no other prospects were left in the room but that University of Georgia coach Mark Richt was standing right in front of him.

McDowell stood up to shake Richt’s hand. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound junior admitted that what happened next caught him completely off guard.

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Buckeyes offer '14 RB Myles Autry 

October, 11, 2012
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NORCROSS, Ga. -- ESPN Watch List running back Myles Autry (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) already has picked up nine offers from some of the top programs in the nation. On Wednesday, the speedy junior received the one scholarship offer he coveted the most.

“You know how I feel about Ohio State -- that is my dream team,” Autry said. “I am hearing from them every week. I am staying in touch with the coaches. They say they want me to come visit. I am looking forward to going to Ohio State. I love them. That offer means a lot to me. They will definitely be my top for sure.”

Autry’s infatuation with the Buckeyes goes back to his childhood.

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NORCROSS, Ga. -- Class of 2014 defensive end Lorenzo Carter is a two-sport star at Norcross (Ga.) High School. He is relatively new to the gridiron, but he believes that football offers him an outlet that he just can’t find on the hardwood.

“I just love hitting and in football I can’t foul out,” Carter said. “I get in foul trouble sometimes in basketball when I come out after playing football. I played some offense at my old school but my heart is on defense. I just want to hit.”

Lorenzo Carter
Radi Nabulsi/ESPN.comLorenzo Carter loves to play defense and has already visited Georgia. He's also planning a visit to Alabama.
Most football players talk about their love of hitting but only a few speak of it with the intensity Carter does. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound junior has turned his love of hitting into scholarship offers from Arkansas, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, Penn State, Syracuse, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Other offers are likely on the way because of the blows Carter delivers, such as this one from the game against Parkview (Ga.) High School:

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Offers flow in for RB Myles Autry 

September, 10, 2012
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NORCROSS, Ga. -- While the ball was in the air, one of the officials working the chains on the sideline said to his partner, “Looks like they kicked it right to him.” The “him” in this case was Norcross running back Myles Autry.

The official’s surprise at the visiting Parkview Panthers' decision was well founded. Autry had been gashing Parkview all night, and punting to him seemed a bad idea. It was. Autry returned the punt 72 yards for a touchdown to ice the game.

Autry’s heroics came on a night when teammate and ESPN 150 star running back Alvin Kamara had to leave the game with an ankle injury. The Norcross coaches turned to Autry.

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Although he was born in Atlanta, Greg Taboada (Atlanta/Marist) grew up in a household heavily influenced by Spanish culture, thanks to both his parents being natives of Spain. Soccer was the game of choice, although his brother Ignacio would go on to play tennis at the University of Georgia. Greg also enjoyed playing both sports, and seemed headed for a similar future before his arrival at Marist.

That's when a new sport took over.

“Soccer and tennis helped my agility and footwork, but I have been blessed with size and athleticism, so I started playing football at Marist, and it has worked out well,” Taboada said.

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