- Kipp Adams, Reporter, RecruitingNation
The updated ESPN 150 saw many heavily recruited prospects move onto the list after being evaluated, but the rankings and evaluations are not based on hype or offer lists. One Peach State prospect’s inclusion on the list proves just that. Athlete Rashard Fant (Fairburn, Ga./Our Lady of Mercy) is not a household name to recruiting fans, but he should be. The No. 148 prospect in the country and No. 15 in Georgia, Fant has been a terror with the ball in his hands for the last two seasons.
As a sophomore, Fant was an All-Region and Second-Team All-State selection, accumulating almost 2,000 all-purpose yards and 25 touchdowns, including nine kickoff returns for touchdowns. In his junior season Fant faced constant double- and triple-teams but was still able to rack up 21 catches for 361 yards and four touchdowns along with 33 carries for 543 yards and seven rushing touchdowns, seven kickoff returns for 210 yards and a touchdown, and eight punt returns for 301 yards and two touchdowns.
On defense, Fant made 40 tackles, broke up six passes, made three interceptions, and returned one for a touchdown. Fant admits his ability to make plays on defense was limited, but he made the most out of what he was given.
“Most people did not throw to my side on defense, but I did make three interceptions on about nine passes to my side, which only two were caught,” Fant said.
The 5-foot-10, 160-pound prospect emerged at the Atlanta NFTC Camp in April, impressing with his play at cornerback. At the end of the day, several Nike Camp staff members were asking who he was and where he came from. Fant is proud of his accomplishments at Our Lady of Mercy, as well as the support the community has provided, but he admits the single-A program is not known as a hotbed for talent.
“People do not really know me because I am at a smaller school, but I feel like I do deserve to be listed among the best in the state,” Fant said. “To actually be named there is an honor though. I worked so hard several times a week to put my name out there, so it feels great to be named one of the top players. To see the smiles on the faces of the coaches and family members that have been behind me to this point is an awesome feeling.”
His recruitment has not yet exploded, but he has received some interest and offers. Western Kentucky offered first, then Georgia State a few days later, followed by FSU and Middle Tennessee. Georgia Tech has been showing interest the longest, but the Yellow Jackets have yet to pull the trigger. Some programs like the Fairburn-area standout as a shutdown corner, some at receiver, and some think he could project to both sides of the ball. All programs known he is a threat to score at any time in the return game. Fant is hoping more offers come this summer.
“I visited Wake Forest last week, and Air Force, Clemson and South Carolina are showing interest,” Fant said. “I plan to go to Clemson and South Carolina and I expect to earn an offer at each camp. Auburn does not really know me, but I plan to go there and try to earn an offer there, or at least some high interest. One of my close friends is Shaq Wiggins, and it is close to home, so if Georgia were to offer I would heavily consider it.”
Regardless of how many more offers Fant receives, he has found comfort in knowing his success on the field has already provided a bright future ahead.
“The best of this was being able to look my mom in the eyes and tell her she does not have to worry about paying for college,” Fant said. “It is great to know I get to play the game I love for at least four years after high school.”
2dSam Khan Jr.