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Friday, May 3, 2013
Georgia state track meet: What we learned

By Radi Nabulsi

JEFFERSON, Ga. -- The Georgia high school track and field championships always draw a good crowd despite the heat and humidity that accompanies the three-day event. Though this year spectators were greeted with cloudy skies and cool temperatures. Several college football prospects competing on Thursday, and thus we learned a few things.

Nick Chubb
Running back Nick Chubb, shown at the Atlanta SPARQ Combine in March, took a spill at the rainy Georgia state track and field championships.
1. Nick Chubb is tough. The Cedartown (Ga.) High School four-star running back was competing in the long jump during the final competition of the day. Rain, which had mostly held off, started to surge and the track was wet. On Chubb’s first attempt, he slipped on a damp takeoff board and went sailing through the air sideways, eventually landing hard on his side and chest. The crowd gasped as they felt Chubb’s impact. But he got up, shook off all the sand and went back to the beginning to prepare for his next attempt. Chubb didn't qualify for the finals, but he won the admiration of those in attendance.

We also learned that he has a decision date.

"I want to make my commitment on the 28th of May,” Chubb said.

2. Preston Williams is a living embodiment of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” song. Williams is a wide receiver from Lovejoy (Ga.) High School with a rather odd fashion sense. His mismatched socks -- one was neon-leopard print, the other had cupcakes – were complimented by his cut-off camouflage pants and blindingly bright yellow shoes. Around his head he wore a scarf which looked like it had lost a fight with a pack of wolves (and moths), but the improvised headband did serve to accentuate Williams’ two-toned hair.

“I am exotic,” Williams said after competing back-to-back in the long jump and the triple jump.

The lanky, 6-foot-4 sophomore is also a runway model, a poet, a skateboarder and an actor. When he can find time, Williams also catches passes. Colleges have noticed. In fact, he is hearing from Florida State, Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Miami, among others. Look for his first offer to come from the Seminoles or the Crimson Tide. Or Vogue.

3. Speaking of Lovejoy, the Wildcats start spring practice on May 6. According to defensive end Randy Anyanwu, as many as 20 college coaches will be on the sidelines to scout last year’s Class AAAAAA runners-up. The defense that was the hallmark of last season lost a few players, but most of the contributors are returning. As for Anyanwu, he plans to make the most of his time in front of the scouts.

“Tennessee, Western Kentucky, Ole Miss, Georgia, Middle Tennessee and a couple other schools are talking to me,” Anyanwu said. “I think a lot of schools just want to see some more from me before they offer me. A lot of them are asking me to come to camps and stuff. They say they want me as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 and those in a 4-3 want me in pass rushing situations on third down.”

4. Andrew Williams and his fellow Rising Seniors alumni have a truth-detection network. The 6-4 defensive end from Eagle’s Landing (Ga.) Christian Academy is set to release a top 10 in two weeks with Georgia, Clemson and Notre Dame taking three spots. In the meantime, he continues to talk with Demarre Kitt, Bryson Allen-Williams, Chris Williams, Chubb, Deshaun Watson and Milan Richard about what the schools are telling them.

“We stay in contact,” Williams said. “Every day we text each other, compare notes. We ask the coaches about each other to see what is true or not and to see if it adds up.”

Williams could use the help as his recruitment has intensified recently.

“Schools are coming after me hard every day,” Williams said. “Coaches are coming by every day. Calls and contacts every day -- it is getting hectic. I talked to Les Miles for the first time. Mark Richt is starting to show some interest. I see every day he is trying to keep up with me. Those two are trying to build a personal relationship with me and that I haven’t seen that before in the process. ‘Hey, hope you have a great day,’ and stuff like that. We just talk.”

5. Kenneth Brinson Jr. is one to watch. As he scowled with each throw of the discus, the explosive sophomore defensive end from Marist (Ga.) High School managed to win the Class AAAA title with a throw of 179 feet, 1 inch -- a full 11 feet farther than the second-place finisher. Basically competing only against himself, Brinson was annoyed if each throw wasn’t perfect. That drive is evident in everything he does, apparently.

“Ken is hearing from Stanford, Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech in football,” said Brinson’s father, Ken Brinson Sr. “He has a 4.0 GPA. He has heard from Virginia, Stanford and Ohio State for wrestling and track. He is the AAAA state wrestling champ in 195 [pounds].”