Thursday, June 27, 2013
Lessons Learned: McEachern 7-on-7
By Kipp Adams
POWDER SPRINGS, GA – The annual McEachern 7-on-7 tournament has become a showcase for top talent in Georgia. This year was no exception, with more than 30 FBS prospects among the 14 teams competing for the championship. Here are five things DawgNation learned after attending the event.
In its fourth year of existence, Langston Hughes High School in Fairburn, Ga., is emerging as a program to be reckoned with. The team went 10-2 last year, making the second round of the playoffs, and looking at the players on the field Wednesday, head coach Willie Cannon has a lot to work with in 2013 and beyond.
The headliner is 2015 prospect D'Andre Walker, a 6-foot-3, 205 pound defensive end with sideline-to-sideline speed, even if he is not in his comfort zone working in space in a 7-on-7 competition. Marshall is getting a steal in 2014 athlete Keion Davis, a versatile offensive playmaker who can play running back or wideout.
Rising senior Kalil Gray and 2015 prospect Montavious Atkinson are all FBS talents at linebacker, as is 2014 wideout Bingo Morton. That is not even counting offensive lineman Jahlil Mathis-Ellis and 2015 defensive end Jeremiah Culbreth. The future is bright for this young school.
Rising junior Taj Griffin (Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern), possibly the most explosive offensive target at the event, or in the Southeast for that matter, stars for the host school. The 5-foot-9, 175-pound running back also competed in the Mark Richt 7-on-7 tournament earlier this month, where the University of Georgia staff made sure Griffin felt wanted in Athens.
“I got to speak to Mark Richt, and he told me he hoped I would play for them in the future,” Griffin said. “He says he thinks I could do a lot for them in their offense and that I would be a great fit in their program.”
Griffin says Georgia stands out early and is one of the schools recruiting him the hardest at the moment.
QB to watch in 2015
Harrison has a signal caller to keep an eye on for the next class in Lorenzo Nunez (Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison). The 6-foot-2, 190-pound junior already has offers from Clemson, Kentucky, Ohio State and Tennessee, and more could be on the way, as he intends to camp at Alabama and FSU next month. He did a nice job leading his team on Wednesday and has the makings of a field general with outstanding physical tools.
Britt is next at Newnan
Three years ago, safety Tray Matthews emerged at the McEachern 7-on-7. The No. 129 prospect in the 2013 ESPN 300 would go on to sign with Georgia. Wednesday, head coach Bryan McDonald showcased another talent sure to draw attention from BCS programs.
Rising junior Javarus Britt (Newnan, Ga./Newnan) was very explosive on offense, but his future likely is at defensive back, the position at which Clemson, Virginia Tech and Duke have offered the 5-11, 175-pound prospect.
Rogers one to watch
With Georgia still looking to add another defensive back or two in the 2014 class, one that bears monitoring is sleeper Mike Rogers (Symrna, Ga./Campbell). The 6-foot, 185 pound rising senior moved to Georgia from Illinois last summer, and this spring picked up offers from Arkansas, Clemson, Mississippi State and Ole Miss, among others.
He was able to cover a lot of ground in the competition Wednesday and looks to be a physical presence when lining up at safety. With his size and coverage ability, he is worth a long look from any BCS program needing help in the secondary.