What I learned this weekend


Whitehead visits NC State

Four-star defensive end Kenderius Whitehead (Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King), one of the top uncommitted prospects from Georgia, made his way to Raleigh, N.C., with teammate Jarnor Jones for an official visit to NC State and watched the Wolfpack upset Clemson.

“Kenderius and J.J both visited this weekend,” MLK coach Michael Carson said. “They didn’t make our meeting yesterday so I will talk with them about their visit today. Jones is a little under the radar but he has picked up some offers this season.”

MLK is still in the playoffs and faces Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter this weekend. It is 12-0 and Whitehead, the No. 30 defensive end in the nation and the No. 27 prospect from the Peach State, has 18 sacks.

Jones, 6-4 and 190 pounds, is a safety with scholarship offers from NC State, Vandy, Middle Tennessee State, West Virginia and others, according to Carson.

Time for a kicker

It’s high time that Vanderbilt go find themselves a kicker. The Commodores are surprising everyone both on and off the field with their play and recruiting efforts, but Vandy missed a short field goal that would have put its game against Arkansas in overtime and the Commodores missed two field goals in the OT loss to Tennessee on on Saturday.

The Commodores have a commitment from two-star kicker Colby Cooke (Goochland, Va./Goochland), so help in on the way. Or is it? Cooke punts, kicks off and kicks field goals, but will likely first get a shot at the punting duties. Vandy could and should still be in the business of recruiting a field goal kicker.

Battle of Georgia

In one of the South’s top high school playoff games over the weekend, Grayson knocked off Lowndes 25-17 in the Georgia playoffs behind the play of junior Robert Nkemdiche. He scored three touchdowns and had three sacks.

Grayson came in this second-round playoff game only allowing 30 yards rushing per game while Lowndes was averaging 250. In the end, Nkemdiche and the Rams only allowed 43 and moved on to advance to the next round against West Forsyth.

Lowndes is the home of the state’s top prospect, Josh Harvey-Clemons. He finished with a touchdown. Harvey-Clemons favors Georgia, Florida and Alabama.

Big game performances

The nation’s top quarterback prospect, Jameis Winston (Hueytown, Ala./Hueytown), accounted for five touchdowns in a 39-13 third-round playoff win over Mobile (Ala.) St. Paul’s. Winston threw for three and ran for two while posting 233 passing yards and 71 rushing yards. Otis McPherson, the eighth grade sensation for St. Paul’s, was slowed down for most of the night by the Hueytown defense, though he did score an 18-yard touchdown run.

Three-star receiver Quinshad Davis caught a pair of touchdown passes in Gaffney (S.C.) 33-3 win over Spartanburg (S.C.) Dorman.

Junior running back Tyren Jones scored five touchdowns in Marietta (Ga.) Walton’s 42-7 win over Mabelton (Ga.) South Cobb.

Sophomore Leonard Fournette (New Orleans, La./St. Augustine) rushed for 223 yards and two scores in their second round loss to neighborhood rival McDonough 35 24-23 in the second round of the Louisiana state playoffs.