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What I learned this weekend

11/14/2011

Elder sets first official

Four-star safety Chaz Elder (College Park, Ga./Banneker) has set up his first official visit and will hit South Carolina on Nov. 25. Elder, 6-2 and 185 pounds, will likely also set up visits to Georgia and Vanderbilt. If the list grows, watch out for are Arizona State and LSU. Don’t be surprised if he visits one of both of those schools.

But Elder could go ahead and decide to pull the trigger in two weeks when he’s in Columbia as the Gamecocks are thought to be the frontrunner at this time.

Elder, an Under Armour All-American, is the No. 7 safety in the country and the No. 13 ranked recruit from the state of Georgia.

Charles doesn’t visit the Hogs

Destrehan (La.) three-star defensive tackle Marrick Charles was supposed to officially visit Arkansas this past weekend but things didn’t work out in the end.

“I was supposed to go with Bryan (Singleton) but late in the game the flight plans got mixed up,” Charles said. “We didn’t make it happen and will have to re-schedule. It looks like it will be sometime in January. I would also like to visit Southern Miss and Alabama. Those are the schools I have in mind.”

Charles, 6-2 and 315 pounds, finished his senior campaign with 50 tackles and two sacks. Charles is the No. 68 defensive tackle in the country.

Stephenson loses

Arguably the most talented team doesn’t always win. That was again the case for Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson. This was supposed to be the year the Jaguars broke through and finally won a state championship. They are loaded. They have nine seniors committed to either an SEC or ACC programs and a dozen Division I commitments to date. That number could get closer to 16 or 17 by national signing day. Despite all that talent, Stephenson lost in the first round of the playoffs to Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes 7-0.

Now gone to graduation will be running back Mike Davis (Florida), linebacker Raphael Kirby (Miami) and Darreon Herring (Vanderbilt), defensive linemen Carlos Hood (South Carolina), Jafar Mann (Florida), and Jarontay Jones (Virginia Tech) and defensive backs Kyle Fleetwood (South Carolina) and Shawn Blaylock (Kentucky).

Stephenson finished the season 9-2. They lost their final regular season game to Lithonia (Ga.) Martin Luther King 50-49 in a thriller the week before.

Lowndes, led by ESPNU 150 outside linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons, now faces Grayson (Ga.) this weekend and ESPNU Watch List defensive linemen Robert Nkemdiche. Harvey-Clemons is the state's top prospect while Nkemdiche is likely the No. 1 recruit in Georgia's junior class.

Prattville beats Daphne

It was a state championship game setting in the second round of the 6A Alabama high school football playoffs on Friday night, as Prattville hosted Daphne. Since 2000, either Prattville and Daphne have played for the 6A title every single season but 2002. Daphne won it all last season and in 2001. It lost to Hoover three times in that span. Meanwhile, Prattville was the state champs in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and lost to Hoover in 2009 and 2004.

This time, Prattville beat Daphne 13-3. It held Daphne running back and Auburn commit T.J. Yeldon to 90 yards on 27 carries. It was the only time this season that Yeldon was held below 100 yards. He finished his senior campaign with 2,011 yards and 24 rushing touchdowns.

Prattville quarterback Jalen Whitlow scored the game’s only touchdown on an 80 yard run in the fourth quarter. Prattville faces Fairhope in the next round of the state playoffs.

Big-time playoff performances

The nation’s top-ranked QB, Jameis Winston, didn’t have a big night throwing but he still led Hueytown (Ala.) team to a 51-14 second round win over Eufala. Winston only threw the ball four times, completing three for 43 yards and a TD. Winston rushed for 63 yards, a touchdown and two, two-point conversions. On the night Hueytown ran the ball 55 times.

Junior wide receiver Earnest Robinson caught two touchdown passes in Pinson Valley’s one point playoff loss to Hartselle (Ala.). Robinson has scholarship offers from Alabama, Auburn and others.

Auburn TE commit Darrion Hutcherson caught three passes for 107 yards in Dadeville’s 28-26 win over Thomasville (Ala.) in the second round of the Alabama state playoffs.

Sophomore Leonard Fournette rushed for 203 yards and two scores in New Orleans St. Augustine’s 62-30 win over Belle Chasse (La.) in the first round of the Louisiana state playoffs.

Two-star running back Daniel Taylor rushed for 161 yards and two scores on 13 carries in Lucther (La.) 48-6 win over Benton (La.).

Dutchtown (La.) five-star prospect Landon Collins rushed for 89 yards, two touchdowns and forced a fumble in their first round playoff loss to Ponchatoula (La.). Collins suffered a tailbone injury in the second quarter.

Three-star athlete Alonzo Moore rushed for 112 yards and three touchdowns on six carries in Winnfield’s 70-0 first round playoff win over Jeanerette.

Oxford (Miss.) Lafayette rolled 53-8 behind running back DeMarkous Dennis’ four touchdown runs. ESPNU 150 athlete Jeremy Liggins accounted for three touchdowns playing quarterback.

Junior standout Antonio Conner rushed for 167 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries in helping Batesville (Miss.) South Panola to a 42-14 win over Murrah (Miss.). Conner also threw for a score as well.

Altoona (Ga.) senior running back Miles Jones rushed for 256 yards and two touchdowns in their win over Franklin County. He now has over 1,900 yards on the season.

Running back Diandre Atwater rushed for 301 yards and three touchdowns in Suwanee (Ga.) Peachtree Ridge’s overtime loss to Snellville (Ga.) Brookwood) 30-27. He is the son of former NFL star Steve Atwater. Atwater, 5-9 and 195 pounds, has a Georgia State offer.