In the 20th anniversary of the Corky Kell Classic, eight teams once again went head to head at the Georgia Dome Saturday, and UGASports was in attendance for all four matchups of Gwinnett and Cobb high schools. Over 25 players in the games are projected to play FCS football at the next level, and here are some who stood out at the Dome.
Grayson vs Kell
Robert Nkemdiche: The buzz surrounding the junior has grown immensely sense UGASports introduced Nkemdiche as a freshman, with analysts projecting Nkemdiche as a potential five star and possible #1 prospect in the country for 2013. The phenom did not disappoint during the opening game Saturday. Nkemdiche, playing with his arm in a was relentless on a defense that held Kell to only 54 yards of offense, with one sack, one tackle for loss, and countless pressures in the backfield. What stood out, besides his impressive speed off the ball, was his nonstop motor. Many defensive linemen have problems with maintaining consistent effort from play to play, but Nkemdiche brought it on each snap. To top it off, Nkemdiche was also the catalyst on offense, as the 6-foot-5, 265-pound athlete, even with a clubbed arm, was able to rumble for 42 yards on 10 carries, including a five yard touchdown run that won it for the Rams.
Wayne Gallman: Another physical downhill runner for Grayson Coach Mickey Conn was 2013 athlete Wayne Gallman. The 6-foot-1, 198-pound junior, who spent his first two years at Trinity Christian in Jacksonville, Florida, was very difficult for Kell defenders to bring down. He also did well on defense lining up at outside linebacker, getting a key tackle for loss off the egde to end one of only two Kell possessions in Grayson territory. Auburn and Clemson have already offered the two way standout as a running back.
Taylor Henkle: Grayson may have come out on top, but Kell did not make it easy for them on defense. One prospect who was all over the field was sophomore Taylor Henkle. The 2014 prospect made tackle after tackle, and was near the ball on almost every play. At 5-foot-11, 175-pounds, Henkle may project as a strong safety/outside linebacker at the next level, depending on how his body matures. He started all 13 games as a freshman, racking up 94 tackles, a sack, four tackles for loss, six passes broken up, two fumble recoveries and also made a key interception against Grayson last year in the dome in his first game in high school.
Brendan Langley: One of the key plays in the game was the interception in the endzone by 2013 defensive back Brandon Langley. The 2013 prospect, at 6-foot-1, 180-pounds, showed off impressive leaping ability on the play. Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart came by to check on Langley in the spring, and he will be one to watch for next year.
Lassiter vs Brookwood
Juwan Dickey: Dickey made his mark on a 43-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Eddie Printz. The 6-foot-1, 192-pound junior showed good athleticism in making a couple defenders miss on the play, and as he continues to develop as a receiver, Dickey has a chance to pull in some offers as this season pairing up with a BCS quarterback talent in Printz.
Eddie Printz: Going up against one of the tougher defenses in Georgia, Printz took a while to get it going Saturday. He was 10-of-18 for 145 yards with one touchdown and an interception, but led a key drive in the fourth quarter that ended with the score to Dickey. He also had a long throw to a wide open Charlie Hegedus that would have resulted in a touchdown, but the N.C. State commit had an uncharacteristic drop. Printz has the size to see the entire field and can make all of the throws.
Nick Tompkins: The all-purpose back got some tough yards for the Broncos, had 18 rushes for 92 yards and a touchdown. He showed some power as he broke tackles inside, and was able to make a couple defenders miss even as the Trojans keyed in on him all night.
Joshua Brown: The 5-foot-9, 175-pound sophomore made an outstanding play to intercept Eddie Printz to keep the Broncos in the game. He has good leaping ability, anticipation, and could develop into one of the better defensive backs in Georgia over the next three years.
McEachern vs North Gwinnett
Kofi Amichia: Amichia, a USF commitment, was very impressive in the win over North Gwinnett. The 6-foot-5, 260-pound lineman showed very good feet and was able to buy time for Trent Thompson to make plays for the Indians. He has the size and athleticism to play any position on the offensive line at the next level, and is a great get for the Bulls.
Nick St. Germain: The kicker for McEachern showed an impressive leg on Saturday, booming kicks into the endzone and making field goals of 21 and 30 yards with ease. Iowa State and South Alabama have offered, and any other programs needing a leg in this class would do well to come by Cantrell Stadium, which is one of the nicest venues in Georgia.
DeVondre Seymour: At almost 6-foot-6 and 290-pounds Seymour immediately stood out in warmups. The 2013 offensive tackle is still somewhat raw in his technique, but he showed good agility and quick feet in pass protection during the game. The cousin of former Bulldog great Richard Seymour, DeVondre has the potential to become a big time prospect down the road.
Donnie Miles: The junior running back showed good vision picking up 62-yards on the ground, and also showed great hands out of the backfield, catching a 52-yard pass from Scotty Hosch for a touchdown pass. Miles, at 5-foot-10, 190-pounds, takes great angles, gets upfield quickly, and is a versatile offensive weapon for Coach Bob Sphire and the Bulldogs.
Walton vs Peachtree Ridge
Brandon Kublanow: Moments before kickoff, the 6-foot-2, 280-pound junior interior lineman circled the Walton sideline with a fire in his eyes. Kublanow proceeded to pound would be tacklers into the turf, using his technique and physicality to open up holes in the run game, and keep defensive linemen out of the backfield. He also was stout against the run on defense, spending time at nose guard and disrupting the line of scrimmage. It was apparent on Saturday that the Walton standout plays the game with a passion.
Tyren Jones: The breakout performance of the day came from 2013 Walton running back Jones. The 5-foot-8, 190-pound junior ran 20 times for 213 yards and two touchdowns, showing great acceleration on both scoring plays. His low-centered, quick cut running style is similar to current Kentucky sophomore and former Stephenson standout Raymond Sanders. Having a knack for big time plays will put Jones on the radar of many colleges this fall.
Parker Mcleod: In his first career start in high school, McLeod showed good poise in the pocket and was able to make good, quick decisions under center. He was also able to tuck it and run for a five yard touchdown on the opening drive. The 6-foot-3 junior has an offer from Louisville, and more may come as he gets more comfortable in the offense.
Diandre Atwater: It was a tough night for the Lions, but Diandre Atwater did his best to keep Peachtree Ridge in the game. The son of eight time pro bowl safety Steven Atwater, the 5-foot-9, 195-pound running back had 14 carries for 121 yards and two touchdowns, and showed impressive lower body strength running through would be tacklers.