October 18, 2007

Peach State prospects in spotlight

Rivals.com Recruiting Analyst Barry Every was in Georgia last week to evaluate the top prospects at some of the week's best matchups.

Every scouted the Harris Co. vs. Troup Co., Flowery Branch vs. Gainesville and St. Pius X vs. Cedar Grove games and gives his thoughts on top senior prospects like Cedar Grove's Joshua Jarboe, as well as some talented underclassmen.

Expert's View of Harris Co. vs. Troup Co.

Corey Grissom, 6-2, 275, DT, Troup Co.

Class of 2008, Committed to South Florida

Assets: Okine Great size at 6 feet 2, 275 pounds and has a great motor on every snap.

Areas for improvement: Needs to work on lower body strength. He is susceptible to cut blocks.

Most Impressive play: In the first quarter he was engaged with a lineman and slid off to make a tackle for very little gain.

Conclusion: Grissom is a great pickup for the USF Bulls. He will most likely project as a nose tackle, but also has the size to play both defensive line positions at the next level. Defensive linemen with grades are the hardest position to find for college recruiters.

Robtavious James, 5-11, 185, LB, Troup Co.

Class of 2008

Assets: He is very fast and runs well sideline to sideline. He also is an excellent pass rusher.

Areas of improvement: At about 5 feet 11, 185 pounds, he most likely will project as a safety. The biggest change he will have to make will be learning to cover receivers in open space. That means being able to backpedal and turn your hips in order to make a play on the ball.

Most Impressive play: James made the first three tackles of the game for his team.

Conclusion: He could possibly play linebacker at a small Division I or I-AA school, but with his talent, hopefully someone at the Division I level will project him as a safety. He will be excellent on special teams.

Tay Irvin, 6-0, 310, DT, Troup Co.

Class of 2009

Assets: Extremely quick off the ball, and very powerful.

Areas for improvement: Needs to lose about 20 to 25 pounds to be at his ideal playing weight. At 6 feet tall, he is currently too heavy at 320 pounds and the weight will hurt his lateral movement.

Most Impressive play: Just his sheer quickness off of the ball. He was in the backfield before the center had a chance to get in his way.

Conclusion: If he loses weight he will be an ideal run-stopping machine, and an excellent Division I nose tackle prospect.

Chris Burnette, 6-4, 290, OG, Troup Co.

Class of 2009

Assets: His overall athleticism and size.

Areas of improvement: Finish off all blocks. Gets in great position, needs to keep driving those feet till the whistle blows.

Most Impressive play: Watching him go down field and pick off smaller, quicker linebackers.

Conclusion: He has a chance to be a major Division I recruit. With his great grades, schools from all over the country will be interested in him.

Expert's View of Flowery Branch vs. Gainesville

Jaybo Shaw, 6-0, 176, QB, Flowery Branch

Class of 2008, Committed to MTSU

Assets: Extremely quick, and a true student of the game. Being the son of a head coach is also a great asset.

Areas of improvement: When he rolls out to pass, he needs to set his feet just before releasing the ball. He also has a tendency to let his elbow drop when running and throwing to his right.

Most Impressive play: So many it would be a shame to say just one, but if pressed I would say his 24-yard run in the fourth quarter where it looked like there was no way he would get out of the backfield.

Conclusion: He lacks the ideal size of a prototypical quarterback, but his athleticism and will to win far exceeds any liabilities he may have. He is committed to Middle Tennessee State, but if other colleges that run the spread offense get this game film, that could change in a hurry. He was by far the most impressive player - not necessarily prospect - I've seen in person this year.

Izaan Cross, 6-4, 250, DE/FB, Flowery Branch

Class of 2010

Assets: At about 6 feet 3, 255 pounds, he has ideal size to play strongside defensive end or either interior defensive line position.

Area's of improvement: Needs to keep a lower pad level at the point of attack, has a tendency to play high, making it easy for an offensive lineman to get to his body.

Most Impressive play: His quarterback knockdown late in the fourth quarter. You could tell the quarterback from Gainesville did not want to get up after the hit.

Conclusion: With his size and ability he will be a sought-after commodity. He needs to continue to work hard on the weights in order to take the pounding at his position.

Connor Shaw, 6-1, 185, WR/DB, Flowery Branch

Class of 2010

Assets: He has great acceleration; he goes from not moving to blowing past the defender.

Area's of improvement: Needs to watch the ball all the way in to his hands, and have the attitude every ball in the air is his.

Most Impressive play: Watching him run past defenders on a 22-yard reverse.

Conclusion: Only a sophomore, he already has great potential. A head coach's son, I believe he will be a major Division I college prospect.

Tyler Adetona, 6-1, 194, WR, Gainesville

Class of 2008

Assets: His ability to catch the ball over the middle and make more yards out of the play. He is also mentally and physically tough.

Area's of improvement: Keep working on route running and quickness.

Most Impressive play: He caught a slip screen over the middle in traffic and turned it into a 17-yard gain.

Conclusion: Now that he has a qualifying test score, more schools are going to offer this tough wide receiver.

Gerald Ford, 6-2, 200, WR, Gainesville

Class of 2008

Assets: His size - 6 feet 2 , 205 pounds - and his ability to catch the ball with his hands, not his body, every time.

Area's of improvement: Needs to really make a last minute surge academically to improve his GPA.

Most Impressive play: Three consecutive catches in the second quarter, with the last one being a 17-yard touchdown. Ford was dragging defenders into the end zone.

Conclusion: This Hurricane Katrina evacuee is the type of tall receiver that programs like Kentucky and Louisville have won games with recently. Ford needs to keep working hard academically.

Expert's View of St. Pius vs. Cedar Grove

Xavier Avery, 5-11, 185, WR/S, Cedar Grove

Class of 2008, Committed to Georgia

Assets: Extremely quick, fast and a great athlete. He is also a great student.

Areas of improvement: Offensively, needs to work on vision and cut down on running laterally. Hit a seam and go - that is what he does best.

Most Impressive play: Coming up on the option play from his safety position and tackling the pitch man at the line of scrimmage.

Conclusion: Superior athlete who excels in both football and baseball. I believe if he plays college football, he will be best suited as a safety and return man.

Joshua Jarboe, 6-3, 195, WR, Cedar Grove

Class of 2008

Assets: Tall, and very fast for his 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame. He also catches the ball with his hands.

Area's of improvement: Not taking himself out of the game mentally when he doesn't have a ball thrown his way.

Most Impressive play: He turned a 1-yard pass into a 17-yard gain in the blink of an eye.

Conclusion: This kid is so physically gifted he could play for anybody. He needs to get mentally tougher. He can be another Chad Johnson of the Cincinnati Bengals on the field.

Harold Turner, 5-8, 165, WR, Cedar Grove

Class of 2008

Assets: Great hands, and he is the go-to guy on third downs for the Cedar Grove Saints.

Area's of improvement: At only 5 feet 8, 165 pounds, he lacks the ideal size that college coaches covet.

Most Impressive play: Catching a short pass in the second quarter and turning it into a 39-yard touchdown on a third-and-4 play.

Conclusion: If coaches can get past Turner's size they may find a perfect slot receiver. Academically he is already qualified, and he runs a 49-second 400 meters.

William Pratcher, 5-9, 175, RB, Cedar Grove

Class of 2009

Assets: Once he gets to the outside, he is gone.

Area's of improvement: His vision could use some improvement. Doesn't need to always look for the cutback, but rely more on his speed to break a big run.

Most Impressive play: His 41-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

Conclusion: Keep hitting the weights. At 5 feet 9, 175 pounds, he'll need to get his weight up about 10 pounds. He has a chance to be a good all-purpose back at the next level.

Samuel Johnson, 6-5, 245, OT/DE, Cedar Grove

Class of 2009

Assets: His height and long arms make him ideal for either offensive tackle or strongside defensive end.

Area's of improvement: Finishing off blocks. Driving opponent and keeping those feet moving.

Most Impressive play: Pulling from his tackle spot, he pancaked a defender who had no idea that Johnson was coming.

Conclusion: He has great potential. I'm not sure how big his lower body will get. If he can get to at least 290 pounds, he will be a beast at offensive line. He is currently around 6 feet 5, 245 pounds.

Vinson Bass, 6-3, 265, DT, Cedar Grove

Class of 2009

Assets: He has that perfect upper body frame to play interior defensive line at the next level.

Area's of improvement: Needs to add some lower body strength and size.

Most Impressive play: Bass moved great laterally in making a tackle on the pitchman on the option play.

Conclusion: His size makes him a candidate for both interior defensive line positions. He is around 6 feet 3, 265 pounds, and looks good in his uniform. This will be very appealing to college coaches.

Chris Philpott, 6-0, 186, K/P, St. Pius X

Class of 2009

Assets: He has great mechanics on both kickoffs and punts. He gets the ball of fast, and the height on his kicks is excellent.

Area's of improvement: Being more consistent in his drops while punting. A more consistent drop will lead to a more consistent punt.

Most Impressive play: His second kickoff was through the end zone with plenty of hang time. There was no wind during the game.

Conclusion: It is hard to believe that Philpott doesn't have any Division I offers to date. If a school is looking for a combo Kicker/Punter, you need to ask Coach Paul Standard for some tape, or just go see him kick live.

Cole Moon, 6-3, 205, FB, St. Pius X

Class of 2010

Assets: His size and toughness for only being a sophomore.

Area's of improvement: Finishing off blocks and driving through his man.

Most Impressive play: His first two runs from scrimmage went for 15 yards and 10 yards.

Conclusion: Moon needs to continue lifting hard and getting bigger. He currently is around 6-3, 190. I believe he will be a linebacker or a true H-back in college.

Barry Every is a Football Recruiting Analyst for Rivals.com. He comes to Rivals.com after working in recruiting offices for Mark Richt at the University of Georgia, Bobby Bowden at Florida State University and Mack Brown at the University of North Carolina. He can be reached at [email protected]

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