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April 1, 2008
Georgia talent turns out in Athens
ATHENS, Ga. - As one of the top talent-producing states in the country, the Georgia Five-Star Academy held at the University of Georgia in Athens had high expectations for top-end talent this weekend. The event didn't disappoint as some of the state's best were on hand including some underclassmen that are already making noise.
The player that looked most at home at the UGA complex was Troup County offensive guard Chris Burnette. The Bulldog commit came in wearing a Georgia sweatshirt and looked ready to hit the weight room at the Butts-Mehre Athletic Complex.
Burnette isn't just one of the top players in the state of Georgia but as evidenced by his selection to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, he is one of the top prospects in the entire nation.
Burnette talked excitedly about his future with the University of Georgia and the level of the program.
"For them to be ranked number two right now, it's just a perfect position for us to win a national championship and that's what I'm about, winning," Burnette said.
Physically, Burnette looks to be in a great position to help Georgia out already. He was measured at 6-foot-2 and weighed in at 300 pounds even. Burnette recognizes that he has a guard's body type but wherever he plays, he has a lineman's mindset.
"I think I'm pretty good at pass blocking, but run blocking I just love it because you get to be nasty," he said.
Burnette wasn't the only Troup County player in attendance. Tay Irvin lines up across the line from Burnette and he already has three offers himself.
"Georgia Tech just offered me yesterday," Irvin said on Saturday. "East Carolina offered me the day before that and UCF offered me in November so I've got a lot of offers right now. I've just got to get my ACT score up."
Another group of teammates that had a strong presence at the event were the AAAA Georgia State Champions Columbus Carver.
LeRon Furr, brother of Auburn quarterback signee DeRon Furr, weighed in at an impressive 6-2.5 and 225 pounds. He will be joining Rivals100 member Jarvis Jones in the Carver linebacking corps this season after putting together a strong campaign as a junior.
Chris Hubbard at 6-foot-3, 235 pounds was one of the more physically impressive players at the event and at cornerback Ryan Campbell looked the part as well. Campbell was measured at 6 feet and 172 pounds and will be a new addition to the Columbus Carver program, transferring just a week ago from Shaw.
Campbell has two offers to date but expects more to come.
"Troy and Georgia Southern have offered but I'm being recruited real hard," Campbell said. "After I get my test scores in, the offers should be piling in."
One player at the event that has both the test scores and the offers is Henry County wide receiver Jamal Patterson. With a 4.5 GPA, Patterson already boasts offers from LSU, South Carolina, North Carolina, Clemson, Florida, Florida State and others. Patterson's impressive size was confirmed in Athens at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds.
Two of the other more decorated players in attendance were Kellen Williams out of Brookwood High School and Joe Stewart out of Dutchtown High School. Stewart is an athlete with early offers from Miami (Ohio), Middle Tennessee and Missouri. He measured in at 5-11, 165 pounds.
Williams recently picked up an offer from Arkansas to add to a list that includes UCF, Rutgers, Vanderbilt and UAB. The offensive tackle looked well-put-together in Athens and tipped the scales at 295 pounds and 6-foot-3.
There were several out of state prospects at the event as well and a number of underclassmen to look out for. One player who met both of those criteria was Aaron Carr out of Bamberg-Eharhdt High School in Bamberg, S.C. Carr who teamed up with DaQuan Bowers on the defensive line as a sophomore is already 6-1.5 and 250 pounds with room to grow.
Carr was one of a number of South Carolina prospects in attendance but the event also featured players from as far as Florida, Tennessee and Alabama.
More names are sure to surface from the Georgia event where the talent seems to never end.