April 26, 2007

Atlanta again set to stock college rosters

Atlanta top 10 prospects | Best of the rest| Sleepers | Vote: Your pick for Atlanta's top prospect

There is no doubt that the Atlanta Metropolitan Area is one of the premier football talent-producing areas in the country. The Southeast's largest city and its surrounding communities annually produces a stellar crop of prospects, both high on quantity and quality.

There has been at least one five-star prospect from the metro area in the last two recruiting cycles. The area consists of the counties of Barrow, Bartow, Butts, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Jasper, Lamar, Meriweather, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Rockdale, Spalding and Walton, in Northern Georgia.

Atlanta talent in the SEC

Here is a look at some of the more prominent players from the Atlanta area currently on SEC rosters:


Lorenzo Washington

Loganville Grayson


Marques Wade

Lithonia MLK


Brad Lester

Lilburn Parkview


Jermaine Cunningham

Stone Mountain Stephenson


Kregg Lumpkin

Stone Mountain Stephenson


E.J. Adams

Suwanee North Gwinnett


Kelvin Sheppard

Stone Mountian Stephenson

Miss. State

Quinton Wesley

Atlanta Crim

Ole Miss

Jason Cook

Suwanee North Gwinnett

S. Carolina

Kenny McKinley

Austell South Cobb


Chris Scott



Hamilton Holliday

Marietta Walton

In the Class of 2007, Fairburn Creekside cornerback Eric Berry and Atlanta Westlake quarterback Cameron Newton both were rated five-star prospects by Rivals.com. Berry, who signed with Tennessee, also was the nation's top-ranked cornerback prospect.

Atlanta Booker T. Washington safety Reshad Jones was a five-star prospect in the Class of 2006. Jones signed with Georgia.

There also has been at least one Atlanta metro area product named to the first team of the All-Southeastern Conference team each of the last two seasons. Former Auburn running back Kenny Irons, a Dacula product, was a 2005 and 06 selection. In 2005, DeKalb County offensive line product Marcus McNeil of Auburn and safety product Greg Blue of Georgia were first-team selections.

Some of the 2007 season's top returning players from both the SEC and ACC hail from the Atlanta area. Clemson running back James Davis is a product of Atlanta's Douglass High.

Below is a look at some of the top prospects from the metro area for the Class of 2008.

Atlanta top 10

Brandon Boykin

5-11, 171, CB, Fayette County

Boykin in action

Though he's not the biggest cornerback prospect out there, Boykin has excellent hips, good recovery speed and good ball skills. He can use his long arms to disrupt passing lanes and plays with excellent instincts. Boykin also is strong and is a good tackler (61 tackles as a junior) who plays well in run support. He was the top cornerback prospect at the Athens NIKE Camp.

Recruiting update: Boykin is committed to the University of Georgia.

Brice Butler

6-2, 178, WR, Norcross

Butler in action

Butler's strengths are his outstanding hands and ability to make the tough catch, but it gets lost how much of a complete receiver he is. He has excellent football instincts and good enough speed to make tough yards after the catch. Butler also is a very cerebral player that runs excellent routes and has an advanced understanding of offensive football. Butler averaged more than 19 yards per catch last season.

Recruiting update: Butler has scholarship offers from nearly every major program in the country and says he will cut his list sometime in June.

Cordy Glenn

6-6, 330, OL, Riverdale

Glenn in action

Glenn is a massive offensive lineman with little body fat and excellent feet. He uses his hands well and shows streaks of dominance on the offensive line. He likely projects best at offensive guard, but tackle isn't completely out of the question. Though a bit raw, he has the physical tools, the attitude and the intelligence to develop into something special at the collegiate level provided he has the proper development. Glenn was impressive at the Athens NIKE Camp.

Recruiting update: Glenn has offers from Virginia, Georgia and others and the Bulldogs are believed to be the team to beat.

Dontavius Jackson

5-11, 195, RB, Franklin Heard County

Jackson in action

Jackson could be the best pure running back in the state of Georgia for the Class of 2008. A power runner with excellent speed, vision and balance, Jackson rushed for 2.462 yards and 29 touchdowns during his junior year. That followed a sophomore season in which he was named first-team All-State as a safety (former Rivals100 running back prospect Carlos Brown was the team's leading rusher that year).

Recruiting update: The offers are just now starting to roll in for Jackson as teams are finding out about him. Georgia recently offered and Clemson has turned up the heat on the talented back. Alabama, Georgia Tech and others also are on him.

Toby Jackson

6-4, 244, DT, Griffin

Jackson in action

Jackson gets off the line fast and uses his quick hands to disrupt the quarterback in pass rushing situations. He will need to get bigger and stronger at the next level, but at 6-4, 244, he certainly has the frame to do so. Could realistically be a "five technique" defensive end or a "three technique" defensive tackle at the collegiate level. Jackson had 12 tackles for loss and six sacks during his junior year.

Recruiting update: Jackson named Alabama his leader in his most recent interview.

Joshua Jarboe

6-3, 195, WR, Ellenwood Cedar Grove

Jarboe in action

While he needs to become a more polished route runner, Jarboe has tremendous athleticism, speed and playmaking ability. He's also tough, as his ability to make plays on defense show. While overall he is somewhat raw, you have to have deep respect for the amount of upside he has. Several Southeastern Conference programs have Jarboe among the top five receivers on their boards.

Recruiting update: Most feel that Jarboe will end up at Tennessee, Georgia or LSU, but he named Ohio State as one of his top three in a recent interview. Therefore, call it a four-team battle with the Vols, Dawgs, Tigers and Buckeyes all in the mix.

Richard Samuel

6-0, 197, RB, Cartersville Cass

Samuel in action

Samuel is an excellent all-around running back. He is good between the tackles and at getting to the outside and breaking for a big gain. Samuel has a long-striding style, somewhat similar to current Clemson tailback and former Atlanta Douglass star James Davis. The Rivals.com Junior All-American rushed for 1,342 yards and 19 touchdowns during his junior season.

Recruiting update: Samuel has committed to the University of Georgia

Jamoris Slaughter

6-1, 185, S, Tucker

Slaughter in action

Slaughter is the top safety prospect in the Peach State in this year's class. At 6-1, 185, he has excellent size. He's also not shy about contact, has great ball instincts and ball skills and covers the flat like a blanket from his free safety position. It's a luxury when you can have safeties that love to hit and have lateral speed and excel in run support and also have the ability to be outstanding in coverage like Slaughter. That makes him one of the more valuable prospects at his position nationally.

Recruiting update: Slaughter's most recent top five included Notre Dame, Georgia, California, Florida and Louisville.

Omoregie Uzzi

6-3, 291, OG, Chamblee

Uzzi is the top interior offensive line prospect in the metro area. He has good size, is quick off the ball and also has good balance. His current offer list of Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Duke, Ole Miss and Virginia indicate that colleges are starting to take notice of 6-foot-3, 291-pounder's skill level. Uzzi is strong with a 400-pound bench press max and also is an excellent student that carries a 3.3 grade point average.

Recruiting update: : Uzzi likes the two major programs in Georgia (UGA and Tech) and Alabama (Auburn and Alabama) and has some interest in Virginia.

Martin Ward

5-10, 196, RB, Jonesboro Mount Zion

Ward continues to impress every time he goes to an event. The talented back recently was named the MVP of the running backs group at the Athens NIKE Camp by the coaches who worked the event. Ward is a speed back who is a threat to take it the distance every time he touches the ball because of outstanding acceleration. He has very quick feet and hits the hole hard. Ward, who is committed to Georgia, rushed for 1,379 yards and 15 touchdowns during his junior season.

Recruiting update: Ward is committed to the University of Georgia.

Best of the rest

Clayton County: Xavier Avery, RB, Ellenwood Cedar Grove; Ed Nden, S, College Park North Clayton; Gideon Scott, OG, Mount Zion Jonesboro.

Cobb County: Darvin Adams, WR, Kennesaw Harrison; Ebele Okakpu, LB, Roswell; Chase Thomas, DE, Marietta Walton.

Coweta County: James Searcy, DE, Newnan Northgate.

DeKalb County: Elton Ford, OLB, Lithonia; Neiko Lipscomb, CB, Tucker; Taylor Loftley, LB, Chamblee; Corey McCutcheon, WR, Stone Mountain Stephenson; Amhed Shakoor, CB, Stone Mountain Stephenson; Jovontay Williams, DE/OLB, Stone Mountain Redan.

Fayette County: Matt Daniels, S, Fayette County.

Fulton County: Darryl Farley, LB, Atlanta Grady; Steven Fowlkes, DE, College Park Banneker; James McIver, OL, Atlanta Riverwood; Terrance Parks, S, Fairburn Creekside; Darrell Simmons, S, College Park Banneker; Bernard Smith, LB, Atlanta Mays; Justin Smith, DE, Alpharetta Chattahoochee.

Gwinnett County: Shawn Agdebola, WR, Loganville Grayson; Cordian Hagans, DT, Duluth Northview; Omar Hunter, DT, Buford; Christian Robinson, LB, Greater Atlanta Christian; Justin Tuggle, QB, Duluth Northview.

Henry County: Tyler Bass, QB/ATH, Stockbridge; Chris Jackson, WR, McDonough Henry County; Vance King, ATH, Stockbridge; Randy Salmon, DT, Stockbridge; Steven Sylvester, LB, McDonough Union Grove.

Paulding County: Zach Thomason, QB, Paulding County.

Five sleepers

DaMarcus Watts, WR, Atlanta Grady: Receiver has size (5-11, 188) and speed (a confirmed 4.51-second 40) and will make some school very happy.

Xzavian Brandon, WR, Duluth Northview: Crafty route runner with good height just needs to add strength.

Christopher O'Neil, WR, Atlanta Douglass: Receiver has size (6-5, 215) and athletic ability, he just needs to develop.

Alex Daniel, ATH, Roswell: Daniel has a documented 4.48 40 and could be a running back, safety or slot receiver in college.

Jamal Paige, APB, College Park Woodward Academy: Paige has excellent speed and is explosive in the return game.

Atlanta top 10 prospects | Best of the rest| Sleepers | Vote: Your pick for Atlanta's top prospect

JC Shurburtt can be reached at jc@rivals.com[rl]

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