In the last article entitled “Georgia Bulldogs Recruiting, Stars, And South Georgia OTA’s”, I covered the Lee County High School Trojans and the Peach County Trojans who took part in an OTA session earlier this past week. Continuing on in the coverage of the aforementioned the attention will be turned to Moultrie, Georgia, which is the home of the Colquitt County Packers. The Packers are coached by notable high school football icon Rush Propst.
Multiple high school football teams were present for the Colquitt County OTA’s including Thomas County, Collins Hill, and Gainesville. With all of these teams present on the same field, one could say that a football arena had developed consisting of big class teams, big time players, and big time sweltering South Georgia heat as temperatures were in the vicinity of 100 degrees. It was somewhat like “Friday Night Lights” with the exception that it was not Friday, not at night, and it was blazing hot as if there was no tomorrow. The talent on the gridiron would classify as a good comparison though. This is especially true with the Packers of Colquitt County.
If there is one thing Packer head Coach Rush Propst knows it is how to put together programs with elite talent that win championships. The former MTV “Two-A-Days” and Hoover High School coach has won a plethora of championships in his lengthy time to include two while at Colquitt County (2014, 2015). The OTA sessions in Moultrie brought about a perusal of some highly talented young athletes from Moultrie that look poised to make a run at another state title under Propst this 2017 Georgia high school football season.
While there were multiple players on the Packers roster that stood out, one of the most impressionable athletes for Colquitt County was Class of 2018 QB Steven Krajewski (6’4, 205 – Colquitt County – Moultrie, Georgia). 247Sports and other scouting services have this gunslinger rated as a 3-Star, but I believe he is underrated given what I saw on the football field. Krajewski is tall and has a good release point on his passes. He exhibited a lot of power with the throws that he made at the OTA’s this week. Several of those throws with zip were thrown with accuracy and on point only to be dropped by the receivers he was throwing the ball to. The incoming senior QB looked sharp and threw the ball well often squeezing it into tight windows to complete the pass. He was surprisingly agile on his feet when being rushed despite his tall frame and stature of which many would think would be a hindrance to his maneuverability.
What was most impressive about Krajewski to me though was his decision-making abilities as a QB in general. Often he would get up to the line and after a few moments he would look over to his receivers and throw out some signals as if he was calling an audible after seeing the defensive scheme that was laid out in front of him. Moreover, throughout much of the entire OTA sessions that he took part in, rarely did I see him engage in a major mistake. He knew when to throw to a receiver, when to throw it away, when to run for lack of an open receiver to throw to, and the like. After talking with him for a good time on two separate days, I learned very quickly that this QB was not just athletic but that he was also very mature, smart, and possesses a high IQ and intelligence for the QB position. Krajewski has several offers already to include Connecticut, Syracuse, and Florida Atlantic among others. His stock most certainly is on the rise and trending upward. He recently helped lead the Packers to victory in the Kirby Smart 7-On-7 tournament in Athens this past June and the up-and-coming QB also visited FSU on the 20th, Auburn on the 21st, and Alabama today. He is also set to visit Syracuse this upcoming Tuesday and Connecticut on the following day. Look for Krajewski to rake in a lot of offers very fast and for him to have a dynamic Senior season in 2017.
A second Packer that stood out from the rest already possesses an offer from the Georgia Football program. Class of 2020 RB Daijun Edwards (5’11, 185 – Colquitt County – Moultrie, Georgia) is an absolute stud at the RB position showing great speed, cuts, agility, and toughness. He exhibited an uncanny ability to find a gap in the defensive lines pretty much throughout the entirety of the OTA’s. While his youth may be part of the reason that he has not yet drawn a lot of offers as of yet, do not let such fool you as this RB is the real deal. Edwards carried the ball some 147 times as a Freshman compiling 847 yards on the ground along with 14 TD’s. He added another 189 yards through the air on 22 receptions in 2016. The mere fact that Edwards holds a sole offer from the Dawgs shows how much faith that they have put in Edwards to make the “Smart” choice and commit to the University of Georgia. Given that he stays healthy for the duration of time prior to his national signing day, Edwards falls right into line with the type and form of backs that the UGA program has been able to bring in and keep the tradition of “Running Back U” alive in Athens.
The flare does not stop with Krajewski and Edwards though as the Packers are also the squad of one of the most prestigious and top OLB’s in the nation with Class of 2018 and “The Opening” stud J.J. Peterson (6’1, 210 – Colquitt County – Moultrie, Georgia). Peterson has all of the tools one would look for in an OLB and possesses a great physical frame, strength, reach, and aggression when engaging against his opponent. He has the capability to get around the edge and torch opposing quarterbacks while also maintaining a unique ability to drop back when needed and still be a force on defense. Peterson is one of those players that has a gas pedal pushed down to the floor on every down, snap, and series. The elite defensive juggernaut slotted 11.5 sacks and some other 20 TFL’s (Tackles-For-Losses) in 2016 setting in stone that he is a force to be reckoned with and a nightmare for the offenses that play against him. Peterson has some dozen offers or so to include pitches from Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, Clemson, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and UGA. 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions have him slated to pick Alabama all the way but that won’t stop Georgia OLB Coach Kevin Sherrer from trying to reel in one of the top high school defensive standouts to come along in quite some time.
Another top prospect that has increasingly become more and more impressive as time has passed is Class of 2019 #True19 Kicker Ryan Fitzgerald (5’11, 180 – Colquitt County – Moultrie, Georgia). Fitzgerald was named to the First Team Offense for region 1-AAAAAAA as a sophomore this past December and is ranked the #16 overall kicker in the nation (4.5-Star) by the Chris Sailer Kicking rankings which are considered the most respected kicking and punting ratings in the country. Some big time programs have shown some form of interest in this incoming Junior to include Auburn, Florida, Florida State, and UGA. Fitzgerald visited the G-Day game this past April on an unofficial visit and would be a great asset to the Georgia Football program in spite of the recent commitment of Jake Camarda of Norcross. If one reading this finds that hard to believe then they can have a view of Fitzgerald recently kicking a 60-yard FG at the end of April at https://twitter.com/ryan_fitz88/status/858848064190205953. Look for Fitzgerald to continue to improve, draw more attention from Division 1 Programs, and be a critical asset for the Colquitt County Packers this 2017 season.
Other notable Packer prospects include Class of 2018 Safety and Appalachian State Commit Kaleb Dawson (6’0, 175 – Colquitt County – Moultrie, Georgia) and Class of 2019 RB Ty Leggett (5’10, 172 – Colquitt County – Moultrie, Georgia) who compiled 662 rushing yards on 92 carries along with 8 rushing TD’s last season. A possible “sleeper” recruit on the Colquitt County squad is Class of 2019 DT Brian Merritt (6’0, 293 – Colquitt County – Moultrie, Georgia) who possesses good size, ability, and big play potential. He was also recently selected to play for the #True19 squad this 2017 season further validating his status as a DT with stock that is on the rise.
Other schools in attendance at the Colquitt County OTA’s included Collins Hill, Gainesville, and Thomas County Central. Collins Hill was pretty impressive in its own right with its showing and caliber of play in Moultrie. The team is headlined by a couple of stars that are already committed to Division 1 football programs. Class of 2018 University of Virginia OLB Commit T.C. Harrison (6’3, 199 – Collins Hill – Suwanee, Georgia) looked impressive on the field of play despite the unyielding heat. What stood out the most about him was his surprising quickness allowing for him to make a play on the ball without any apparent hesitation. Harrison’s flexibility and awareness were very apparent and is something that will in no doubt be a major factor for Collins Hill in the upcoming 2017 season and for Virginia thereafter.
Collins Hill also sports a dynamic safety that is currently committed to Wake Forest in Class of 2018 Safety Peyton Woulard (6’1, 175 – Collins Hill – Suwanee, Georgia). Woulard is one of the legitimate known stars of the Collins football team that has made quite a name for himself. After receiving over 20 offers (including one from Saban and Alabama), Woulard made the Demon Deacons very happy after committing to play in Winston-Salem. He looked very athletic, fast, and as if though he was magnetized to wherever the ball was on offense. He had 79 tackles, six PBUs (Pass Break Ups), and two interceptions last year for the Eagles. Look for Woulard to be influential and make a major impact again on defense for the Collins Hill program this upcoming season.
Two other notables for the Eagles as the 2017 season approaches include an MLB named Jomier Augustine (Class of 2018 – 6’0, 217 – Collins Hill – Suwanee, Georgia) and a QB named Jon-Michael Findlay (Class of 2018 – 6’1, 180 – Collins Hill – Suwanee, Georgia). Augustine has nice size and has received offers from the likes of The Citadel and Army. He was quick for his stature and very fast when changing directions in reaction to where the ball was present on the field of play. He played hard the entire time and looked as if hitting the opponent on the other side of the ball was a mission of which his life depended on. He will be a key player on the defense for Collins Hill this season and may draw some other big name offers as his final season of high school progresses on. Perhaps the biggest sleeper on the Collins Hill squad is Class of 2018 QB Jon-Michael Findlay (6’1, 180 – Collins Hill – Suwanee, Georgia). He looked very calm, cool, and collective in the pocket and his passing was accurate. This was true even on deep passes that he made down the field. Findlay will replace University of South Carolina PWO QB Drew Dinsmore this season as the main QB and I expect him to have a great season given that his performance resembles what I observed in Moultrie.
Gainesville High School is no secret to the game of football. It is the Alma Mater to College Football Playoffs champion QB Deshaun Watson who was recently drafted into the NFL. While they may no longer have a player with the persona of Watson on their squad, they do have a few prospects on the field that attracted my attention. Most notably, and more than anyone else on the Gainesville team, Class of 2018 MLB Keith Harris (6’0, 235 – Gainesville – Gainesville, Georgia) is a “sleeping” giant that should have already drawn much more attention from top college football programs. While he has an offer from Hampton, Harris fits the mold of what any program should be looking for in an MLB recruit to make an impact and difference on defense. I watched his Hudl video following my observance of him this past week and this kid is a beast (see https://recruitgeorgia.com/players/keith-harris-mlb-gainesville-2/ for what I am talking about). Harris is big, athletic, strong, hard to block, and puts a hurting on the opposing defender upon hitting them as he makes tackles with authority and with everything he has within him. The University of Georgia would bode well to have a look at this “sleeper” before another competitor does and snatches the “Red Elephant” up to compete against the Dawgs in the future.
Two other Red Elephant prospects that stood out to me were Class of 2019 QB Tre Luttrell (6’1, 180 – Gainesville – Gainesville, Georgia) and Class of 2020 WR/FS Justice Johnson (6’1, 175 – Gainesville – Gainesville, Georgia). Luttrell looked comfortable in the pocket and never flinched once a defender made it through the line and happened to be on top of him in the backfield. Moreover, the young QB showed excellent athleticism and could run from the pocket and up the sidelines with surprising quickness. Johnson, who is only going to be a Sophomore this upcoming 2017 season, was very active and very fast on the field versus the opponents in front of him. He showed great field awareness and that he was capable of shifting on the field when needed to elude and evade tacklers. I expect both of these players to make an impact in 2017 for Gainesville team and beyond.
Thomas County Central is the final team that I observed this past week at the Colquitt County OTA sessions. TCC has had some very good football teams in the past and has a long history of producing good football talent to go on to play at the next level. The squad from Thomasville this year is considerably young but that does not mean that there were not any prospects on the field that were of no consideration of mentioned herein. Class of 2018 WR Tay Cooksey (5’7, 164 – Thomas County – Thomasville, Georgia) and Class of 2019 RB/OLB Jaylen Dunbar (5’9 – Thomas County – Thomasville, Georgia) both looked pretty good with their performances in the South Georgia heat. Another prospect that could draw a lot of attention is Class of 2018 DT Martavous McCray (6’3, 290 – Thomas County – Thomasville, Georgia). He possesses nice size and strength and could have a very good season in his final high school campaign in 2017. One final Jackets’ prospect to mention here is Class of 2019 RB/FS/OLB Darian Daniels (5’10, 185 – Thomas County – Thomasville, Georgia). The incoming Junior RB looked very efficient and stout running the ball and may be an x-factor type of player for the Thomas County Central football team in the coming year. Overall, the most impressive insight that can be provided about the Thomasville team is that they look strong at the RB position and that they may have to rely heavily on such to be a force in 2017.
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