December 30, 2012

What young stars will shine?

ATLANTA - In last year's Georgia Junior Bowl by Rising Seniors, a number of players made a name for themselves.

Norcross running back Alvin Kamara burst on to the scene with over 100 yards receiving, five-star Milton defensive end Carl Lawson made his presence known to the recruiting world and Alpharetta quarterback and Arizona State commitment Joshua Dobbs cemented himself as one of the top quarterbacks in the state of Georgia with a strong performance.

It is a new year in 2012 and UGASports takes a look at five players from each team we believe you will know much more about when the game is over on Monday.

The West

•DB Lawrence Austin[/d]b (Lamar County) - Austin isn't very big at 5-foot-10, 170 pounds, but he plays much bigger than that. Austin has had a number of physically impressive plays during practice this week. He has the instincts to step in front of a pass and make a big play and he has the fearlessness to fly up and lay the big hit on players that are clearly bigger. We expect a big play from Austin on Monday due because of his ability to find and make plays on the football.

• LB [db]Juwon Young (Albany) - Young has been extremely impressive in practice this week, and we think he will play like he has practiced. Liberty County linebacker Raekwon McMillian gets a lot of publicity as the top linebacker in Georgia, but Young is right on his heals in our opinion. At 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, Young is a physical presence in the middle of a defense and has the athleticism to get out on the edge and deliver the big hit. Expect Young to be a force when the East tries to run the football, and don't be surprised if he uses his athleticism to force a turnover at some point.

• TE Chris Laye (Lambert) - Lay has been silky smooth all week in the middle of the field, and with threats like Sandy Creek wide receiver Demarre Kitt and Woodward Academy athlete Terry Googer on the outside, Laye will have some room to work. His 6-foot-6 frame will give the west quarterbacks a huge target in the red zone as well.

• OL Jermaine Abron (Warner Robins) - We picked Abron as one of the players we expected to emerge at the beginning of the week, and he hasn't disappointed. A number of the coaches for the West squad have mentioned that Abron is the best offensive lineman on their side, and he will get a huge test in facing Marist defensive lineman Kendall Baker and Tucker defensive lineman Elisha Shaw on the inside.

• QB Cole Garvin (Sandy Creek) - Garvin is undersized but very well coached and has a cannon for an arm. He is extremely accurate and given time, he will be able to pick almost any high school defense a part. One big advantage for Garvin is the fact that his Head Coach at Sandy Creek, Chip Walker, is in the same role at Rising Seniors and they are running his system. Expect Garvin to be sharp and work with Kitt to make big plays.

The East

• RB Josh Brown (Brookwood) - Brown has been the east's most physical back all week, and he will need to be big in short yardage situations. Although he is very physical, Brown has also shown the quickness to find daylight and bite off chunks of yardage. Brown also has excellent hands and you could see him do some of the same things that Kamara did in this game a year ago.

• OL Christian Harris (Collins Hill) - We have had a lot to say about this sleeper prospect all week long, and we don't expect him to disappoint on Monday. Harris is extremely impressive physically, and he should be able to handle the edge rush of the west's defensive end combo of Andrew Williams (Eagles Landing Christian Academy) and Coatney. He will also be challenged when asked to block down on the dominant defensive tackles for the West.

OL Terronne Prescod (Columbia) - Simply put, Prescod has been a stud this week. He is the only interior offensive lineman for the east that has been able to handle Shaw and Baker in practice, and he is one of the most physically impressive offensive lineman on the hoof that we have seen in years. Prescod is extremely strong and plays with a great base, and his play will be big against the defensive tackles of the West.

• DL Caleb Samuel (Stratford Academy) - Samuel has had a great week of practice and has caused a lot of problems for the east's quarterbacks with his length. The West's tackles aren't particularly long or quick on the edge, so Samuel will have an advantage there, and he has the strength to bump down inside and play in pass rushing situations. As many balls as he has tipped this week in practice from his defensive end position, we expect him to do much of the same on Monday.

• DB JaQuan Simpkins (Norcross) - Simpkins is one of the most fundamentally sound defensive backs in the Peach State, and that will pay off big time on Monday. He is a tad small at 5-foot-11, 167 pounds, but he has excellent length and solid ball skills. Expect Simpkins to draw the matchup with Kitt, and we think he will win his fair share of those battles.

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