Football recruiting is starting to heat up for many area athletes, starting with a Newton High star getting snagged by the local SEC football program.
Newton Rams four-star wide receiver Jeremiah Holloman committed to the University of Georgia Thursday. The Covington News first learned of Holloman’s commitment when Newton Rams assistant coach Josh Skelton made contact via Twitter. Holloman and another four-star prospect in defensive end Malik Herring, both committed via a Christmas-themed video featuring Georgia commits DB Richard LeCounte III (Liberty County) and QB Jake Fromm (Houston County).
Holloman finished his senior season with 31 catches, 513 receiving yards and seven touchdowns for the Class AAAAAAA Rams who finished the 2016 season at 6-4-1 after a loss to No. 3 Mill Creek in the first round of the state playoffs.
The 6-foot-3, 195 pound senior had an extensive list of close to 50 college suitors, but had narrowed down his list to UGA, LSU, Tennessee, Miami and Nebraska, Miami. In an interview immediately following his team’s first round playoff loss to Mill Creek, he’d initially pegged December 16 as the approximate time to make his decision.
Georgia’s regular season ended last Saturday with a 28-27 loss to archival Georgia Tech in Kirby Smart’s first season at the helm. The passing game and offense looks bright with freshman quarterback Jacob Eason at the controls for at least another two years.
Newton junior starting to grab attention
People are starting to take notice of Darnell Jefferies.
Not that it’s particularly easy to miss him. Standing at 6-foot-4 and 265 pounds, Jefferies is an imposing presence on and off the football field for the Newton Rams. The Covington native is a Peachtree Ridge transfer, and his first season back in his stopping grounds was a good one.
Jefferies registered 76 total tackles, including 33 solo stops. He had two quarterback sacks, a fumble recovery and 42 quarterback hurries during his junior season.
And this past Monday and Tuesday, a pair of Division I schools from a Power Five conference confirmed their watchful eye.
First it was Virginia Tech who offered on Monday. The 19th ranked Hokies will take on No. 3 Clemson Saturday in the ACC Championship game. Then on Tuesday, Georgia Tech followed with its own offer just several days removed from a win over archrival Georgia.
Jefferies promptly took to Twitter to express his gratitude.
“I love this game,” he said. “I promise to keep grinding in the classroom and on the field.”
But off of social media, he elaborated on what it meant to get those first two offers, and how it has buoyed his confidence going forward.
“I mean, it’s great. It’s great to get that attention and know that schools want me to play for them,” he said.
Jefferies, a product of Liberty Middle School, also shared how fortunate he felt he was to be able to come back to a good situation in his hometown.
“We didn’t have the best season last year when I was at Peachtree Ridge, so I just felt that coming back here would be a good fit for me,” he said. “Coach (Terrence) Banks and all my coaches have been great, and just have showed me how to be better on the field and coming off the ball.”
Typically the recruiting game kind of behaves like stacking dominoes. When one offer “falls,” others tend to follow suit. But none of that, Jefferies insists, will change his approach to the game.
“I don’t really have a favorite school or a particular school I want to offer me,” Jefferies said. “I just want to concentrate on getting better and to keep on improving. I’ve been playing football since I was little, and I always wanted to play in college. To know that I’ve got that chance makes me want to work harder.”
Alcovy coach getting ready to shop players around
Alcovy football coach Chris Edgar said he’s prepared to do whatever he can to get his players connected to chance to play college football, including getting them shopped around at the 2016 Fall Metro Atlanta College Football Recruiting Fair.
Edgar will gather some of his players, their hudl.com highlight videos and all of their academic information to present at the fair which will take place on Tuesday December 6, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., and Wednesday December 7 from 8 a.m. until noon.
It’s a recruiting fair designed specifically for FCS, NCAA Division II, Division III and NAIA schools as well as junior colleges from across the county that are looking for football prospects for the classes of 2017-2020.
Edgar said he’s excited about the opportunity to get his athletes more attention.
“My philosophy is that I’m not gonna tell a college that any of my kids aren’t good enough,” Edgar said. “I’m going to present as many of my seniors as I can, as well as some of our younger guys where the situation fits.”
After guiding his team to a 4-6 record in his first season – Alcovy was 1-19 in the two previous seasons – Edgar has found that his team’s improvement has resulted in more recruiting attention. Among them is senior defensive back Koby Perry who now has nine offers from various junior colleges and Division II schools, despite starting the month of November with none.
Kyrese Knox has also seen an uptick in recruiting overtures as he recently received offers from Avila College, Highland Community College and Hartnell Community College. And then there’s Caleb Allen who’s been offered by Catwba College, Tennessee Tech and Stetson University.