Walton vs. McEachern
Powder Springs, Georgia- The second game of the East-West Cobb Classic did not get started until 10:00 PM. The game pitted the AAAAA State runner-ups, Walton, versus the best team in Cobb County over the past four years, McEachern. This heavyweight bout would not be decided until sometime after 1:00 AM on an Anthony Price 43-yard field goal with 25 seconds left in the game. Walton came from behind on more than one occasion to claim this exciting 37 to 35 victory.
The Indians wasted little time getting on the board as the young backfield combination of Ty Clemons and Taj Griffin hit a couple big plays. Walton would strike back by using Crimson Tide commit Tyren Jones like a pack mule carrying the load as he eventually would break free on a 67-yards scamper to pay dirt. Again Clemons and Griffin would bring McEachern down the field giving the Indians a 13 to 7 first quarter lead.
The Raiders would come back with a field goal late in the second quarter to close the gap to 13 to 10. The ensuing kickoff was then raced 99-yards down the left sideline by sophomore speedster Griffin. The score would shock the crowd as McEachern took a 20 to 10 lead with just 1:27 left in the half. Price would then chip a short field goal with no time left on the clock cutting the McEachern lead to 20 to 13.
In the second half Walton would ride Jones 13 times on a long drive that would eat up more than ten minutes of time to knot the score at 20. The Indians and Raiders would then trade scores as Jones would hit from 15-yards out and Clemons would toss his only touchdown pass of the game. Jones would again breakoff a 33-yard TD run giving Walton a 34 to 27 lead with 4:20 left in the game.
With only 2:15 left Griffin would strike again for McEachern this time from 23-yards out making the score 34 to 33. Coach Hockman of McEachern would then decide to go for two in hopes that a successful try would dash the hopes of Walton. The element of surprise worked as the Indians took their last lead of the game 35 to 34 with 2:15 left. Unfortunately that was enough time for the Raiders to ride Jones into field goal range. Price would then trot out and make his third field goal of the game crushing the upset bid by the McEachern Indians with just 25 clicks left on the clock.
Colby Billings*, DB, 6-0/170, Walton, GA (2013)
Stats/Highlights: Billings was the leading tackler for the second week in a row. He finished the game with nine tackles and two PBU's.
Assets: Billings is a very aggressive defender with a nose for the football and a penchant for contact. He did an excellent job of keep all passing plays in front of him. His fearless attitude against the run allows him to stop ball carriers in their tracks. This safety definitely plays downhill and can run sideline to sideline in order to land punishing hits.
Development: You look at Billings on the hoof and you see a tall lanky defender that looks more like a receiver than a hard hitting safety. Billings will need to add some muscle mass in order to hold up at the next level. Bottom line is that this kid is a flesh bomb and there is always a spot on a team for this type of striker.
Recruiting: He is being heavily recruited by several Southern Conference schools.
Jake Boynton*, OL, 6-6/270, Walton, GA (2013)
Stats/Highlights: Boynton was back in action after missing the first game of the season. He like Kublanow paved the way for a dominating running game.
Assets: Boynton has the ideal height and length to play offensive tackle at the collegiate level. In this game he demonstrated the ability to use those long arms on down blocks clearing the way for Tyren Jones. Boynton is also very athletic and a natural hip/knee bender. This allows him to get downfield and make additional blocks.
Development: He needs to stay healthy. Boynton has struggled with minor injuries most of his football career. He also needs to add upper body mass which will improve his durability allowing him to live up to his athletic potential.
Recruiting: Committed to Kentucky
Tyren Jones, RB, 5-8/190, Walton, GA (2013)
Stats/Highlights: Jones carried the ball an astonishing 47 times for 328 yards and four scores.
Assets: I have been to well over 100 high school football games over the past five years and have never seen a back carry the ball 47 times in a game. Jones proved all doubters wrong that only see him as an all-purpose back. This guy is durable and it is only a matter of time before he breaks off a long run. His signature move is to bounce off defenders while spinning towards open space. He maintains his balance and keeps his legs a churning.
Development: At times he is not patient and will not allow his blocks to set up. He also has a tendency to dance a bit while finding a hole between the tackles. Outside of that he looks to be an elite level back with Ladainian Tomlinson type skills.
Recruiting: Committed to Alabama
Brandon Kublanow*, OL, 6-2/285, Walton, GA (2013)
Stats/Highlights: Kublanow continues to pave the way for the top running back in Georgia, while also playing some defensive line.
Assets: "Big Red" as he is affectionately called by the NUC staff had a stellar game. This guy plays like he is possessed by Conrad Dobler. He fires off the ball and uses a powerful punch to blow defenders off the ball. Kublanow is also athletic enough to get downfield and take on linebackers and defensive backs. He projects best as an interior offensive lineman. So look for him to cross-train as a guard/center at the next level. He may be the top interior lineman in the country.
Development: Kublanow just needs to keep his cool and be conscious of hitting after the whistle blows. He could be a tad more consistent with running his feet after contact rather than trying to overpower his opponents to the ground with his wrestling technique.
Recruiting: Committed to Georgia
Parker McLeod*, QB, 6-2/190, Walton, GA (2013)
Stats/Highlights: He was 10 of 20 for 85 yards. His main job was not to turn the ball over while leading the second half comeback.
Assets: McLeod may actually be taller than list so he has the ideal height of a pro-style signal caller. He also has the ability to take snaps under center which should not be an overlooked skill. His arm strength clearly looks adequate and he does have a short compact throwing motion.
Development: His throwing motion and weight transfer needs to be the same on every throw regardless of length. All weekend long a saw young talented signal callers struggle with accuracy on the horizontal pass in the flats because the ball is thrown flatfooted. He is also a tad thin and will need to gradually add 20-pounds of muscle mass.
Recruiting: Committed to Alabama
DJ Smith, DB, 5-11/180, Walton, GA (2014)
Stats/Highlights: Smith was in on five tackles and one PBU while also making two short catches on offense.
Assets: Smith has excellent height and long arms for a cornerback prospect. He has excellent overall speed and is very loose in the hips. But what really stood out to me was his ability to come up in the open field and make quality tackles in the open field. Too many young corners would rather just shoulder a guy rather than sink the hips and wrap up on a tackle. Smith will be big enough to play either corner or safety in college. His skill set will also allow him to project as a possible kick or punt returner.
Development: He is still a tad thin and will need to add some size to help with durability. This will also help him break simple arm tacklers as return man. Outside of that he is a pretty complete prospect that will only continue to get national level attention.
Recruiting: He already has more than seven BCS offers.
Others who impressed: Ty Clemmons, QB/ATH, McEachern, GA (2014); Glenn Frazier, LB, McEachern, GA (2014); Blake Montz, DL/LB, Walton, GA (2013).
Jajuan Dulaney, OL, 6-4, 260, McEachern, GA (2013)
Stats/Highlights: Dulaney played left offensive tackle the entire game and helped McEachern move the ball up and down the field all night.
Assets: Dulaney did a great job of running his feet after contact. He knows how to get good hand placement inside the defenders shoulders and he just keeps those feet moving. He is a natural hip and knee bender that gets a lot of power coming out of his stance as he uncoils. His size and athleticism allow him to project a several O-line positions.
Development: He still seems a bit light in the lower half of his body. I would like to see him work on adding some significant muscle mass below the waist. This will allow him to stay anchored and not get pushed off the ball.
Recruiting: Committed to Maryland
Chuma Edoga, OL, 6-4/265, McEachern, GA (2015)
Stats/Highlights: Edoga played right offensive tackle and physically looks beyond his years in size and ability.
Assets: This is one great looking prospect on the hoof. It is really hard to believe that he is only a sophomore in high school. Edoga does a nice job of firing off the ball using his hands as weapons while keeping his feet moving. He is definitely athletic enough to get to the second level and make blocks downfield.
Development: He is a tad tight in the hips so improving flexibility will allow him to get into a better stance. Edoga will then be able to uncoil from that stance with more power blowing defenders off the ball.
Recruiting: There is no doubt about him being a BCS level recruit.
Taj Griffin, RB, 5-9/165, McEachern, GA (2015)
Stats/Highlights: Griffin had ten carries for 124 yards and two scores. He also returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown.
Assets: Griffin is the fastest football player I saw in three games this past weekend. He has the acceleration and top end speed to break long runs from any place on the field. He proved dangerous as a kick returner having gone 99-yards in a blink of an eye for a score. His skill set is ideal for being an all-purpose back or receiver with special team return possibilities.
Development: He is slight in stature right now so adding more muscle mass will allow him to break simple ankle tackles. That added size will also improve his durability. Griffin cost his team an extra-point with his selfish act of doing a flip into the end zone on his first touchdown. Hopefully maturity will come with age.
Recruiting: Without a shadow of a doubt a major DI prospect.