Baxter’s Blitz

Shrine Bowl prospects make noise

scvarsity@sc.rr.comOctober 1, 2012 

EVERY YEAR, South Carolina high school football coaches must select the state’s all-stars for the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. Here are some of the offensive players that I’ve identified deserving serious consideration.

QUARTERBACKS

Hilton Head Island’s Michael Julian (6-foot-5) has the running ability of a strong, dual-threat quarterback along with has the passing skills of a pure pro-style quarterback. Julian has close to a dozen offers, including Arizona, which was the first to offer in the spring. Union County’s Keiston Smith (6-2, 220) has passed for 1,898 yards and 16 touchdowns and is making a strong statement for 3A player of the year. Dorman’s Trey Robinson (6-3, 185) has passed for 1,174 yards and eight touchdowns and rushed for 635 yards and 10 more scores. Wando’s Christian Hart (6-4) is a first-year starter who has passed for more than 1,600 yards to lead the 6-0 Warriors. Conway’s Mykal Moody (5-11, 190) is popular among the coaches because of his athleticism. He has passed for 1,000 yards and 12 scores and rushed for 465 yards and three more touchdowns.

RUNNING BACKS

Goose Creek’s Tramel Terry (6-1, 190) is a Georgia commitment who is versatile as a receiver, running back or defensive back. He doesn’t have a lot of moves but he is big, strong, and fast. Conway’s Moody is probably more suited in this category. Carolina Forest’s Harold Atkinson (6-1, 220) is a bruising runner with good speed. He has rushed for 553 yards and is averaging 5.3 yards per carry. Jabo Lee An unheralded player who needs to be on the team is Strom Thurmond’s Darius Hammond (5-10, 190). He has speed to get to the edge but is physical enough to run with authority. Ashley Ridge’s Romelo Doctor (5-11, 185) is a flashy runner with deceptive strength. He has rushed for more than 600 yards, averaging 6.6 yards per carry.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Byrnes’ Akia Booker (6-0, 185) has 763 yards in receptions with eight touchdown catches. He is a threat to score from anywhere on the field. He has rushed for four scores and thrown one touchdown pass. Northwestern’s Rontavius McClure (6-6, 220) is a wide receiver in a tight end’s body. He has more than 500 yards receiving and is explosive after the catch. Lake Marion’s Mike Williams (6-4 , 185) can stretch the field and go up for the ball. He has more than 800 yards receiving. Dutch Fork’s Jordan Berry hauled in 15 catches against Goose Creek two weeks ago. Berry (5-11, 180) is another 800+ yards receiver. Nation Ford’s Dijuan Ussary (5-10, 174) has impressive speed and even more impressive hands. He has close to 30 receptions on the season and is as sure-handed as any on the list. Dorman’s Brandon Pinckney (6-0, 170) is an even better cornerback. His spot on the Shrine Bowl roster could be on defense.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

The Shrine Bowl O-line likely will be anchored by two players from Dillon High: Center Bryce King (6-4, 300) is the No. 3-ranked center in the country by Rivals.com; tackle D.J. Park (6-6, 335) is ranked No. 28 nationally by Rivals.com. Both of these players are SCVarsity.com Top 10 prospects for 2013. Wilson’s Justin Evans (6-6, 275) is at the tackle spot. South Aiken’s Justin Day (6-8, 300) is a Kentucky commitment and pretty athletic for a big man. Taylor Chambers of Irmo (6-7, 280) is a more athletic lineman than most and could be in the mix. Lexington’s Austin Turner is undersized at 6-3, 280 but is blessed with the speed to pull effectively.

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