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March 24, 2012
Rivals/VTO Georgia: Top story lines
Sunday's Rivals.com/VTO Sports Georgia Elite 100 in Marietta will feature many of the region's elite players. Coming into the event, here are five things Rivals.com Southeast analysts Keith Niebuhr and Chris Nee are excited to watch:
1.Lawson the awesome
Can anyone stop Rivals100 strongside defensive end Carl Lawson of Apharetta (Ga.) Milton? That is easier said than done. In December, the 6-foot-3, 245-pound standout was practically unblockable during practices leading up to the Rising Seniors Georgia Junior Bowl. Before the event, he was without an offer. Now, he has several, and they've come from many of the country's elite programs. Lawson is extremely explosive off the ball, and combines that quickness with tremendous strength (he bench presses around 450 pounds). Will Lawson do enough to boost his ranking? And will any offensive lineman give him a battle?
2. Young guns
The group from the class of 2014 expected on hand is nothing short of sensational. Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek receiver Demarre Kitt has already collected double-digit offers and is looking forward to competing against some of the top cornerbacks from the 2013 and 2014 classes. Defensive backs Nick Glass and Nicholas Ruffin, teammates at Atlanta St. Pius, are two of the country's most coveted sophomores. Offensive tackle Orlando Brown of Duluth (Ga.) Peachtree Ridge, whose father was a standout in the NFL, is 6-10, 360 pounds and already has double-digit offers. And don't forget about Georgia running back commit Stanley Williams of Bethlehem (Ga.) George Walton Academy. The ultra-talented Williams is one of the Peach State's fastest - and most exciting - players. Look for other top sophomores to emerge Sunday.
3. Getting defensive in the secondary
Simply put, there will be an enormous amount of talent in the defensive backfield. And you can bet those competing in this group will want to leave their mark and show the other players what kind of skills they have. Besides Glass and Ruffin, two other headliners coming in are Rivals250 prospect Jalen Ramsey of Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy and Marietta (Ga.) Kell's Brendan Langley. Ramsey, a cornerback who claims 20 offers with Ohio State being among the most recent, is coming off an outstanding performance at a Nike Combine a few weeks ago in Atlanta. Langley holds nine SEC offers and is a big and athletic corner. Some of the other notable defensive backs include Shon Akins of Norcross (Ga.), Trevellous Cheek of Lawrenceville (Ga.) Archer, Ali Groves of Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson, Noel Padmore of Flowery Branch (Ga.) and Demetrius Monday of Fairburn (Ga.) Arlington Christian School. It also wouldn't be a shock if a few more big names show up.
4. Better to receive
The DBs are strong, but the group of receivers expected isn't too shabby either. Four-star prospect Carlos Burse of Alpharetta (Ga.) will be worth watching closely. He possesses excellent size, good speed and a very solid set of hands. That's why schools such as Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech have offered. Kitt, who might be the best 2014 receiver in Georgia, is another standout. When he is on his game, Kitt stands out against the best of the best. Ryan Jenkins of Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton, Tyree Harris of Marietta (Ga.), Myles Campbell of Duluth (Ga.) and Darian Horn Jr. of Suwanee (Ga.) Peachtree Ridge are among the other receivers expected who likely will end up playing at the Division I level. Will Burse and/or Kitt be the class of the group or will someone else emerge and steal the show? This group will be tested thoroughly by the defensive backs, and that should make for some exciting moments during the one-on-ones.
5. The back attack
Running back is another position that will offer up truly outstanding talent. Junior Alvin Kamara of Norcross (Ga.) is a four-star prospect that is being heavily pursued by several major programs. He gained a good bit of notoriety recently when he received 105 letters in the mail on the same day from Alabama. Travis Custis of Hampton (Ga.) Lovejoy is another very good back, even though he doesn't receive as much publicity as some of the other players at his position in Georgia. Custis, who holds offers from programs such as Georgia Tech and Miami, is coming off a monster junior season. And, of course, you can't forget about the aforementioned Williams, the Georgia commit. Chaz Thornton of Toccoa (Ga.) Stephens County is another player to watch. While he is lacking offers, his film is impressive, and his speed and explosiveness should make him fun to watch in this type of setting. As is often the case, other less-heralded running backs are likely to emerge.