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June 10, 2005
Georgia 75 heavy on quality linebackers
Every year it seems like the state of Georgia is deep at one particular position. This year the position with the most talent in the Peach State is arguably linebacker as six of the top 21 players in the Georgia top 75 play linebacker, including the state's top prospect.
Click HERE to go to the 2006 Georgia preseason Top 75.
It comes as no surprise that Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson outside linebacker Marcus Ball has been named as the top prospect in the state of Georgia. He has been on recruiting lists for three years starting for one of the most talented squads in the South since his sophomore year. Atlanta (Ga.) Westlake headhunter Morrice Richardson checks in at No. 14 being one of two Westlake prospects among the states top 15 prospects. Conyers (Ga.) Heritage linebacker Bo Harris checks in at No. 17 as he has continued to fly up the charts this recruiting season. Another Stephenson linebacker, Perry Riley makes the top 20 cut at No. 19. Riverdale hasn't had a prospect in the top 20 in the state in several years, but this year linebacker Vandaral Shackleford comes in at No. 20. Rome linebacker Toryan Smith has an offer sheet to rival anyone on the list and owns the No. 21 spot.
Three running backs made the top 20 cut and Carlos Brown from tiny Franklin (Ga.) Heard County earns the No. 4 spot in the state and top running back honors. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the top 20 is LaGrange (Ga.) Troup running back Demetrius Goode, who comes in at No. 13. Goode has great speed and excellent moves and is one of the only players in the entire country we've seen on film who actually accelerates after contact. Snellville (Ga.) Brookwood running back Cameron Smith registers in at No. 16.
Several athletes made the list with Tucker's Asher Allen leading the pack and coming in at No. 3 in the state. Leesburg (Ga.) Lee County athlete D'Vontrey Richardson has continued to fly up the charts all recruiting season and earned himself the No. 8 ranking in the state. Folkston (Ga.) Charlton County rounds out the top ten as the state's No. 10 prospect. Williams led his team to a state championship as a junior and is being recruited as a wide receiver and defensive back. No list would be complete without someone from Lovejoy in it and Mario Fannin is the Wildcats top prospect who checks in at the No. 15 spot.
The Georgia Bulldogs have dominated in-state recruiting since Mark Richt arrived in Athens and this year looks to be no different. The Dawgs have already picked up commitments from the states No. 5 and No. 6 prospects. Ocilla (Ga.) Irwin County offensive guard Justin Anderson comes in at No. 5 and blows off the line, racking up pancakes and could contribute early for the Bulldogs if he can take care of some qualifying issues. Buchanan (Ga.) Haralson County comes in as the state's No. 6 prospect and has been referred to as a smaller Charles Johnson, who signed with the Bulldogs two years ago.
Stone Mountain has a third prospect among the top 20 players in the state with defensive end Jermaine Cunningham, who collected 109 tackles and 13 sacks as a junior. For the third consecutive year, Fort Valley (Ga.) Peach County puts a prospect among the top ten players in the state as wide receiver Chris Slaughter checks in at No. 9.
Another prospect that could possibly be labeled as a sleeper is Warner Robins (Ga.) Houston County safety Quintin Banks, who some say could end up a top 10 prospect in the state by seasons end. Banks earned the No. 12 spot and collected 79 tackles and one interception as a junior. One other safety managed to get his name thrown in the top 20 in Bainbridge's Darryl Gamble, who ran a 4.53 shuttle and posted a 35-inch vertical jump at the Tallahassee NIKE camp.