Georgia Elite Classic awards 31 invitations following Kennesaw Mountain Showcase

A showcase at Kennesaw Mountain High School was held over the weekend with players ranging from the Class of 2020-25 all competing for an opportunity to earn an invite to play in the Seventh Annual Georgia Elite Classic this December. Showcase Coordinator and recruiting expert Rusty Mansell led the evaluation process, and after an impressive showing, handed out 31 official invites.

“The turnout was great,” said Mansell. “There were some kids that really jumped out to us, and overall, you could really see how much work these kids have been putting in this offseason.”

Four of the invitations went out to members of the Class of 2020, including Therrell safety Rashad Pruitt and Cedar Grove defensive end Christopher Stinson, both of which played in the Junior Elite Classic last December. McEachern defensive end Jonathen Cross and Hillgrove tight end James Reddick received the two other invites to play in this year’s Senior Game.

Five spots were filled for this year’s Junior Game and six invites were handed out for the Sophomore Game—including Mt. Paran kicker Turner Johnson, who starred in last year’s Freshman Game.

“I was excited to see Turner perform the way he did,” said Mansell. “Last year, 44 or 45 yards was pushing it for him, but he walks up yesterday with the whole camp watching and just knocks through a 45-yarder no problem. It’s fun to watch the growth of the kids that return to Georgia Elite year to year.”

There were 10 invitations handed out to play in the Freshman Game, a result of the eye-catching talent that beginning to amass in the Class of 2023. Prince Avenue Christian quarterback Lucian Anderson and Dutchtown linebacker Dwight Johnson Jr. were among the top performers, as well as Kennesaw Mountain receiver Jailen Taylor.

“We are the only Freshman All-Star Game in the state, so you can understand the high stakes that surround it,” said Mansell. “Anderson from Prince Avenue Christian was really good. That was also the first time I’ve gotten to see Johnson play. He ran plays at linebacker, running back and whatever he could to get more reps. His father has NFL pedigree so you like what you are seeing with him at this stage of his development. He is working hard to make his own name and was an easy pick for our game. …We don’t give an MVP at these showcases, but Taylor from Kennesaw Mountain would’ve probably gotten it yesterday if we did. He was fast, caught everything thrown his way and was very tough to cover.”

Two eighth grade quarterbacks (Rome’s Reece Fountain and Hillgrove’s Chase McCravy) and one seventh grade quarterback (Houston County’s Antwann Hill Jr.)  were also invited.

“The three middle school quarterbacks definitely stood out to me yesterday,” said Mansell. “You look at the two eighth graders, the Hillgrove and the Rome kid, and you look at the seventh grader, people just couldn’t believe he was 12 years old. Antwann is actually the nephew of UGA offensive guard Trey Hill. He’s already 5-foot-11 and 150 pounds as a rising seventh grader.”

More invitations will be rewarded once the season kicks off and Mansell is already expecting a busy September and October.

“We are done with camps for the year so what I advised everyone to do yesterday is after the first three games, to cut up a minute-long hudl tape and get it to us and we’ll put out another big batch of invites in September and then we’ll do another round in October,” said Mansell. “We’ll probably invite between 100 and 200 kids at the end of September so the game tape will be very important. We’re really looking for two, three or 4-game highlights that are one or one-in-a-half minutes long. That’s really what we’ll need for the evaluation process.”

ABOUT THE CLASSIC

The seventh annual Georgia Elite Classic at McEachern High School will feature a double-header on Dec. 21 between the Seventh Grade All-Stars (4 p.m.) and the Eighth Grade All-Stars (6:30 p.m.). The five remaining contests will take place on Sunday, Dec. 22. Starting things off will be the Senior All-Stars at 10 a.m. followed at 12:30 p.m. by the academically-inspired Brain Bowl that was introduced for the first time at last year’s Classic. The Junior All-Stars will play at 3 p.m., the Freshman All-Stars are slotted for 5:30 p.m. and the Sophomore All-Stars will take the field in the 8 p.m. finale.

In addition to staging the inaugural Brain Bowl, the 2018 Georgia Elite Classic also featured a Seventh and Eighth Grade game for the first time. This dramatically grew the event, and as a result, more the 500 participants and 180 different Georgia High Schools were represented in last year’s games.

To be considered for the 2019 Georgia Elite Classic visit georgiaeliteclassic.com

KENNESAW MOUNTAIN SHOWCASE INVITEES

Class of 2020

S          Rashad Pruitt (Therrell)

TE       James Reddick (Hillgrove)

DE       Jonathen Cross (McEachern)

DE       Christopher Stinson (Cedar Grove)

Class of 2021

G         Chase Soutar   (Woodstock)

QB      Dylan Brody Lackey (Sonoraville)

QB      Deymon Fleming  Jr. (Greater Atlanta Christian)

CB       Kylan Wimbush (Sandy Creek)

CB       William Mitchell III (Parkview)

Class of 2022

OT       Jace Warren (Calhoun)

DE       Cason Henry (Walton)

DE       Andre Guth (Johns Creek)

LB       Derrell Farrar (Grayson)

S          AJ Vaccaro (Creekview)

K         Turner Johnson (Mt. Paran)

Class of 2023

DE       Treveon Campbell (Central Gwinnett)

OT       Connor Lew (Kennesaw Mountain)

QB      Lucian Anderson (Prince Avenue Christian)

TE       Evan Duke (Kennesaw Mountain)

WR      Jailen Taylor (Kennesaw Mountain)

WR      Pearce Spurlin (Walton)

LB       Armon Jackson (Newton)

RB       Tyshon Jenkins (Kennesaw Mountain)

RB       Joseph Taylor Jr. (Central Gwinnett)

Class of 2024

OL       Paul Harrington (Blessed Trinity)

OL       Parker McClendor (McEachern)

DE       Azion Stinson (McEachern)

QB      Reece Fountain (Rome)

QB      Chase McCravy (Hillgrove)

Class of 2025

QB      Antwann Hill Jr. (Houston County)

Dates set for 2019 Georgia Elite Classic; All-Star Games moved before holidays

By Graham David | gdavid@scoreatl.com

The seventh annual Georgia Elite Classic has set the dates for 2019’s All-Star game lineup at McEachern High School. Following registration and the first round of practices on Friday, Dec. 20, a double-header featuring the Seventh Grade All-Stars (4 p.m.) and the Eighth Grade All-Stars (6:30 p.m.) will be played on Dec. 21.

Sunday, Dec. 22 will stage the remaining five contests. Starting things off will be the Senior All-Stars at 10 a.m. followed at 12:30 p.m. by the academically-inspired Brain Bowl that was introduced for the first time at last year’s Classic. The Junior All-Stars will play at 3 p.m., the Freshman All-Stars are slotted for 5:30 p.m. and the Sophomore All-Stars will take the field in the 8 p.m. finale.

In addition to staging the inaugural Brain Bowl, the 2018 Georgia Elite Classic also featured a Seventh and Eighth Grade game for the first time. This dramatically grew the event, and as a result, more the 500 participants and 180 different Georgia High Schools were represented in last year’s games.

McEachern’s state-of-the-art facilities and videoboard technology have also made it possible for the Georgia Elite Classic to introduce exciting in-game features like coach’s challenges and instant replay. In fact, history was made in last year’s Eighth Grade game when American Team head coach Rusty Reed threw the challenge flag on a fumble and got the play reversed to maintain possession and complete the first successful challenge in Georgia high school football history.

The caliber of talent being showcased year after year at the Georgia Elite Classic has amounted to an ever-growing spotlight. Recruiting expert Rusty Mansell of 247Sports will once again be leading this year’s selection committee and making sure that teams are competitively matched up and that playing time is maximized for each of the participants.

For an in-depth look at the 2019 Georgia Elite Classic schedule, please head to http://georgiaeliteclassic.com/schedule/. For more information, please go to http://georgiaeliteclassic.com/ or call 404-246-7819.

Georgia Elite Showcase to Award Final Invitations

Rosters are filling up quickly, but there is still time left. The Georgia Elite Classic is holding one final showcase at Walton High School this Sunday.

A total of 17 player invitations were handed out at the showcase hosted by Grady High School in April, and another 29 were awarded at Lassiter High School in July. Once the football season kicked off shortly after, it prompted the stream of invitations that continues to fill up the final roster slots of the event’s record-setting seven-game lineup slated for Dec. 27-28 at McEachern High School.

The lineup of games features a 7th and 8th Grade double-header, and concludes the following day with a Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior Game, as well as the first-ever Brain Bowl. Leading the enormous task of player evaluations has been 247Sports analyst Rusty Mansell, and he sees the showcase as an opportunity to ensure these coveted final roster spots are carefully considered.

“Roster spots are at a premium this year for sure,” said Mansell. “Deciding the last spots in these games is so important, especially because we have so many players that are submitting film and forms online to be considered. By holding this showcase, it is one more opportunity for me to get to evaluate players across the grades up close. So I think it’s a great opportunity, and why this showcase is going to be so important.”

The showcase is open to players in the Class of 2019 down to the Class of 2024—and offers multiple opportunities as a result. This is the first year that there is a 7th and 8th Grade game being played, but there is already a strong tradition of star power that surrounds the 8th Grade Game with names like OLB Owen Pappoe (Grayson, Auburn); WR Dominick Blaylock (Walton, UGA) and RB Steele Chambers (Blessed Trinity, Ohio State) as past participants.

Invites are also able to shine during the practice sessions that lead up to the games, and this was the case last December with Marietta’s Class of 2020 standout Arik Gilbert—who was working with the Sophomore American Team at the time. The 6-foot-5 athlete already had more than 30 offers when he accepted his invitation to play in the game, but there was still plenty to gain. Gilbert’s participation was ultimately his audition for a spot in the U.S. Army All-American game, and it took him just one practice session to receive the official invite.

Equally gratifying, Pepperrell High School saw a pair of its players reach the next level as a direct result of participating in last year’s Georgia Elite. Quarterback Trevor Thomas and wide receiver T.J. Watkins were invited to play in the Senior Game and did not have a single offer between them beforehand. Both had great weeks of practice, while competing with guys from larger classifications, and capped it with outstanding performances in the big game. Watkins led the Senior American Team with four catches, while Thomas ran in their game-winning 33-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Thomas earned a scholarship at Maryville in Tennessee and Watkins is contributing as a freshman this year for undefeated Barry (9-0) team.

The Brain Bowl adds another layer to the recruiting opportunities—and calls for eligible academic standouts from the sophomore, junior and senior classes to make up its two rosters. Eligibility requires proof of a 3.0 grade-point average, a combined two-part (math and reading) SAT score of at least 1000 and an ACT score of at least 22.

Click Here to sign up for the showcase and get more information on the Classic at GeorgiaEliteClassic.com.

 

2018 Georgia Elite Classic Game Schedule

At McEachern High School

Thursday, Dec. 27

7th Grade Elite 4 p.m.

8th Grade Elite 6 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 28

Senior Elite 10 a.m.

Brain Bowl 12:30 p.m.

Junior Elite 3 p.m.

Freshman Elite 5:30 p.m.

Sophomore Elite 8 p.m.

29 earn invites to Georgia Elite Classic All-Star games in December

The Georgia Elite Classic Showcase held at Lassiter High School on July 15 awarded 29 of its attendees with invitations to compete in the Georgia Elite Classic’s lineup of all-star games this upcoming December. The players participating spanned from the Class of 2019 through the Class of 2024 and showcase coordinator, Georgia Elite Classic Director of Player Personnel and 247Sports analyst Rusty Mansell managed the evaluation process.

“That was a lot more than I imagined,” said Mansell of the turnout. “It was one of the times where I not only had to scout a wide variety of prospects, but from rising seventh graders up to rising seniors. Usually I am focusing on two or three classes of kids, but this was a lot more.”

This offseason’s earlier showcase, which took place at Grady High School on April 21, handed out 17 invitations, but it started at the Class of 2019 and stopped at the Class of 2021. The announcement that this year’s Georgia Elite Classic would be adding a 7th and 8th grade game came three weeks after the Grady showcase and opened the door for the six middle schoolers that earned invites this weekend: Running back Harlem Diamond, Defensive end Justin Benton and defensive tackle Gatlin Hancock earned spots in the 8th grade game and running back Caden Williams and quarterbacks Reece Fountain and DeMarius Hines earned spots in the 7th grade game.

Pace Academy running back Donavan Johnson clocked a 4.8 in the 40 and was one of the 10 Class of 2022 prospects invited to play in this year’s freshman game. Xian Cowher, who played for the Freshman American Team at last year’s Georgia Elite Classic, ran an impressive 4.65 and got invited back to be featured in this year’s sophomore game. Hillgrove cornerback Noah Abrams was also invited to play in the sophomore game and posted a 4.61. North Paulding running back Noah Alleyne ran a 4.64 and was one of the seven that earned a spot in the junior game.

“Let’s be honest,” Mansell said. “These kids are paining for an opportunity to be showcased and we are providing that platform in a bigtime event and a bigtime arena. We are not just taking anybody for this event. The state of Georgia is producing, over multiple all-star games, we feel like we will put our rosters up against anyone. It’s so deep in the state of Georgia. I don’t think we have to hype it. We are going to work hard to get the invites to the right people and we look forward to it.”

 

Lassiter Showcase Invitees

Class of 2020

OG TJ Parks (Cherokee)

QB/OLB Niko Vangarelli (Mt. Paran)

QB Blaine McAllister (Lovett)

DE Christopher Stinson (Cedar Grove)

RB Noah Alleyne (North Paulding)

WR Jacob Jarrett (Roswell)

WR Rasheed Singleton (Jonesboro)

Class of 2021

DE Jamaal Jones (McEachern)

WR Xian Cowher (Augusta Prep)

DE Nicholas Claypole (Lanier)

CB Noah Abrams (Hillgrove)

LB Carter Kubow (North Paulding)

WR Briley Stilwell (North Paulding)

Class of 2022

LB Carlos Cervantes (Marietta)

OT Ryan Purves (Walton)

QB Ray Morrison (Northwest Whitfield)

WR D’Angelo Ezell (Grayson)

LB Gage Leonard (Christian Heritage)

RB Donavan Johnson (Pace Academy)

RB Sean Downer (Grayson)

LB Easton Burgess (Grayson)

WR Kamrin Brunson (Grayson)

QB Sebastian Irons (Dacula)

Class of 2023

RB Harlem Diamond (Cedartown)

DE Justin Benton (Veterans)

DT Gatlin Hancock (Darlington)

Class of 2024

RB Caden Williams (Calhoun)

QB Reece Fountain (Rome)

QB DeMarius Hines (Westlake)

 

2018 Georgia Elite Classic Game Schedule

At McEachern

Thursday, Dec. 27

7th Grade Elite 4 p.m.

8th Grade Elite 6 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 28

Senior Elite 10 a.m.

Brain Bowl 12:30 p.m.

Junior Elite 3 p.m.

Freshman Elite 5:30 p.m.

Sophomore Elite 8 p.m.

Georgia Elite Classic to hand out all-star invites Sunday at Lassiter Showcase

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR SUNDAY’S SHOWCASE

The Georgia Elite Classic Showcase this Sunday, July 15, is the next chance for the state’s rising football stars to qualify for one of seven All-Star Games this December. The Showcase will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lassiter High School and will feature a variety of drills and head-to-head competition.

Rusty Mansell, 247Sports’ Georgia recruiting analyst and head of the Georgia Elite Classic selection committee, will lead a staff of evaluators consisting of high school coaches from the Metro Atlanta area.

Rising sixth- through 12th-graders are eligible to participate in the Showcase. Registration is $60 on GeorgiaEliteClassic.com before the event, and walk-up registration the morning of the Showcase is $70.

The athletes in the Showcase will be put through a dynamic warmup before they are divided into groups and rotated through the following testing stations for measurements: 40-yard dash, agility shuttle and broad jump. The players will get two attempts at each station. After those stations are completed, players will be divided once again and evaluated on their performance in position-specific drills, 1-on-1s and 2-on-2s. Immediately following the Showcase, the results of each player’s performance will go out to more than 250 colleges and their coaching staffs. The Showcase will record verified heights and weights as well as 40-yard-dash and drill times.

After April’s Showcase, 17 participants were extended invitations to play in one of the seven Georgia Elite Classic all-star games at McEachern High School on Dec. 27 and 28.

The five-game high school lineup on Friday, Dec. 28, will continue to feature talented underclassmen, nationally ranked juniors and the best uncommitted seniors. Last December’s games were closely contested, with the Sophomore and Senior games both being decided by three points. Rising senior Zach Calzada, a quarterback from Lanier, recently committed to Texas A&M after gaining exposure in the Junior game, in which he passed for 229 yards.

The Georgia Elite Classic will also hold its inaugural Brain Bowl in between the Junior and Senior all-star games. Player nominations for Team Einstein and Team Hawking opened on March 1 at GeorgiaEliteClassic.com; in order to be eligible, players must provide proof of a 3.0 GPA, a combined three-part SAT score of at least 1500 and an ACT score of at least 22. Coaches from such conferences as the Ivy League, Patriot League and New England Small College Athletic Conference have been drawn to the Peach State for years, and small conferences featuring top-notch schools are expected to work closely throughout the year with the Georgia Elite Classic.

The 2018 Georgia Elite Classic will feature a seventh-grade game for the first time. The event featured an eighth-grade game in its first two years, 2013 and 2014, and will renew that event this December. The inaugural eighth-grade matchup featured many recent signees, as Florida freshman Emory Jones of Heard County and UNC freshman Cade Fortin of North Gwinnett quarterbacked the teams. Center Warren Ericson (North Gwinnett, Georgia), wide receiver Zach Williams (Johns Creek, Arizona) and cornerback Kyler McMichael (Greater Atlanta Christian, Clemson) were just a few of the stars to play in the 2013 game. The 2014 eighth-grade game featured current senior stars such as outside linebacker Owen Pappoe (Grayson, Auburn commit), wide receiver Dominick Blaylock (Walton, UGA) and running back Steele Chambers (Blessed Trinity, Ohio State), to name a few. The middle school games will be played Thursday evening, Dec. 27.

For more information, go to GeorgiaEliteClassic.com and don’t forget to sign up for Sunday’s showcase at Lassiter High School by Clicking Here.

Next Georgia Elite Classic Showcase set for July 15 at Lassiter

The upcoming Georgia Elite Classic Showcase provides an opportunity for football players to show off their skills, get recognition and possibly earn an invitation to one of the seven Georgia Elite Classic games in December. The Showcase, which will take place at Lassiter High School on Sunday, July 15 at 9 a.m., will be overseen by Rusty Mansell, 24/7 Sports’ Georgia recruiting analyst. All rising seventh through 12th graders are eligible to enter the showcase.

“Rusty is one of the best there is,” said Score Atlanta’s Craig Sager II, who’s been involved in organizing the events since the inaugural year. “It gives him a good look at the guys of the Class of 2020 or 2021 that he really hasn’t gotten a chance to look at before. With him being on the Georgia Elite Classic selection committee, it’s good exposure. In the last showcase (in April), there were more than several guys, even double-digits, that got an invitation to play in the all-star games this year, so that motivates.”

One of the players in last season’s Georgia Elite Classic Sophomore Game was a late selection, Lanier’s Zach Calzada, who recently committed to Texas A&M. According to Mansell, the Showcase, practices and the All-Star game helped kick-start Calzada’s recruiting profile.

“You take somebody like Zach Calzada,” Mansell said. “I knew a little bit about him, I had seen him before. But I didn’t get a chance to see him as much as I probably should have. But after seeing him in the practices (at the Georgia Elite Classic) and then seeing him in those games, I knew then he was a lot better than myself, and the recruiting industry, was giving him credit for.

“He was a late addition and we were trying to decide, and we made a great call, a lucky call. I remember standing by some guys who are pretty respected in the industry that day who were like, ‘whoa, who is this guy? He is good.’ So it didn’t take long after that for his recruitment to jumpstart.”

The athletes in the Showcase will be put through a dynamic warmup before they are divided into groups and rotated through the following testing stations for measurements: 40-yard dash, agility shuttle and broad jump. The players will get two attempts at each station.

After all the measurable tests are completed, players will be divided once again and evaluated on their performance in position-specific drills, 1-on-1s and 2-on-2s. Immediately following the Showcase, the results of each player’s performance will go out to more than 250 colleges and their coaching staffs.

“It’s a good change, in terms of the overall environment,” said Sager, who walked on at the University of Georgia and played high school football at Walton. “They’re pretty competitive. You’re doing drills against other guys in the same position and you’re trying to show off your speed and skills in a different way. It’s different than a normal football practice. You don’t have your own coaches there, of course. But it’s just a raw version of the drills. The pressure is kind of taken off and you’re just out there competing. It’s more like a personal approach.”

In terms of recruiting exposure, the information and opportunities provided by the Georgia Elite Classic Showcase are crucial for the success of getting recognized by colleges across the nation.

“It’s a good measuring stick to see them in person and actually watch them compete up close,” said Mansell. “Sometimes during games, you have 22 other kids and you’re trying to focus on everybody. But when we get a setting like this, we can really focus on individual athletes and get a good look at you. Plus, we will have verified heights and weights, and verified 40-yard-dash times. That is so important.”

The staff, which will be hand-selected by Mansell, will be composed of high school coaches from around the Atlanta area.

“I have guys that work my MVP camps,” Mansell said. “I have guys that I trust, and they know how to run a camp. But I trust them to evaluate. … I can’t see every [player] all day long. So, as the position group coaches, I trust them to evaluate. That’s the kind of staff I’ll put together that day, but it will be high school coaches from the Atlanta area.”

The Showcase check-in time is 9 a.m., and players can register before the event for $60. For walk-ups the day of the event, the price to register is $85. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Georgia Elite Classic adds 7th and 8th Grade Games for 7-game lineup

The 2018 Georgia Elite Classic is adding seventh and eighth grade all-star games for its first-ever seven-game lineup that will be played on Dec. 27-28 at McEachern’s Cantrell Stadium. Starting with the seventh grade game at 5 p.m. and the eighth grade game at 7 p.m. on Dec. 27th, the Classic will conclude on the 28th with freshman, sophomore, junior and senior games and the first-ever Brain Bowl.

The event featured an eighth grade game in its inaugural year (2013), and those rosters, which represented a seemingly distant Class of 2018, proved to be packed with some of the most talented players in the country. Florida signee Emory Jones of Heard County and UNC signee Cade Fortin of North Gwinnett led the quarterbacks in the matchup, while big names like center Warren Ericson (North Gwinnett, Georgia); wide receiver Zach Williams (Johns Creek, Arizona); cornerback Kyler McMichael (Greater Atlanta Christian, Clemson); Jamarcus Chatman (Rome, FSU); Realus George (Pace Academy, Miami) and RB Rico Frye (Cartersville, Bowling Green) also formed the rosters.

In 2014, the eighth grade game featured the Class of 2019, which will be representing the state as seniors in the fall this upcoming season. This impressive group included:

OLB Owen Pappoe (Grayson, Auburn); WR Dominick Blaylock (Walton, UGA); RB Steele Chambers (Blessed Trinity, Ohio State); TE Ryland Goede (Kennesaw Mountain, UGA); OC Jakai Clark (Grayson, Auburn); CB Kenyatta Watson II (Grayson, Texas); LS Quentin Skinner (Buford, LSU); 4-stars SDE Justin Eboigbe (Forest Park), S Jaylen McCollough (Hillgrove) and 3-stars CB DJ Turner (North Gwinnett), OG Riley Simonds (Buford), QB Ross Malmgram (North Paulding), RB Paris Brown Jr. (McEachern), ATH Isiah Grant (North Paulding), CB Emmanuel Jenkings (Sequoyah), DL Derrick McClendon (Tucker), ATH Malik Washington (Parkview)

This will be a great opportunity to get an early look at some of the state’s most promising young stars and the same selection committees and coach-based nominations will be used to determine the rosters in each of the games. John Woods will head up the middle school selection committee with help from Rusty Mansell of 247Sports. Not only will these middle schoolers get a chance to play in the game, but they will get to bump shoulders with those participating in the five other games from check-in on Dec. 26, until the final game. Players will report on Dec. 26 at 9 a.m. and will have two practices that day and then one more practice the morning of the 27th before the games kick off. All players will receive a jersey and the official Georgia Elite Classic Player Pack.

2018 GEORGIA ELITE CLASSIC SCHEDULE

At McEachern High School

Thursday, Dec. 27

Seventh Grade Game 5 p.m.

Eighth Grade Game 7 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 28

Freshman Game 9:30 a.m.

Sophomore Game 12 p.m.

Junior Game 2:30 p.m.

Brain Bowl 5 p.m.

Senior Game 7:30 p.m.

1st GA Elite Classic Showcase of offseason yields 17 invites to December games

The Georgia Elite Classic Showcase at Grady High School on April 21 handed out 17 invitations to compete in the sixth annual all-star classic this December. Players from the Class of 2019 through the Class of 2022 were eligible to attend this weekend’s showcase (the first of the 2018 offseason) and took advantage of the opportunity in a big way.

Leading the camp evaluations was showcase coordinator, Georgia Elite Classic Director of Player Personnel and 247Sports analyst Rusty Mansell, along with the Classic’s selection and review committee.

“It was amazing to see the amount of talent that came to Grady High School, especially on both the offensive and defensive lines,’’ said I.J. Rosenberg, the president of Score Atlanta, the company that owns the Georgia Elite Classic. “We also had the benefit of Chuck Smith working with the defensive line and Chris Hixson with the quarterbacks. I don’t think Rusty intended on giving out as many invitations as we did, but the group was that impressive.’’

Howard cornerback Lorenzo Hargrove was one of the five players from the Class of 2019 to earn a spot in this year’s senior game after a strong showing at the event; Hargrove recorded three interceptions for the Huskies last fall. Brookwood teammates Sean Hill and Aidan Perkins, both starters up front for Broncos as sophomores last year, were both invited to play in this year’s Junior game.

Roswell kicker and quarterback Caden Long was one of five Class of 2021 players who were invited to play in the sophomore game. Long threw a touchdown and handled kicking duties in last year’s Freshman game, helping the American team defeat the Nationals 17-15.

Here’s a look at all the invitees:

Class of 2019

RB Gerald Daniels (Houston County)

CB Lorenzo Hargrove (Howard)

CB Antonio Prioleau (North Atlanta)

QB Cade Scott (Paulding County)

S Kyle Terry (Mt. Paran)

Class of 2020

OT Sean Hill (Brookwood)

OC Aidan Perkins (Brookwood)

DT Wesley Horton (North Atlanta)

DT Connor Johnston (Sequoyah)

DE Jordan Mitchell (Trinity Christian)

S Caleb Williamson (Harrison)

WR Christian Hodgins (Sequoyah)

Class of 2021

WR Jaylen Ellis (Paulding County)

QB Caden Long (Roswell)

G Kaleb Lowe (Harris County)

CB William Mitchell III (Parkview)

DE Bryce Stanfield (Harrison)

Grady Stadium to host offseason’s first Georgia Elite Classic Showcase; Waffle House to provide lunch

By Craig Sager II

Football scattered, smothered and covered!

This offseason’s first Georgia Elite Classic Showcase is set for April 21, 2018 and will take place at Grady High School’s historic Grady Stadium. Players from the Class of 2019 through the Class of 2022 are eligible to attend, and can take advantage of this early opportunity to compete, get better, and showcase their abilities. And to top it off, they will get a lunch from Waffle House.

Athletes will be put through a dynamic warm-up before they are divided into groups and rotated through the following testing stations for measurements: 40-yard dash, agility shuttle and broad jump (players will get two attempts at each station). After all the measurable tests are completed, players will be divided once again and evaluated on their performance in position specific drills, 1-on-1’s and 2-on-2’s.

There will be five games this year on Dec. 28 at McEachern High School for freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors as well as the added “Brain Bowl” for juniors and seniors who hit the books hard.

Coordinating the showcase and leading evaluation process will be Georgia Elite Classic Director of Player Personnel and 247Sports’ Rusty Mansell, along with the Classic’s selection and review committee. Following the showcase, the results of each player’s performance will go out to more than 250 colleges and their coaches.

“The evaluation process is an essential part of recruiting and there are only so many camps to go to each offseason,” explained Mansell. “So this really is a golden opportunity for us. Holding this showcase allows the Georgia Elite Classic selection committee, recruiting services and players from the next four recruiting classes to dive into this process before the summer and really hit the ground running. You could drop a pin at Grady High School and go around a 30-mile radius and find DI and FBS players packed in everywhere.”

Mansell’s years of experience covering Georgia’s recruiting scene are primed for the controlled environment that this showcase will provide, and he is preparing ahead of time to take full advantage.

“That’s the goal with this showcase,” said Mansell. “Everyone gets a chance to compete on a levelled stage. So because of that, it really is a controlled environment. If I want to see a Mountain View kid go up against a Mill Creek kid, or give a recruit from a lower classification a chance to matchup with a player that he wouldn’t get to go against we can do that. There is no discrimination, and we get to go into full evaluation mode.”

Mansell and his team are also eager to observe the underclassmen talent, and get ahead of the game with their evaluation of prospects from the Class of 2021 and 2022.

“It’s always a cycle,” said Mansell. “The Class of 2018 was a group that had a ton of mega stars with guys like 5-star quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. They dominated a lot of people’s time because they were special players. That’s not saying they did not deserve all the coverage. They did, but there were just so many big names headlining the Class of 2018 that it was important to make sure they were all being well-covered. That being said, I think this 2019 class is better than people think and very well-rounded. I can already see it coming with the star-studded Class of 2020. Now, the Class of 2021 and Class of 2022 can really start coming into scope too.”

Lunch and hash browns will be provided by Waffle House and all participants will receive a Georgia Elite Classic t-shirt. For more information visit GeorgiaEliteClassic.com or click on the registration link. The Showcase flyer is also provided below.

Elite-Showcase-2018

Georgia Elite Classic introduces inaugural ‘Brain Bowl’

The lineup of the sixth annual Georgia Elite Classic will include the first-ever Brain Bowl, in addition to Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior all-star games. This five-game marathon will take place at McEachern High School on Friday, Dec. 28.

Eligible academic standouts from the sophomore, junior and senior classes will make up the two rosters of the Brain Bowl and will square off in the second slot of the five-game lineup. Player nominations for Team Einstein and Team Hawking are open at GeorgiaEliteClassic.com and will require proof of a 3.0 grade-point average and combined two-part (math and reading) SAT score of at least 1,000 and an ACT score of at least 22.

The Georgia Elite Classic has grown from its beginnings as a junior game in 2013, and this past December brought the most significant expansion in the event’s history. More than 400 players from all four classes were featured, and more than 170 different high schools across the state of Georgia had at least one player in the games. New features like a halftime kicking contest, instant replay, coaching challenges and the use of 15-minute quarters were added as well.

The result was an unprecedented look at Georgia’s top stars, driving even more college interest in the state’s gridiron greatness. The idea for the Brain Bowl came specifically from the academic powerhouses of the northeastern United States. Coaches from such conferences as the Ivy League, Patriot League and New England Small College Athletic Conference have been drawn to the Peach State for years, suggesting an all-star game could be created specifically for top student-athletes could deliver more student-athletes up north. These schools are looking for academically qualified players from Georgia and are expected to work closely throughout the year with the Georgia Elite Classic.

“It’s no secret that Georgia has some of the brightest and most talented prospects in the country,” said Score Atlanta president and Georgia Elite Classic founder I.J. Rosenberg. “I think the Brain Bowl is a great way to showcase that and give these guys a chance to compete in an All-Star game environment against the type of student-athlete they were play against in college. They have worked hard on and off the field and deserve this opportunity. Al lot of parents don’t know about the academic opportunities their kids can get at schools like Yale, Georgetown and Amherst among many others and also get to play four years of competitive college football. OK, I have to say it, it’s a no-brainer.’’

For more information on the Georgia Elite Classic Brain Bowl, call I.J. Rosenberg at 404-246-7819 (ijrosenberg@scoreatl.com) or Graham David at 513-600-6557 (gdavid@scoreatl.com).

 

2018 GEORGIA ELITE CLASSIC SCHEDULE

At McEachern High School

Thursday, Dec. 27

Seventh Grade Game 4 p.m.

Eighth Grade Game 6 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 28

Senior Game 10:00 a.m.

Brain Bowl 12:30 p.m.

Junior Game 3 p.m.

Freshman Game 5:30 p.m.

Sophomore Game 8 p.m.