By Seth Ellerbee
Pictured: Chaz Chambliss – Freshman LB Carrollton
There will be talent everywhere.
The fifth annual Georgia Elite Classic will be held Thursday at McEachern’s Cantrell Stadium and will feature eight teams, two from each high school grade level, taking on each other in the what has become the largest one day of high school football all-star games in the country.
The 2017 edition of the event features nearly 400 players from across Georgia and introduces several new rules to the full day lineup, including coach’s challenges via instant replay technology.
Here is the breakdown:
Each team will have an opportunity to challenge one play per half, which will be displayed on McEachern’s huge and impressive video board. There will be at least two cameras on every play and if the coach decides to challenge, he must throw the red flag and let the lead official know he is challenging the play.
The white hat will then watch the replay on the board and make a decision. The game is using NFL rules and if the play is overturned, no timeout will be taken away. However, if the play is not overturned, the team that challenged the play will be charged one timeout.
Some other changes will also impact the Classic. Because of the large number of prospects in this year’s games, the quarters have been extended from 12 to 15 minutes to allow more players the opportunity to get on the field. Also, there will be a two-minute warning at the end of each half and NFL rules will be used for timing as well as a 40-second clock.
The halftime show has also been altered to include a kicking competition held among the four kickers in each of the games as well as the snappers. A live emcee will announce the results of the contest from the field. The participants will warm up from the 25-yard line and then will face sudden-death elimination, with each kick increasing in five-yards increments.
Other all-star game specific rules: On defense, only tackles and ends may rush. The middle and outside linebackers may not rush and must stay 2-yards off the line of scrimmage. Punters may not be rushed either.
All missed field goals, regardless of where the ball is blown dead, will be placed on the 30-yard line. Punts are not live and will be downed at the spot of the catch or where the ball is ruled dead.
Kickoffs will be from the 35-yard line and if the ball crosses the goal line, it will be ruled dead and be spotted at the 30-yard line.
The games are scheduled to be webcast live on ScoreATL.com, GeorgiaEliteClassic.com and the National Federation High School Network. Score Atlanta’s Craig Sager Jr. will be heading up the social-media driven webcast and expect a few surprise guests sitting in with him.
Tickets are $10 at the gate. There will be a live GameTracker and the games can be followed on Twitter at @GAEliteClassic. The game program can also be downloaded at GeorgiaEliteClassic.com.
Thursday’s Georgia Elite Schedule at McEachern High School
10 a.m.: Freshman Game
12:30 a.m.: Sophomore Game
3 p.m.: Junior Game
5:30 p.m.: Senior Game