As promised, here is a recruiter's look at the state semifinal games going on under the Dome on Saturday. So far Wilcox County has dispatched Athens Academy with a strong second half, and ECI is up 28-14 late on Clinch County.
Buford vs. Dublin: This is the game with the largest number of big name recruits. Probably the biggest is 2008 Notre Dame commitment and Buford defensive tackle Omar Hunter. Hunter is probably one of the top 10 players in Georgia and one of the top 10 defensive tackles in the country. He's a good run stopper with quick feet who plays bigger than he is. Buford's defense also showcases Georgia Tech commit T.J. Pridemore. Pridemore is a big linebacker who might turn into a defensive end in college if he adds more weight to his 230 pound frame. Buford also relies on junior offensive lineman Dallas Lee, another of the instate prospects who has already visited Athens. Dublin was supposed to be depleted after last year's state championship run, but that's clearly not the case. Coach Holmes will run his trademark Wing-T offense behind Georgia Tech commit Nick McRae. McRae is one of those high school offensive linemen who looks like he could play in college tomorrow. He moves very well for a 280 pound plus guy.
Lovett vs. Cook: No major college prospects in this one, unless you count Lovett coach Mike Muschamp. I hear his brother Will is also a football coach of some sort.
Cairo vs. North Hall: Again, no major college recruits that I'm aware of. That probably means that at least eight players on the field will start in the SEC by 2010. I just don't know who they are.
Walton vs North Gwinnett: Walton will rely on defensive standout Chase Thomas. Thomas is another linebacker/end combo player. He's considering Auburn and Stanford. Walton's defense also includes 2009 defensive end David Paulsen, who will likely be one of the top prospects in Georgia next year. Thomas and Paulsen will face off against North Gwinnett's junior quarterback Michael Tamburo. Tamburo has been getting a good bit of attention fron the 'Dawgs, along with Oconee County signal caller Zach Mettenberger. With no quarterback in this year's recruiting class, it's safe to say that the Bulldogs will be in the market for one and possibly two in 2009. Tamburo is one of the main candidates. I think the "dual threat" label gets used way to much in describing quarterbacks. After all, do we refer to guards who can run block and pass block as "dual threat" offensive linemen? Of course not. It's just part of the job description. But Tamburo has good speed, and throws really well on the move. Even when he's scrambling, he does a good job of keeping his eyes downfield. I really like that.
Lowndes vs Camden County: Lowndes is led by Region 1-AAAAA Player of the Year Greg Reid. Reid is a smaller tailback who also plays corner. While his size (roughly 5'9 , 175 lb.) may scare away some recruiters, he's a playmaker. Camden County of course is usually loaded with great players. Unfortunately I don't know who any of them are. If any of you do, I'd appreciate the heads up for my own edification.