The 2014-15 recruiting season will almost assuredly go down as the greatest in Columbia County history. It all started with the meteoric rise of Lakeside safety Rashad Roundtree. While Roundtree will be the most highly rated football prospect to ever call Columbia County home, he may get a challenge in terms of major D-I scholarship offers.
That challenge is coming from Augusta Christian offensive lineman Zach Giella. Giella, 6-6, 295 pounds, has watched his recruitment heat up in recent weeks.
First, he got an offer from California of the Pac-12, then Duke, then Ole Miss. Next, Kentucky, South Carolina, Missouri, Mississippi State, Arkansas State and UAB came calling with their offers.
However, his two biggest offers have come in March. Giella has secured offers from football powerhouses Miami (Fla.) and LSU this month. Giella now has SEC offers to go with five other D-I offers and we have not even reached the busy summer recruiting circuit. The big Lion offensive lineman has been busy, nonetheless. Giella camped at Vanderbilt, Clemson, Duke, N.C. State, UNC, and Georgia this past summer. He has already made unofficial visits to Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, and Wake Forest. He recently attended Junior Days at Duke and Kentucky as well. Giella is currently ranked as the No. 68 prospect in Georgia and the No. 81 offensive tackle in the country by 24/7 Sports.
In addition to Giella, there are several other players who will make this recruiting season fun to follow. Here is a look at a few of the top recruits in Columbia County:
Rashad Roundtree (Lakeside) 6-1, 195-pound safety
Offers: UGA, Auburn, Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, FSU, Florida, South Carolina, Duke, Georgia Tech, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Michigan.
Interest: Basically every team in America
*Roundtree is rated as The No. 1 Safety and No. 17 overall prospect in the nation (No. 3 prospect in Georgia) by Rivals.com
Matlin Marshall (Evans) 5-11, 175-pound DB/athlete
Offers: Georgia State
Interest: Auburn, Georgia Tech, Duke, Georgia Southern
Calvin Taylor (Augusta Christian) 6-9, 250-pound offensive lineman
Offers: None, due mainly to his basketball summer schedule. He is an interesting prospect who will likely get several D-I offers if he does any of the summer football circuit.
Interest: Duke, Appalachian State
B.J. Raymond (Lakeside) 5-10, 165-pound WR/DB
Offers: Illinois State
Interest: Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, Presbyterian, Northern Illinois, Western Kentucky
Stephen Houzah (Lakeside) 5-10, 170-pound DB/athlete
Offers: Charlotte, Illinois St.
Interest: Georgia, Duke, East Carolina
Jamal Richard (Greenbrier) 5-9, 170 pounds
Richard does not have any offers yet. However, as teams see him run and work out, the offers should come.
His size will hinder him in terms of major D-I offers, but his sub-4.4 40 time and off-the-charts athleticism should assure him plenty of opportunities at the next level.