Over the past few months I have dedicated several columns to the meteoric rise up the college football recruiting boards of Lakeside’s Rashad Roundtree and Augusta Christian’s Zach Giella.
Giella has verbally committed to Clemson and Roundtree has his choice of just about every major program in the country, with Georgia, Auburn, Duke, Ohio State and Florida State among his leaders. While the attention given to Roundtree and Giella was definitely warranted, there are several other Columbia County athletes who will get plenty of attention from recruiters this fall.
No story will be more unlikely than that of Greenbrier wide receiver/ defensive back Warren Coombs. Coombs, who will be a senior, was not on anyone’s radar until a few weeks ago. When Greenbrier’s new coach, Jarrett Troxler, saw the 6-foot-3 athlete, he knew he had something special. He immediately got to work trying to get the word out about Coombs, who runs a 10.6-second 100-yard dash.
Coombs validated Troxler’s beliefs recently at a seven-on-seven competition at UGA. He basically could not be covered. He had Georgia’s staff scrambling to find out who he was and make sure he got an invite to this summer’s “Dawg Night.” That is the event last year that started the recruitment ball rolling for Roundtree. Coombs does not have any offers right now, but that will definitely change. Here is some information on a few other players to watch in 2014-15.
Player: B.J. Raymond (Lakeside), 5-10, 165, WR/DB
Offers: Illinois State, Yale
Others showing interest: Appalachian State, Duke, Georgia Tech, Northern Illinois, Ole Miss, Western Kentucky, Presbyterian
Player: Stephen Houzah (Lakeside), 5-10, 170, Athlete
Offers: Marshall, Charlotte, Illinois State
Others showing interest: Duke, East Carolina, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss
Player: Matlin Marshall (Evans), 5-11, 175, Athlete
Offers: Air Force, Georgia State, Mercer, Northern Iowa, Illinois State
Others showing interest: Auburn, Duke, Georgia, Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech, Middle Tennessee State, Marshall, Syracuse, Tennessee, Missouri
Player: Calvin Taylor (Augusta Christian), 6-9, 250, OL
Others showing interest: Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Appalachian State
Also, keep an eye on speedy running back Jamal Richard and young defensive lineman Michael Thomas at Greenbrier. Richard is a 5-9, 170-pound powerhouse. He ran a 4.36 40-yard dash at The AthElite Underclassmen Combine in January, and will definitely see some offers this fall. Thomas will be a sophomore, but the 6-foot, 270-pounder is already getting some notice from the recruiting Web sites and is projected to possibly be a major recruit for the class of 2017. He has the potential to wind up in the Southeastern or Atlantic Coast conference.
As you can see, the county is loaded with talented prospects to watch this season. Roundtree and Giella will get most of the recognition, and they deserve it. However, do not forget, there could be five or six other Division I signees in February. That is why I am proclaiming this to be the best year in county history in terms of football recruiting. I really do not think any other year even compares.