by Brandon Blakney
This past weekend brought fresh cut grass and hard hitting pads, as some of the top prep football programs in the state went at it in the High school Kickoff Classic.
West Forsyth hosted the preseason jamboree at BB&T Stadium and the event featured ten teams, several squads were from the Triad and others came in from various areas around the state. These scrimages were a good dress rehearsal before majority of these teams officially kick off this Friday, let’s dive into some takeaways from the day!
1. East Forsyth is a no Fly Zone
The Eagles secondary really set the tone defensively early and often, the group is led by seniors Khalid Martin (NC State signee), and Khalil Baker who holds a couple division one offers of his own. Martin is a four year starter in the Eagles program and he really lays the wood at safety. Martin is a student of the game, he’s versatile and physical enough to play either safety position.
Baker holds offers from Alabama A&M and Morgan state, Baker is the definition of ball hawk he locked his side of the field down and didn’t allow any deep completions. Baker was involved in several pass breakups and tackled well in the open field. This group pitched a shutout against a stout Richmond County squad.
Linebacker Kaleb Lundy ( Eastern Kentucky signee), leads a physical linebacker core and he lived sideline to sideline on Friday. The defensive line penetrated well and caused havoc for Richmond’s offensive flow.
2. Randleman spread the rock effectively
Offensively Randleman utilized the entire field and signal caller Timmy York really distributed the ball around well. York was poised and accurate in the pocket, he went through progressions and found easy check downs. York connected on a few deep shots down the field as well, he really allowed these skill guys to make plays.
In the backfield junior Jaquan Snipes is a playmaker he was elusive in the open field and he finished runs strong for extra yardage. Snipes was also active in the passing game, he lined up all over the field.
The Tigers receivers really opened things up, the speedy duo of Jakob Mitchell and Dominick Poole helped establish an explosive passing attack.
3. The new era of Granite Bears football looks familiar
First year Head Coach Jasson Adkins inherited some serious talent from last years group and the Granite Bears looked good on both sides of the ball.
Offensively Mt Airy was sharp, sophomore quarterback Holden Poindexter wisley established a connection with top wideout target Donavon Greene (Wake Forest signee), early in the game. Greene who is rated as a four star recruit in the class of 2019 according to 247sports national rankings, is expected to have a huge senior season. Poindexter connected with Greene for a 65 yard touchdown on his first pass attempt.
Greene broke free again later in the contest and snagged another deep ball before he was tackled inside the redzone, the pass was a bit underthrown which allowed the defense to recover and save a score.
“ There is a reason he’s (Greene)- is ranked as one of the top receivers in the state he’s a special talent, and we’re going to utilize him as the season goes.” Coach Adkins told Sports Carolina Monthly.
The defense performed well as a unit for the most part, they made plays and limited the opposition. Strong safety Cole Shelton will be an impact player for this defense, he’s got nice closing speed, and you won’t find many safeties that hit harder than Shelton he absolutely brings the noise!
“ I really feel the first two- three weeks of the season is where you’re going to make the most improvements, I feel like we’re going to get better over this span. I’m proud of the progress we’ve made but we’re not even close to where we’ll need to be, but we will get there.”
4. Jaquan McMillian is a Walking Highlight
At 5’11 170 lbs, West Forsyth’s Jaquan McMillian (East Carolina signee), has the makings of a lockdown corner, he’s got above average speed, McMillian has excellent hands, and his awareness is next level. McMillian should be in the running to lead the state in interceptions. At times it seemed like McMillian knew the routes better than some receivers on the offensive side.
What truly makes McMillian an X-factor is his ability in the return game, McMillian is a threat to take it to the house everytime. McMillian broke free for a big return and almost scored but was tripped up and eventually brought down, the return showed off McMillian’s big play ability he doesn’t need much space to turn it up field.
McMillian plans to enroll early at ECU in January after this season and this should only enhance his chances at immediate playing time.