Welcome to part three of the preview of the talent expected to compete in the Music City 7-on-7 this weekend. Today, we will focus on some of the names that may not be that familiar to those who follow recruiting. These prospects have shined on Friday nights for their respective teams and are flying under the radar on the recruiting scene.
James Franklin and the Vandy staff will have their eyes open for talent all weekend.
Here is a look at the under the radar prospects to watch including a brief overview (these prospects are placed in no particular order):
Dallin Bridges- Clarksville (TN)- RB- Bridges had a solid season for the Wildcats. At 5’9, Bridges has a low center of gravity and strong legs, which make it tough for defenders to bring him down. Bridges also showed that he has consistent hands coming out of the backfield.
Austin Green- Rochester (IL)- QB- When last year’s starter and current Oklahoma State starter Wes Lunt went down with an injury, Green filled in admirably for the Rockets. When Lunt returned from injury, Green made several plays from his wide receiver position, helping Rochester to its second state title in two years.
Tony Jones- Wynne (AR)- WR- Jones is a huge target at 6’6, 220 pounds. Last season was Jones’ first experience playing the position. He is also a standout basketball player at Wynne. Several schools including Arkansas and Arkansas State have shown interest.
Booker Leach- Page (TN)- DB- Leach is versatile athlete that did a little bit of everything for the Patriots last season. Leach had over 400 all-purpose yards for 8 touchdowns on offense. He also returned several kicks; however, Leach did most of his work on the defensive side of the ball. Leach had a team high five interceptions, which was also top in his district.
Zak Steele- Independence (TN)- ATH- Steele has great size at 6’3, 220 pounds. Steele could play a number of positions at the next level including h-back, tight end, fullback, linebacker, or defensive end. As a linebacker/fullback at Independence, Steele is a physical player who makes plays tackle to tackle.
Keylon Hyde- Union City (TN)- RB- Hyde was named all state after rushing for 1,801 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2011. Hyde is a punishing running back standing at 5’10 and weighing 225 pounds. Hyde is a productive runner, as he is about 700 yards from becoming the school’s all-time leading rusher.
Jerome Jones- Clarksville Northeast (TN)- FB/LB- Jones is a bruiser from his fullback position. He is a physical runner that tries to run over defenders rather than run around them. He possesses adequate speed, and he has good strength which means he rarely gets brought down by arm tackles.
Trey Robinson- Dorman (SC)- QB- Robinson is considered one of the best dual threat quarterbacks in South Carolina. The 6’2, 180 pound quarterback is a good athlete with a strong arm. Robinson has great pocket presence, and he knows how to step up into the pocket to avoid the outside rush.
Edward Thomas- Hillsboro (TN)- LB- Thomas is only 5’9, but he makes up for his height with his relentless effort and passion for the game. Thomas always seems to find a way to be around the football. He’s violent when he gets to the ball, which is exactly how linebackers are supposed to play the game.
Michael Gordon- Madison Ridgeland Academy (MS)- ATH- Gordon makes plays from several different positions on the field. Offensively, Gordon excels from his fullback and wide receiver positions. Defensively, Gordon is a star linebacker and strong safety, and he even long snaps. Gordon is projected to be a linebacker at the next level.
Ta Rice- Gallatin (TN)- LB- Rice is an athletic linebacker that makes plays from sideline to sideline due to his length and athleticism. He had over 100 tackles for the Green Wave last season from his inside linebacker position. Rice is projected to be an outside linebacker at the next level.
Sonni Young- Dekalb County (TN)- WR- After a huge sophomore season, many thought that Young was on the verge of becoming one of the top prospects in Tennessee, but an injury sidelined him for his entire junior season. The 6’4 receiver is healthy once again, and he is ready to prove what he can do.
Brandon Coleman- Wren (SC)- WR- Coleman returns after leading the Hurricanes in nearly every receiving category a year ago. As a junior, Coleman caught 49 passes for 824 yards and 8 touchdowns. Coleman had a strong showing at the Palmetto State 7-on-7 event earlier this summer.
Julian Franklin- Fairview (TN)- RB- Franklin is another prospect flying under the radar this recruiting period. He is one of the most physically impressive prospects in the state. Franklin rushed for over 1,200 yards last season while averaging over 11 yards per carry. If Franklin gets into the open field, he will outrun everyone with his speed.
Joe Stampley- Wynne (AR)- WR- Stampley is another tall target for Wynne at 6’4. The wide receiver has only played one season on the varsity level due to focusing on basketball. Stampley has raw talent at the position, and he definitely has the tools that could make him into a great college receiver.