Organizers of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl are showing interest in them as well.
The three defenders were among 26 players from the metro-Atlanta area nominated to play in the annual game pitting the nation’s best seniors. Out of roughly 400 candidates nationwide, 90 will be chosen to perform.
A year ago, Walton running back Tyren Jones and offensive lineman Brandon Kublanow were chosen for the nationally televised game in San Antonio.
“It’s a major honor,” Albright said of the nomination. “This game and the Under Armour All-America game are the two highest-profile games for senior prospects, but I think Army All-American is more important because it has to do with the Army, veterans and people who serve our country.”
Albright, who also plays receiver and quarterback, made a statement last season and played a huge role in leading North Cobb to the Class AAAAAA state semifinals. After tearing his ACL in the first game of the 2011 campaign, he had to work his way toward a starting position.
Arguably Albright’s best performance came in the Warriors’ 42-35 victory over Mill Creek in the state quarterfinals. He recovered a fumble with the score tied at 21-all, and later threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Borishade in the third quarter to give North Cobb the lead.
Albright also had four interceptions on the year, two of which came in the playoffs.
Heading into his senior season, Albright has garnered offers from a group of colleges that includes Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, North Carolina State, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and Wisconsin.
Smith is also getting a similar amount of attention, with schools like Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Miami, Michigan State, Nebraska and Ohio State all pursuing him.
Smith’s stats as a junior for Walton were low-key — he had 42 tackles and two interceptions — but he really made a difference down the stretch, when the Raiders were stricken with the injury bug.
Smith took over as Walton’s primary tailback when Jones was lost for the season with an injured knee, and Smith could again see reps in the backfield this season. He totaled 356 yards and four touchdowns in Walton’s final three games of the 2012 season.
“He’s one of the best players at (cornerback), and I completely understand why he is recognized,” Walton coach Rocky Hidalgo said. “I think he will have a great senior year.”
The same is expected of Tomlin, who led Marietta with 128 tackles and added 4½ sacks in leading his team to the second round of the state tournament. He also had two interceptions, with the second coming in the Blue Devils’ 30-27 upset of Lowndes in the first round.
“He’s a finisher,” Marietta coach Scott Burton said of Tomlin, who has offers from Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee, among others. “He finishes plays with authority and plays with a high motor.”