County’s FBS-bound standouts spread across Southeast
by Adam Carrington
acarrington@mdjonline.com
February 06, 2014 04:07 AM | 3294 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
 For some, like Campbell’s Mike Rogers, his decision-making process came down to the final days before he picked Central Florida over Georgia Tech. For others, like Louisiana Tech-bound Walton quarterback Price Wilson and Harrison defensive tackle Joey Connors, a future teammate of Rogers’ at UCF, it was an early decision.
<BR>Staff photo by Jeff Stanton
For some, like Campbell’s Mike Rogers, his decision-making process came down to the final days before he picked Central Florida over Georgia Tech. For others, like Louisiana Tech-bound Walton quarterback Price Wilson and Harrison defensive tackle Joey Connors, a future teammate of Rogers’ at UCF, it was an early decision.
Staff photo by Jeff Stanton
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Up until the final week before National Signing Day, Campbell’s Mike Rogers was still considering whether to fulfill his commitment to Central Florida, or make the switch to Georgia Tech.

The all-state running back committed to Central Florida last August, but a standout senior season garnered him more attention, with the Yellow Jackets one of the hottest suitors.

Wednesday morning, Rogers made it official, choosing to honor his commitment to the Knights.

“I’ve been to both campuses a lot,” said Rogers, who will be playing safety for Central Florida after finishing with 85 tackles, five forced fumbles and three interceptions as a senior at Campbell. “I knew more players at Central Florida than I did at Georgia Tech and felt more comfortable. I also have family down there for support.”

Another Central Florida signee, Harrison defensive tackle Joey Connors, is looking forward to teaming up with Rogers after playing against him this season.

“It’s a big relief that he’s going to be on my side of the ball,” he said.

With Georgia Tech unable to sway Rogers’ opinion, that leaves only one Cobb County player having signed with one of the state’s four Football Bowl Subdivision programs.

Dominion Christian tight end Luke Lewallen signed with Georgia Southern and will be part of the Eagles’ inaugural season at the FBS level and in the Sun Belt Conference.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Lewallen originally commited to UAB, but reconsidered when Blazers coach Garrick McGee left to join Bobby Petrino’s staff at Louisville.

Coincidentally, Kevin Peoples, McGee’s defensive line coach at UAB, was hired by new Georgia Southern coach Willie Fritz, making it an easy decision for Lewallen to sign with the Eagles.

Lewallen, the first Dominion Christian player to earn all-state honors, also becomes the first football player in school history to sign with a Division I college.

Lewallen totaled more than 1,300 all-purpose yards as a receiver and running back, totaling 20 touchdowns.

“They’ve got it going over there,” he said of Georgia Southern. “Tradition is crazy over there, and we know we’re going to get fan support over there.”

Hillgrove defensive end Bradley Chubb signed with North Carolina State on Wednesday morning and is already enjoying a little friendly banter with his older brother, Brandon, a linebacker at Wake Forest.

The brothers will be on opposing sidelines for the first time when the teams meet Nov. 15 in Raleigh, N.C.

“He’s already congratulated me,” Bradley Chubb said of his brother, “and we’re looking forward to Nov. 15 when we play against each other.”

Four additional Cobb players will also be bound for the Atlantic Coast Conference, with Marietta linebacker Tyrell Tomlin, North Cobb defensive back Cameron Albright and Wheeler safety Allen Artis all signing to play at North Carolina, and Kennesaw Mountain defensive lineman Taariq Shabazz nearby at Duke.

Walton defensive back D.J. Smith will be heading into the Southeastern Conference to play for South Carolina, while Lassiter defensive back Chris Murphy signed with Arkansas. Quarterback Elijah Staley, a two-sport star dismissed from Wheeler’s football team in October, signed with Mississippi State, where he will also play basketball.

Former South Cobb running back Chris Beck is also SEC-bound after signing with Tennessee following two years at Dean College, a junior college in Massachusetts. Two of Beck’s Dean teammates from Cobb County also signed with four-year programs, with Tye Richardson (Sprayberry) going to Valdosta State and Jalen Williams (North Cobb) to Massachusetts.

A trio of Cobb players — Marietta receiver Marcus Bennett, North Cobb defensive back Jalil Kuku and Campbell linebacker David Collins — will be together at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.

“Having (teammates) from Cobb County is going to be a great experience,” Bennett said. “We’ll get to grow up together, serve our country together and come home together.”

McEachern is sending four players away to FBS schools, with free safety Daryus Thompson going to Miami (Ohio), quarterback Ty Clemons to Middle Tennessee State, tight end Trey Scott to Tulane and defensive end Henry Famurewa to Louisville.

Clemons, who rushed for 1,157 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior, will be heading to Middle Tennessee as a receiver and return specialist. He said he was ready for a change of position.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Clemons, who originally picked Georgia Southern only to decommit after the Eagles’ former coach, Jeff Monken, left for Army. “I’m ready for something new.”

Clemons will team up at Middle Tennessee State with North Cobb running back J’Vonte Herrod, who rushed for 1,170 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior.

Walton quarterback Price Wilson signed with Louisiana Tech, Lassiter receiver Quincy Perdue with UAB, Hillgrove receiver Emanuel Beal with Marshall and North Cobb defensive back Latrell Gibbs with Appalachian State. Smyrna resident Denzel Franklin, a safety at Pace Academy, signed with Stanford.
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