Samford University's good start to the season has featured a near-upset of Central Florida, and some pretty good defense.
Gwinnett grads Bryce Smith and Erik Peterson have helped greatly in both.
Smith, a junior linebacker, leads the Bulldogs with 17 tackles (12 solos) and four tackles for losses in just two games. The Central Gwinnett product had his best game in a 28-24 loss to Central Florida, tallying a team-high 13 tackles and three tackles for losses.
Peachtree Ridge grad Erik Peterson, a junior defensive end, has seven tackles (all solos), two sacks, two tackles for losses, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in three games. He had four solo tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in a 27-0 shutout of Jacksonville.
Greenstone steps up for Vandy
Vanderbilt's offense has struggled this season, but its defense, particularly T.J. Greenstone, has played well.
The Collins Hill grad has been named the team's defensive player of the week twice in three games, including a nine-tackle effort last Saturday in a 15-3 loss to Mississippi State. The defensive tackle also had a sack and a tackle for a loss.
In three games, Greenstone has 15 tackles, two sacks and two tackles for losses.
Parkview grad Greg Billinger, also a defensive tackle, had four tackles (one for a loss) against Mississippi State.
Miles stars early for Gamecocks
South Carolina freshman Kenny Miles got off to a great start last Saturday in South Carolina's 38-16 win over Florida Atlantic, but missed most of the game with a shoulder injury.
The Brookwood grad had five rushes for 56 yards on one first-quarter series before getting hurt.
Holloway focal point for Braves
West Georgia doesn't have many positives in its 0-4 start, but one is sophomore running back Yusuf Holloway.
The Central Gwinnett grad is the Braves' leading rusher (55 rushes, 357 yards, 89.2 per game) and leading receiver (17 catches, 151 yards).
Buford grad Brandon McEachern has 12 tackles (eight solos, two for losses), a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Teammate Antoinne Jones of Norcross has 11 tackles.
Grayson grad Randy Sides, a tight end, has seven catches for 35 yards, while kicker Adi Brkic, a Central grad, has made 3 of 7 field goals and 5 of 6 PATs.
Roper out with concussion
Montana quarterback Justin Roper, a Buford grad, suffered a concussion during last Saturday's 49-17 win over Portland State.
Roper, an Oregon transfer, told the Associated Press he doesn't remember any of the victory, even his 56-yard pass late in the first quarter that pulled the Grizzlies to 14-7. The TD pass happened one play after he was hit hard as he was shoved out of bounds.
Roper is listed as questionable for today's game at Northern Arizona.
Chapple, DuBose lead GSU win
Greater Atlanta Christian grad Lee Chapple had an effective night, leading Georgia Southern to a 27-3 win over Western Carolina last weekend.
Chapple completed 26 of 38 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns, one to Buford grad Garryon Taylor. The Georgia Southern defense stole the show though, limiting WCU to four first downs and minus-12 rushing yards.
Linebacker Dion DuBose, a Norcross grad, aided the effort by returning a fumble 57 yards.
Clark flying high
Air Force's rushing attack has featured a lot of Asher Clark this season. The Peachtree Ridge grad rushed for 86 yards on 20 carries last weekend in a 37-13 win at New Mexico.
Clark leads the team with 242 rushing yards (80.7 per game) on 38 carries.
Raines honored by Peach Belt
Collins Hill grad Heather Raines, a senior at Georgia College and State University, was named Peach Belt Conference runner of the week on Monday. She is the first Bobcat female runner to receive the league's honor.
Raines placed ninth overall at the Ricardo Romo/Six Flags Fiesta Texas Classic, leading her team to a runner-up finish. She ran the 5K course in 20 minutes, 13 seconds.
Gwinnett Grads is a column that runs on Saturdays spotlighting the achievements of past Gwinnett standouts. Coaches and parents are urged to send suggestions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or via fax to 770-339-8081.
SideBar: IN FRONT OF THE CAMERAS
A quick look at where to watch fromer Gwinnett standouts in today's college football action.
Noon - North Carolina at Georgia Tech, WUPA
Duluth's Jason Davis (No. 45) plays defensive back, South's Zach Krish (No. 74) is an offensive lineman, Central Gwinnett's Josh Aiken-Phillips (No. 67) is an offensive lineman, Buford's Chase Hudson (No. 63) is an offensive lineman, Berkmar's Onu Okebie (No. 87) is a wide receiver, Parkview's Jared Polak (No. 27) is a linebacker, Norcross' Chris Tanner (No. 17) is a kicker and North Gwinnett's Tyler Jarry (No. 31) is a running back for Georgia Tech.
12:20 p.m. - LSU at Mississippi State, WPCH
GAC's T-Bob Hebert (No. 53) plays offensive line, Peachtree Ridge's Derrick Bryant (No. 36) plays cornerback and Peachtree Ridge's Kevin Minter (No. 46) plays linebacker for LSU.
3:30 p.m. - Arkansas at Alabama, CBS
Grayson's Lorenzo Washington (No. 97) plays defensive line and Norcross' Darius Hanks (No. 15) plays wide receiver for Alabama.
3:30 p.m. - Illinois at Ohio State, ESPN
Peachtree Ridge's Cameron Heyward (No. 97) plays defensive line for Ohio State.
6 p.m. - Florida at Kentucky, ESPN2
Buford's Omar Hunter (No. 99) plays defensive line and Buford's T.J. Pridemore (No. 45) plays fullback for Florida. North's Ross Bogue (No. 86) plays tight end for Kentucky.
7 p.m. - Arizona State at Georgia, ESPNU
Norcross' Fred Munzenmaier (No. 48) plays fullback, GAC's Caleb King (No. 4) plays running back, Brookwood's Rennie Curran (No. 35) plays linebacker, GAC's Christian Robinson (No. 45) plays linebacker, Peachtree Ridge's Drew Butler (No. 13) is a punter, Buford's Dallas Lee (No. 64) is a center, Dacula's Jeremy Sulek (No. 11) is a wide receiver, Parkview's Jason Veal (No. 49) is a linebacker, Wesleyan's Josh Parrish (No. 55) is an offensive lineman, Parkview's Jordan Stowe (No. 92) is a kicker, Buford's Billy Johnson (No. 94) is a snapper and Brookwood's Andrew Jensen (No. 96) is a kicker for Georgia.
8 p.m. - Vanderbilt at Rice, CSS
Duluth's Kennard Reeves (No. 28) plays running back, Parkview's Greg Billinger (No. 56) plays defensive line, Collins Hill's T.J. Greenstone (No. 74) plays defensive line, Grayson's Tristan Strong (No. 24) plays linebacker and GAC's Blake Southerland (No. 35) plays linebacker for Vanderbilt.
9:15 p.m. - Texas Tech at Houston, ESPN2
Dacula's Ari Tatum (No. 66) is an offensive lineman for Houston.
10:15 p.m. - Washington State at USC, FSS
Norcross' Brice Butler (No. 83) plays wide receiver for USC.