The success of last year's inaugural Georgia Junior Bowl has led to even more participation from Gwinnett players for the second showcase.
A total of 15 locals, highlighted by Grayson defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche, were selected for the Dec. 30 football game at Atlanta's Grady Stadium. The event features a week of football and seminars for the junior prospects designed by Rising Seniors, a foundation started by former NFL players Izell Reese and Joe Burns.
Support from the NFL Players Association allows the organizers to hold football practices, as well as sessions on topics like the SAT and money management.
"It should be mandatory for all potential college athletes to go through something like the Rising Seniors bowl," said Greater Atlanta Christian senior Chase Roberts, a Georgia Tech commitment who played in last year's inaugural game. "My favorite part of the week was going to the hospital and telethon while we were working with the Curing Kids Cancer association. We all enjoyed the football part of the week, but Mr. Burns and Mr. Reese made sure that we knew the main goal was trying to develop yourself as a total person, with or without football. I can honestly say after that week I have a new perspective on football and the importance of giving back to your community."
Nkemdiche is joined on the East roster by Grayson teammates Wayne Gallman and Jack Banda. North Gwinnett's Donnie Miles and Alex Stoehr were picked for the game, and the only other Gwinnett schools with multiple selections were Peachtree Ridge with Tony Porter and Joe Horn and Duluth with Julian Williams and Myles Campbell.
Other local players selected were South Gwinnett's Reginald Carter, Greater Atlanta Christian's Tony Jones, Mill Creek's Kelsey Griffin, Parkview's Kyle Williams, Buford's Josh Cardiello and Norcross' Alvin Kamara.
North's Bob Sphire, Duluth's Corey Jarvis and Central Gwinnett's Todd Wofford will be assistant coaches on the East squad under head coach Ron Gartrell of Stephenson.
Kickoff for the game is 7 p.m. and general admission tickets are $10. For more information, go to www.risingseniors.com.