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THE BLITZ: County's talent continues to grow

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Editor's Note: Brandon Brigman, a sports writer for the Daily Post, writes a blog every Monday called "The Blitz." It is available online at www.gwinnettdailypost.com.

Every year around National Signing Day in February, I'm amazed by the number of football players from Gwinnett who sign college scholarships.

The list continues to grow and last year it reached a record-setting 85 signees.

That's pretty impressive, especially when you consider in 2000 there were just 11. Seriously.

I think the list could top 100 this year with the way Gwinnett players are making commitments. There are already 21 players who have made college commitments. Usually by this time of the year it's about 10 or 15.

There are still dozens of players off the top of my head that haven't made college choices. Buford tight end Kurt Freitag is expected to do so by the end of the month, Duluth quarterback Anfernee Stewart is still uncommitted and North Gwinnett defensive lineman Jordan Washington is supposed to make a decision soon. Those are just three of the more high profile seniors.

Buford's Nathan Staub, Central Gwinnett's George Morris and Malachi Jones, Peachtree Ridge's DiAndre Atwater, Grayson's Fred Zerblis and Korey Jones, the list goes on and on of talented seniors.

There's a lot of talent in Gwinnett County and on any given Friday night you could be watching a half dozen future college players.

Here's a list of Gwinnett area senior football players who have made commitments to college programs.

Position Name High school College

OL Vadal Alexander Buford LSU

OL Jackson Bounamia Brookwood Air Force

DB Ray Buchanan Peachtree Ridge Arkansas

WR Jason Croom Norcross Tennessee

WR Nick England Collins Hill Florida International

DE Andrew Everette Collins Hill Southern Miss

LS Reid Ferguson Buford LSU

OL Garrett Gorringe Grayson Georgia State

DB Paris Head Buford Vanderbilt

DB Zach Jackson Brookwood Illinois

RB Joe Jones North Gwinnett UMass

DE Francis Kallon Central Gwinnett Georgia Tech

LB Dillon Lee Buford Alabama

DB C.J. Moore Buford Virginia

DL Sebastian Rice Grayson Georgia State

LB Carl Rider North Gwinnett Furman

OL Chase Roberts GAC Georgia Tech

WR Chad Scott North Gwinnett Furman

DB Aaron Taylor Central Gwinnett Toledo

RB Nick Tompkins Brookwood Michigan State

LB Stephen Weatherly Shiloh Vanderbilt

I'm off the Norcross bandwagon

I was on the Norcross bandwagon since I saw the Blue Devils in a Game 2 win over Parkview. Even after last week's devastating loss to North Gwinnett, I thought they still had a very strong team.

After Friday's 41-14 defeat by Peachtree Ridge, I'm not so sure about Norcross.

An offense that was so explosive for the first five games has been stagnant the last six quarters. The defense has continued to get worse the last three ball games.

A month ago, I thought Norcross had a shot to reach the Georgia Dome. Now I'm not sure if they'll make the playoffs.

I'm on the Peachtree Ridge bandwagon

While I've been hyping Norcross the last few weeks, I failed to take a good look at Peachtree Ridge. Since opening the year with a loss to Walton, which is undefeated and ranked in the top 10, the Lions have reeled off six straight wins.

I still haven't seen Peachtree Ridge play this year, so I'm can't brag about them too much. But I will say coming back to beat a pretty good Collins Hill team and then handling what I thought was a very good Norcross squad the last two weeks, has put me on the Lions' bandwagon.

Is Archer for real?

Ever since Archer nearly beat Brookwood a month ago, I've had the Tigers on my radar. The third-year program is still in the mix for a playoff spot, but we'll find out if they are for real the next two weeks.

The Tigers get Dacula and Parkview, who are also battling for playoff spots, the next two games.

Archer scored a school-record 48 points in Friday's win. Ernest Alexander and Sean Fowler are probably the best running back tandem in the county you have not heard about.

We will find out if Archer is for real pretty soon.

Buford will finally get tested

Buford, the four-time defending Class AA state champion, has easily won its first eight games.

I think the Wolves will finally be tested on Friday against Greater Atlanta Christian. This is technically a rivalry, but the Wolves have won the last 11 meetings so I don't know if you can really call it that.

I still think Buford wins Friday's game, but they'll actually have to play their starters in the fourth quarter.

GAC is 7-0 for the first time since 2005. The Spartans have developed a pretty good offense around quarterback Delano Spencer. I think they can score on Buford's first-team defense, but not enough to win.

It should be a nice challenge for Buford as it heads into the postseason trying to win another title.

The county's greatest rivalry

There might be older rivalry games in the county, but the greatest in my mind is still Brookwood vs. Parkview. The two programs put Gwinnett County football on the map in the 1990s.

The two teams have met to decide region titles and state championships in what is known as the Battle of Five Forks.

Brookwood has won six of the last eight meetings, but several of those games have been decided by one score.

Friday's contest won't determine a region champ, but the loser could be out of the playoffs. That will make this rivalry game even more exciting.

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