South Gwinnett had a county record 13 players sign college football scholarships in February. The first member of the 2014 class made his college decision on Thursday.
Offensive lineman Dennis Edwards committed to Western Kentucky. The 6-foot-2, 305-pound Edwards chose the Hilltoppers over an offer from Georgia State.
Edwards is a four-year starter for the Comets and had an 85 percent blocking grade with 17 pancakes and 35 knockdowns last season.
He was a first-team all-county selection and played in the Rising Seniors All-Star game.
Intriguing scrimmages on deck
Fans can get a first taste of their team in game situations with upcoming scrimmages. There’s some very interesting pre-season matchups, most notably Colquitt County at Norcross on Aug. 10. The game is a rematch of last year’s state semifinals that the Blue Devils won 41-27 before capturing the Class AAAAAA state crown.
Another state power matchup features Grayson at Gainesville on Aug. 16. Grayson was the 2011 state champions and Gainesville won the Class AAAAA state title last season. The Red Elephants feature the state’s top quarterback in Deshaun Watson.
Other big matchups feature Stephenson at North Gwinnett and Parkview at Mill Creek on Aug. 16. Brookwood travels to Flowery Branch on Aug. 14.
Season just three weeks away
For most of the state, the high school football season doesn’t begin until Aug. 30. But a third of Gwinnett County teams will get to play the previous weekend.
Greater Atlanta Christian will kick things off at Hallford Stadium against Stone Mountain on Aug. 23. The following day the Corky Kell Classic at the Georgia Dome will feature four Gwinnett County schools. The matchups include Peachtree Ridge vs. Walton, Grayson vs. Colquitt County, North Gwinnett vs. Camden County and Brookwood vs. McEachern.
Also on Aug. 24 will be a doubleheader at Norcross that will be shown live on ESPN. South Gwinnett will take on Lincoln (Fla.) and defending state champion Norcross will face Florida state champion Booker T. Washington.
Top recruits still deciding
Gwinnett County had 11 players make college commitments during the spring and summer, but some of the county’s top players are still undecided.
The biggest name is Norcross defensive end Lorenzo Carter, who is rated the state’s No. 1 overall player. Florida, Alabama and Georgia are among his leaders.
Carter’s teammate Myles Autry, who is coming back from and injured knee, and North Gwinnett defensive lineman Dante Sawyer are also among the top players that have not made a college commitment. Both were selected to the U.S. Army All-American game.
Gwinnett had a county-record 120 players sign on National Signing Day in February for the 2013 class. That included 20 players to Division I-BCS programs. That record could be in jeopardy with Peachtree Ridge’s Orlando Brown (Tennessee), Jordan Ellis (Virginia), Nick Glass (Georgia), Collins Hill’s Christian Harris (Duke), Parkview’s Bryce Lewis (Vanderbilt), Buford’s Korie Rogers (Clemson) and Norcross’ Chris Herndon (Miami) and Kevin Mouhon (Tennessee) already headed to BCS programs.