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RECRUITING NOTES: Archer kicker Wachholz commits to Air Force

Archer kicker Zach Wachholz

Archer kicker Zach Wachholz

It’s not often that a college football team offers a scholarship to a kicker.

So when Archer’s Zach Wachholz picked up the rare offer, he jumped on it.

Wachholz, one of the county’s top kickers the last two years, committed to the Air Force Academy on Friday during an official visit to the school.

“Definitely the education for sure,” Wachholz said of choosing Air Force. “The main reason was, I had other schools interested, but growing up I always got what I wanted and I want to have that for me and my parents when I get older.”

Wachholz maintains a 3.5 GPA and plans to major in business management or physical therapy. An Air Force education is estimated to be worth $425,000.

Wachholz chose Air Force over interest from Georgia Southern, Alabama State and Richmond.

“The coaching staff, I liked all the coaches,” Wachholz said. “They’ve gone to six straight bowl games. The facilities were really good. Just the campus and my dad is originally from Colorado. The weather, I wanted to play in that the most.”

Wachholz, who trained at Georgia Sports Performance with Earl Williams, is a two-time all-county first-team selection. He made 12 of 17 field goals and was 25 of 26 on PATs during his senior year. He also had a 34-yard punting average.

“They mainly recruited me as a field goal kicker,” Wachholz said. “They like my accuracy and that I’ve never really missed inside the 40-yard line. I think I’ve missed two inside the 40 since my freshman year.”

Wachholz is the third Gwinnett County senior to commit to Air Force, joining Parkview’s Kyle Williams and Shaq Vereen.

“It wasn’t a big thing, but it would have help knowing some people out there and going through the whole military process,” Wachholz said.

Archer’s Andre Smellie committed to Shorter University on Monday. The 6-foot-4, 260 pound offensive lineman helped pave the way for 1,000-yard rusher Sean Fowler.

Grayson’s Barnes commits to Texas Tech

Grayson defenisve lineman Zach Barnes committed to Texas Tech on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Barnes made 30 tackles and nine sacks playing next to Division I prospects Robert Nkemdiche and Jack Banda (Arizona commit).

Barnes committed to Tennessee in the summer, but the offer was pulled when head coach Derek Dooley was fired in November.

South sends five to next level

South Gwinnett had five players make college commitments over the weekend, according to head coach John Small.

Quarterback Jordan Ramey is headed to Georgia Military College, defensive end Weston Simmons is going to Grambling State, linebacker Marquis Parker committed to Alabama State, linebacker Deonte Davis will attend Georgia State and receiver Bernard Morrison is going to South Carolina State.

Ramey missed almost all of his junior season with an injury, but came back his senior year to lead the county in passing. The 6-foot-4, 180-pounder threw for 2,536 yards with 24 touchdowns and six interceptions. He led South to a 9-3 record, with its only losses coming to 2011 state champion Grayson and a pair of defeats to 2012 state champion Norcross.

One of Ramey’s favorite receivers was Morrison, who was second on the team in receptions with 41. The 6-foot, 190-pound Morrison had 618 receiving yards and four touchdowns. He was also used as a kick returner.

Parker was third on the team in tackles with 77 and Simmons was fourth with 70. Simmons led the team in sacks with eight.

South grad commits to Louisiana Tech

Wide receiver Kevin Gary, a 2011 South grad, committed to Louisiana Tech after playing at Georgia Military College the last two years.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Gary had 21 catches for 429 yards and seven touchdowns last season at GMC. As a senior at South, Gary led the team in receptions with 45 for 874 yards and a school-record 10 touchdowns. He was a member of the track team’s two-time state champion 1,600-meter relay team.

Former Super Six headed to Middle Tenn.

Xavier Walker, a 2011 Duluth grad, committed to Middle Tennessee State University last week. Walker, a Daily Post Super Six selection in 2010, played last season at Itawamba Community College where he posted 51 tackles and three interceptions at safety.

Norcross pair commit

Two key members of Norcross’ state championship team made college decisions over the weekend, according to head coach Keith Maloof.

Linebacker Tommy Tate committed to Western Carolina and defensive end Jahmal Jones chose Middle Tennessee State University.

Tate led the county in tackles with 183 and had two sacks to go along with a 34.4-yard punting average.

Jones was among the county leaders in tackles (102) and sacks (9) despite missing the last two games of the year with an injury.

Eagles’ Sheehan headed to South Alabama

Collins Hill quarterback Brett Sheehan committed to South Alabama over the weekend, according to head coach Kevin Reach.

Sheehan committed to Florida International last summer, but de-committed in December when head coach Mario Cristobal was fired.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Sheehan was an all-county selection after throwing for 2,351 yards with 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He led the Eagles to a 6-5 record and a trip to the state playoffs.

Bears’ Koen commits

Mountain View offensive lineman William Koen committed to Bethune-Cookman University, a Division I-FCS school that plays in the MEAC Conference.

The 6-foot-3, 275-pound Koen was a two-year starter for the Bears. He’s the second Mountain View senior to make a college commitment, joining William Tuider who is headed to Navy.

Pair of Broncos commit

Brookwood offensive/defensive lineman Darien Holston committed to Florida A&M over the weekend, according to head coach Mark Crews, and linebacker Tim Mercado committed to LaGrange.

The 6-foot-6, 280-pound Holston bench presses 310 pounds, squats 405 and power cleans 275. Mercado made 63 tackles and three sacks

The duo helped Brookwood to a 7-5 record, which included a win over No. 1 ranked Lassiter in the first round of the state playoffs.

They join three other Broncos who have made a college commitment, joining Adam Ledford (Harvard), Shaun McGee (Georgia) and Ky Priester (Clemson).