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September 20, 2011

Around the Southeast: Top underclassmen

AROUND THE SOUTHEAST: Sept. 13 | Sept. 6

Rivals.com Southeast analyst Keith Niebuhr goes around his region.

Remember these names

A breakdown of game tape on three top underclassmen prospects in the Southeast:

WR James Cox, Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Northridge, 6-0/175, 2013

Cox has excellent speed and a decent build. He looks smooth when he runs, and is a better-than-average route runner for his age. Cox's overall athleticism is a large part of his success. He isn't just fast, but he can jump, giving him the ability to go up and take the ball away from defenders. When the ball is near him, he typically catches it. Cox's quick first move often keeps him from getting jammed at the line. Nonetheless, he still must work on his upper-body strength because at the next level he'll need to be more physical.

ILB Johnny O'Neal Dublin (Ga.) West Laurens, 6-2/225, 2013

O'Neal is an impressive young athlete who looks great in pads and physically is very strong. O'Neal has inside linebacker strength but moves with the quickness of an outside guy. He sees the field well, and is quick to identify where he needs to get to. He hits the gaps hard, and is good at shedding blockers to reach the ball. When he tackles someone, they typically feel it. O'Neal is best near the line of scrimmage as a run-stuffer. He must improve in coverage, but overall it's easy to see why several major programs already have offered.

WR Tramel Terry, Goose Creek (S.C.), 5-11/170, 2013

The Georgia commit is a speedy receiver with a medium-sized build who simply makes plays. Terry is a burner who finds that extra gear when needed. He runs with short strides, which allows him to cut quickly without giving up much speed. It also makes him very difficult to tackle, or even pursue. Additionally, Terry has excellent hands. He also fights for every yard even with multiple defenders on his back, which is one of his greatest assets. As a route runner, he's still a tad raw, but that should come with time.

Sleeper of the week

This week's under-the-radar prospect that won't be unknown for long:

QB Scotty Hosch Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett, 6-3/190

To date, Hosch has one offer - from FCS program Georgia State. That could be about to change. Hosch, who split time at quarterback in 2010, now is his powerhouse team's full-time starter. And he is an effective one at that. Hosch has a nice, high delivery and consistently spins it well. He can read a defense, make quick decisions and deliver the ball where it needs to be. Given his tall-and-lanky frame, Hosch surprisingly moves fairly well, which helps him buy time in the pocket or even take off if needed. Middle Tennessee attended his game last week, and it wouldn't be a shock if more programs begin to show interest.

Weekend Watch

This week, Niebuhr will spend two days in the metro Atlanta area. On Friday, he'll check out McDonough Henry County and Tyrone Sandy Creek. The following day, he will see College Park Banneker take on Lovejoy. Here's what Niebuhr will be watching for in those games.

1.The offensive playmakers

Sandy Creek has two of the top offensive threats in Georgia in Rivals250 receiver JaQuay Williams and running back Mike Hilton. Williams is an Auburn commit; Hilton has pledged to Ole Miss. Any time either touches the ball, he has a legitimate chance of going the distance.

2. Dalvin's progression

Henry County defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, like Williams, is also in the Rivals250. He attended the Rivals/VTO Camp this spring in Marietta and while raw, was dominant. How much have his skills improved since then? And which school is the team to beat for the uncommitted standout.

3. Interior designs

Sandy Creek is blessed to have two very good linemen - defensive end Quinteze Williams, a Florida commit, and offensive tackle Will Adams, who is headed to Georgia Tech. Each should be fun to watch. The question with Williams is this: Is he better suited for end or tackle in college? Adams is an athletic player who anchors an excellent line.

4. No Moody blues

Henry County quarterback Chris Moody is an intriguing prospect to say the least. Moody would like to play quarterback in college and he is very good at that position. However, many colleges think he might make for a better defensive back.

5. Future teammates?

Defensive back Rico McWilliams of Lovejoy is committed to South Carolina. Safety Chaz Elder of Banneker might soon join him, as the Gamecocks have long been the frontrunner for his services. Regardless of where Elder ends up, these are two of the Peach State's premier secondary players. It will be interesting to compare and contrast their styles of play after seeing them on the field the same night.

Keith Niebuhr can be reached at kneebs01@aol.com. You can follow him on Twitter @KeithRIVALS.



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