There were 70 of the best 2015 prospects in the talent-rich Peach State on hand at McEachern Thursday, practicing for the first ever Elite Junior Classic. 247Sports was in attendance, and here are 10 juniors that we felt stood out
***Taj Griffin (Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern) had defenders gasping for air on Thursday, as the 5-foot-10, 175-pound tailback showcased unrivaled acceleration and rare change of direction ability. Griffin, when healthy, is one of the most dangerous weapons in space in the country.
***If Chuma Edoga (Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern) has an ounce of body fat on him on his 280-pound frame, he hides it well. Even at 6-4 the Top247 prospect showcased a very low pad level, and like all McEachern offensive linemen prospects in recent years, Edoga excels at pulling and getting to the second level in the run game. Increasing lower body strength will be key in his development into a potential left tackle or dominating guard.
*** The bulls-eye has been on five-star offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett) for over a year now, and he continues to shine in pass protection. The fact that none of the coaches mentioned him is a credit to where he is as a prospect. Hyatt is a quiet, blue-collar bookend tackle with advanced technique, and one that every school in the Southeast will be fighting for over the next 12 months.
*** If there was one name that emerged on the radar Thursday, it was wide receiver Brad Stewart (Savannah, Ga./Benedictine). The 6-2, 180-pound junior showed outstanding body control while making several impressive catches in practice. His ability to climb the ladder and outleap defensive backs should get him looks at the FBS level.
*** There was a bit of déjà vu on the field at Cantrell Stadium, as 2015 athlete Antonio Winbush (Kingsland, Ga./Camden Co.) had many onlookers thinking they were looking at 2012 Camden Co. standout J.J. Green, now at the University of Georgia. Like Green, Winbush is an undersized yet versatile athlete with speed to burn.
***Kaleb Kim is rolling in offers and it is easy to see why. The 2015 OL from Mill Creek probably projects as a OG on the next level but he has good length at close to 6-foot-5. He has good pop in his hips and good feet. He is a mauler when he comes of the ball and bends well. He will be a top level interior offensive lineman on the next level.
***Josh Bettistea of Allatoona is a little bit light right now for some at close to 175 pounds, but he has elite burst with the ball in his hands. At one point during the inside drills the offensive coaches for the North just all shook their head when burst through the hole.
***Kawon Bryant of North Oconee is another RB that had a good day. He showed great North/South ability and showed great vision. There was a lot of talk around practice of him reminding some of Tyren Jones from Walton.
***Rashad Roundtree of Lakeside, Evans definitely looks the part at safety. There was a good bit of buzz around practice about him from media and the coaches. I think he could see his recruiting take off soon. He already has a Duke offer, but I expect more soon.
***Jordan Colbert of Griffin impressed the entire state during a playoff run with his play at OLB. Today was no different; he was the best prospect on the defensive side of the ball for the South. The South coaches were raving about his length and speed on the edge. I expect his offers and rankings to continue to trend up over the next few months. He is very athletic and physical; he can be a special player on the next level. He can play in the box and cover a RB or TE in coverage.
Dawgs247 recruiting analyst Rusty Mansell contributed to this article.