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kwc

Memphis Area Players being Recruited - 2019

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Southwind's Kristian Williams, a 6'-3", 280 lb. DT, who according to Riv_als top 35 list, is a 3-star recruit who they consider to be the 30th best player in the state of Tennessee. According to Kristain's Riv_als profile, he has nine schools interested with seven schools offering scholarship. 

 

Kristain's HUDL profile.

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Memphis East's Tarique Barnes, a 6'-2", 215 lb. OLB/FB, who according to Riv_als top 35 list, is a 3-star recruit who they consider to be the 32nd best player in the state of Tennessee. According to Tarique's Riv_als profile, he has two school interested with offers from both. Missouri and Mississippi State.

 

Tarique's HUDL profile.

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Briarcrest's Jackson Walker, a 6'-2", 210 lb. Pro style QB, who according to Sco_ut's Tennessee top Recruits web page, is considered to be the 35th best recruit in the state of Tennessee. According to Jackson's 24_7 profile 8 schools are interested. One school has offered. Cornell.

Jackson's HUDL profile.

Edited by kwc

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Memphis Central's Darin Turner commits to LSU football

John Varlas, USA TODAY NETWORK – TennesseePublished 5:21 p.m. CT March 27, 2018 | Updated 4:19 a.m. CT March 29, 2018
     
central - rossview

(Photo: Stan Carroll/The Commercial Appeal)

Central's Darin Turner — who is ranked one of the state's top football prospects in the class of 2020 — announced via Twitter on Tuesday that he was verbally committed to LSU.

The 6-3, 205-pound wide receiver is the second Memphis player who is committed to the Tigers, joining MUS Class of 2019 defensive back Maurice Hampton.

Turner chose the Tigers after fielding offers from Auburn, Arkansas, Clemson, Louisville, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Tennessee. He recently visited LSU along with former Central teammates Eric Gregory and Shemar Nash, who will play at IMG Academy in Florida this season.

He is also the second Central player to verbally commit this spring; Class of 2019 defensive lineman Trevis Hopper — who was the Class 5A Mr. Football lineman winner as a sophomore — announced for Arkansas earlier this month.

Darin's HUDL profile.

Reach John Varlas at [email protected] or on Twitter @johnvarlas

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Why Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State are courting Briarcrest standout Omari Thomas

 

John Varlas, USA TODAY NETWORK – TennesseePublished 10:00 a.m. CT April 26, 2018

     

Briarcrest

(Photo: Brad Vest/The Commercial Appeal)

All it took was a simple hand gesture for Briarcrest football coach Brian Stewart to realize that he had someone special on his hands in offensive tackle Omari Thomas.

"I remember he was a freshman and we were lined up to run a counter," Stewart said. "And he turns around and looks at the running back, pats his hip, and says 'get on my hip and come on.'

"When you've got a kid that's a freshman and he's saying 'follow me,' that's pretty impressive."

Stewart didn't have to search too far back in his memory bank for that story; the practice took place just two football seasons ago. Thomas — all 6'4" and 307 pounds of him — is just now getting to the end of his 10th-grade school year.

Which makes last week's recruiting developments all the more impressive. In the span of a few days, the class of 2020 standout picked up offers from three of the nation's best and most storied programs, Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State.

It's not like the rest of the schools on his list are slouches either; Ole Miss, Arkansas, Memphis, Tennessee, Auburn, LSU and Oklahoma are some of the many schools that would love to see him run out onto the field on Saturday afternoons. In short, it's a good time to be Omari Thomas.

"It was all surprise," he said. "It's really a blessing. I had been getting some big offers and I knew if I just kept working ... bigger schools would come. And they came. It just so happens they all came in one week.

"Georgia was the first offer and then the day after I went on a visit to Alabama and they offered. Then Ohio State came. I was really happy."

According to the latest 24/7 Sports sports, Thomas is the 42nd ranked player nationallyin his class, the ninth-best offensive tackle and the second-best in Tennessee behind only Knoxville Catholic's Bryn Tucker.

 

Thomas is also part of a stellar group of Memphis linemen who are heading into their junior seasons; Marcus Henderson of MUS, Freedom Prep's Chris Morris and Ray Curry of White Station are all ranked in the top 11 in Tennessee.

Stewart, though, is confident his guy is the cream of that bumper crop.

"He has a lot of intangibles and that's why those schools are successful because those are the kind of kids the recruit," he said. "Any time you you're that big, you're that fast and can move like he can ... that's just an impressive young man."

Indeed, Thomas is nimble enough to be a vital contributor on the Saints' basketball team. He did, however, miss a big chunk of this past season after coming down on the ball and injuring his ankle during a trip to Illinois.

"I'm actually back playing basketball now," he said. "I play summer basketball for Team Pharaoh Elite on the Adidas circuit. I thought it (the injury) was a sprained ankle so I continued to play ... then when we got back to Memphis, it turned out I had a fifth metatarsal fracture.

"There are some schools that throw a little slick stuff in there (about quitting basketball to focus on football). And there are some schools that are pushing me to continue to play basketball. I'm going to play all four years of high school ... I just love basketball."

Hoops will take up a good deal of Thomas' summer then. And he and his dad Romarcus — a standout linebacker at Hillcrest in the late 1980s — have plenty of Saturdays already booked for unofficial college visits.

Literally and figuratively then, Thomas is the big man on Briarcrest's campus. But there's no big-headedness.

"There's this girl in my chemistry class; her name is Kate Basse. And she's like, OMG! You're famous!," Thomas said. "And I say, 'I'm not famous. I'm blessed.'"

 

Reach John Varlas at [email protected] or on Twitter @johnvarlas.

Edited by kwc

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Marcus Henderson, a class of 2020 OT at MUS is 6'-5" and 300 lb. Marcus is a 4-star recruit according to his Riv_als profile. Marcus's Riv_als profile indicates, at the time of this posting, that there are 13 school showing interests, with 13 schools offering scholarships. The latest school to offer being Alabama. The list of schools include, but are not limited to, Alabama, Ohio State, Florida, Arkansas, and Auburn to, name a few.

 

Marcus' HUDL profile.

 

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Memphis eighth-grade QB Tevin Carter has offers from Tennessee Vols, South Carolina, Tigers

 

John Varlas, USA TODAY NETWORK – TennesseePublished 10:00 a.m. CT May 3, 2018 | Updated 6:00 a.m. CT May 11, 2018

   

lede-Tevin-Carter.jpg

(Photo: Yalonda M. James/The Commercial Appeal)

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Eighth-grader boasts three FBS offers
  • Size, work ethic make him a coveted prospect
  • Getting the big head? Not Carter.

Unless you're a die-hard Memphis high school football fan, you probably aren't familiar with the name Tevin Carter.

You're probably not familiar with his school either. Freedom Prep, a South Memphis-based charter school only began playing varsity football in 2017.

But South Carolina knows all about Carter. As do Tennessee and Vanderbilt. And Memphis.

All four schools have offered Carter, the War Eagles' eighth-grade quarterback. Yes, eighth-grade. Without even technically being a high school student Carter already has considerable interest from three SEC schools and the hometown program that is on its best run in history.

Tevin Carter, a rising freshman quarterback, receives college offers. "He's a guy with unlimited potential," said Thomas Morris, who operates the local arm of QB Country, which offers instruction to quarterbacks from fifth grade up.

"And he's also a grinder. Obviously God blessed him with amazing raw talent, height and size. But he's also a guy that will call me every day, text me, 'Hey what do you think about this?'

"He works at it. A lot of people say they want to be the best but Tevin works at it. And he just gets better and better every workout."

Carter is 6-3 and a solid 200 pounds with a live arm and a maturity that belies his age.

"At first, I wasn't really getting any attention," he said. "But I just kept working at it and it started picking up. (The offers) aren't scary or anything. And my popularity is going up so I'm kind of getting used to it."

 

April 27, 2018 - Tevin Carter, 15, a rising freshman

April 27, 2018 - Tevin Carter, 15, a rising freshman quarterback with Pure Youth, an organization that focuses on football, education, and character, plays in a scrimmage against Melrose High School at Melrose Stadium on Friday. At his young age, he's fielding offers from three major colleges. (Photo: Yalonda M. James/The Commercial Appeal)

 
Competing in Tennessee's smallest classification, Freedom Prep had a terrific debut last fall, finishing 5-6 and advancing to the first round of the Class 1A playoffs. And Carter's contributions extended far beyond his 74.3 passing yards per game and six touchdowns.

"I'm not the fastest guy you'll probably meet," said Carter, laughing. "But I think quarterback is the best position for me. I love my role on the field, being a leader, working hard, pushing my teammates."

Carter — who is home schooled — ended up at Freedom Prep through Cole, who was aware of the school's start-up football program because his daughter was enrolled there. Since Freedom Prep is a K-12 school, he was allowed to play as an eighth-grader per TSSAA rules, similar to Will Lawrence, who started on Harding's offensive line for five years and will play at Memphis starting this fall.

Despite his year on the varsity, Carter still has plenty of room to grow. He only took up quarterback a couple of years ago after trying different positions without much success.

"He's always been a good athlete," said Melvin Cole, the founder and executive director of Pure Youth, an organization that provides year-round education, mentoring and football for Carter and several players.

"We tried him at tight end, wide receiver, linebacker. Then he came to me and was like, 'I want to try quarterback.' And I said 'Hey, I'm gonna hold you to it.'

 

April 27, 2018 - Coach Abraham Austin, left, with Freedom

April 27, 2018 - Coach Abraham Austin, left, with Freedom Prep Academy, and Chris Morris, a left tackle for Freedom Prep Academy, listen to Tevin Carter, 15, as he speaks from the sideline during a scrimmage against Melrose High School at Melrose Stadium on Friday. Carter, a rising freshman quarterback with Pure Youth, an organization that focuses on football, education, and character, is fielding offers from three major colleges. (Photo: Yalonda M. James/The Commercial Appeal)

 

"He works hard. We're in the weight room every day, film study, position drills in the front yard ... I told him before his seventh-grade year, 'Your time is coming.' In our minds, he's getting (the attention) we expected but at the same time he knows how much more work he has to put in.

"He knows he's not finished."

Carter too has benefited from watching the recruitment of his teammate Chris Morris (no relation to Thomas), a class of 2020 offensive line prospect with offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State and Georgia among several others.

"He tells me not to get nervous," Carter said. "He helps keep it in (perspective)."

Cole said Carter was able to "piggyback" on the interest in Morris while the three went on recruiting visits, which is how South Carolina first made contact. Tennessee and Vandy became interested and offered after seeing Carter's tape. 

Offers to eighth-grade quarterbacks are rare but not unheard of. In fact, another Tennessee prospect, Jackson-area quarterback Ty Simpson, picked up an offer from Michigan in March. 

 

April 27, 2018 - Tevin Carter, 15, a rising freshman

April 27, 2018 - Tevin Carter, 15, a rising freshman quarterback with Pure Youth, an organization that focuses on football, education, and character, plays in a scrimmage against Melrose High School at Melrose Stadium on Friday. At his young age, he's fielding offers from three major colleges. (Photo: Yalonda M. James/The Commercial Appeal)

 
Nevertheless, it's pretty heady stuff. And thankfully, Carter already has a support system in place that will help keep his feet on the ground.

"They (teammates) were calling me 'Tom Brady,'" said Carter. "So I was like, 'They can't get me. I'm the star of the team.' And he (Cole) took my starting job. I had to miss a game."

Says Cole, "I sat him down. When I saw his head getting big, I said, 'No, we're not going to do this.' He still got four years of high school and four years of college ... we're going to nip this in the bud."

Another thing Carter wants to nip in the bud is the continuing scrutiny accompanying black quarterbacks such as Lamar Jackson, who put up terrific numbers in college but still faced plenty of questions about his ability prior to the NFL draft.

"It's very important to be seen as a complete quarterback," said Carter. "I want to be like Tom Brady (mentally) and Cam (Newton physically)."

 

Reach John Varlas at [email protected] or on Twitter @johnvarlas

Edited by kwc

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