Projected top players by position: Speedy LB McBride ready for return
Vidalia coach Lee Chomskis says Nate McBride is faster than Herschel Walker.
OK, so Walker is 54 years old. But even in Walker’s days at Johnson County and Georgia, it would’ve been a good race. McBride can cover 100 meters in 10.5 seconds. And at 6 feet, 2 inches and 235 pounds, McBride is bigger than Walker was.
“If it were the ’70s or ’80s, he would be the top running back prospect in the country,” Chomskis said of McBride. “Check the 100 and 200 times of Walker and [Bo] Jackson. I believe they were running 100 yards in their day, not meters. That [10.5] would certainly put him right with them. He will play on both sides of the ball for us.”
For the record, Walker’s personal best in the 100 meters was 10.23 while a sophomore in college. Jackson, another pretty fast Heisman Trophy-winning running back from that era, was closer to 10.4.
McBride, only a part-time running back in high school, is the consensus No. 2 inside-linebacker prospect in the nation.
Our series on the top 10 Georgia high school players at each positions continues with linebackers.
*Marquez Bembry, Mount Vernon Presbyterian (6-3, 210): Mount Vernon is a Class A private school with one winning season (2010), but Bembry is legitimate. He had 82 tackles, 18 sacks and 16 QB pressures for his 4-6 team in 2015. He was first-team all-state per the Georgia Sports Writers Association. Rated the No. 60 overall prospect in Georgia, he is committed to Tennessee.
*Markaviest Bryant, Crisp County (6-4, 225): Known as “Big Cat,” Bryant was a first-team all-state player with the GSWA and GACA last season, when he had85 tackles, eight sacks, 20 total tackles for losses and 22 QB hurries. He is viewed as a defensive end at the next level. He’s rated the No. 21 prospect in Georgia. He has offers from Auburn, Florida State, Georgia and many others.
*Breon Dixon, Grayson (6-0, 218): In promoting Dixon for all-state last season, Peachtree Ridge coach Mark Fleetwood said Dixon “may be the best LB in the state as a junior” and added “he single-handedly won the McEachern game” for a sack for a safety and returning an interception (on a pass that he batted) for a touchdown in a 9-6 win. He had 31 behind-the-line tackles for 193 yards in losses and returned three interceptions for touchdowns. As is widely known now, Dixon has transferred to Grayson. Dixon has committed to Georgia.
*Jeremiah Gemmel, East Coweta (6-1, 205): A top-100 Georgia prospect, Gemmel is perennial-playoff-bound East Coweta’s best player. Pass rushing is his specialty. He had five sacks, 20 tackles for losses and 19 QB hurries last season. He is committed to North Carolina.
*Walter Grant, Cairo (6-4, 235): College coaches love his size. He had 105 tackles last season for the Syrupmakers. He also had 225 yards receiving on offense. Rated the No. 34 prospect in Georgia, Grant reportedly favors Alabama and Georgia.
*Jaquan Henderson, Newton (6-1, 205): Henderson is rated the No. 44 prospect in Georgia and is committed to Tennessee, where he is projected as a safety. He was first-team all-region last year, when he had 60 tackles, six for losses, and five sacks.
*Nate McBride, Vidalia (6-2, 230): He’s a linebacker first. McBride missed last season with an injury. As a sophomore, he had 128 tackles and 697 yards rushing on 68 carries. McBride is rated the No. 2 inside-linebacker prospect in the country. Georgia and Alabama are believed to be his top college choices.
*T.D. Roof, Buford (5-11, 200): Buford posted seven shutouts in a 13-2 season in 2015. Roof was a key reason. He had 108 tackles, 14 behind the line. Roof is committed to Georgia Tech. He is the son of Tech defensive coordinator Ted Roof. T.D.’s twin, Mic, is Buford’s quarterback.
*Owen Pappoe, Grayson (6-1, 205): He’s only 15 years old, and he didn’t make any of the all-region or all-Gwinnett County teams as a freshman last year. But too many folks inside and outside of the Grayson program are raving about Pappoe, who could emerge as the No. 1 recruit nationally in the class of 2019. (Note that Georgia has a chance at having four consensus No. 1 recruits in seven years – Grayson’s Robert Nkemdiche (2013), Westover’s Trent Thompson (2015), Cartersville’sTrevor Lawrence (2018) and Pappoe (2019).
*Leonard Warner, Brookwood (6-4, 230): Warner, a three-year starter, was first-team all-county, per the Gwinnett TD Club, in 2015, when he had 110 tackles.His size and speed (4.5 in the 40) have helped make him the No. 7 inside-LB prospect nationally. Warner’s favorites appear to be Georgia, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Stanford and Alabama. He has a strong interest in engineering.
Coming Wednesday: Defensive backs
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