Coming Friday: Corky 7 On 7 Invitational features the best high schools in Georgia

By Tommy Kollias

On Aug. 18-20, 18 of Georgia’s most accomplished high school football programs will travel to Mercer University, McEachern High School and the Georgia Dome to headline the 2016 MetroPCS Corky Kell Classic. This nationally recognized season kickoff event brings together some of the state’s premier players in order to showcase their abilities on the largest stage. However, we all know the age old football saying that games are won in the offseason and fifteen of the eighteen teams participating in the Corky Kell Classic will come together for the third annual Corky Kell 7-on-7 to give us a sneak preview of what the upcoming football season has in store.
The Corky Kell 7-on-7 Invitational is an offseason event in which thirty of Georgia’s best football teams will travel to the Roswell Area Parks Football Complex, Blessed Trinity High School, Roswell High School and Fellowship Christian Stadium to participate in a competitive football tournament featuring skill players and defense.

For the teams participating in the Corky Kell 7-on-7 Invitational this is a valuable opportunity to gain experience against the top competition in the state and some cases the opposing team that will be on the other side of the tunnel waiting to kickoff the regular season. On Thursday June 16, the event will begin when several teams travel to Blessed Trinity High School to participate in a passing league before the actual tournament play kicks off. On Friday morning at 9:30 AM the Invitational will begin with group play where the teams involved will battle for seeding in the single elimination tournament that takes place on Friday afternoon. The teams will have to use their conditioning in the offseason to cope with the intense heat and the rapid style pace of play that a 7-on-7 event involves. By the end of the tournament all teams involved will have played at least six games and depth and endurance is a key ingredient to be the last team standing.

In 2015 the reigning AAAAAA state champions Colquitt County beat out Peachtree Ridge to win the event. Both Colquitt County and Peachtree Ridge are among the competitors this year and hope to match their impressive performances from last year. Grayson looks to capitalize on an impressive offseason in which they brought in five top prospects at skill positions. Roswell, Norcross, Mill Creek, Houston County, Central Gwinnett and Buford all have players participating in the invitational who are the focus of much recruiting attention at the next level and will be looking to lead their teams to a state title. GAC, Tucker, Archer, Brookwood, Centennial, McEachern and Alpharetta have their own stables of recruits and will challenge a loaded lineup of top tier teams. Lanier, Blessed Trinity, Collins Hill, Gainesville, North Gwinnett, Creekview, South Forsyth, Jones County, Kell, Grady, Cherokee, Mays, Walton and Carrollton could all gain positive momentum going into the 2016 season with battles against the Colquitt’s and Grayson’s of the newly formed Class 7A. While some teams are favored, all teams invited to the event will be able to produce a competitive environment.

College coaches and recruiting coordinators from across the nation will visit this 7-on-7 invitational to see top recruits at work. Four of the Top 10 players in the state of Georgia will be participating while two are on the same team. DeAngelo Gibbs and Jamyest Williams are the first and fifth ranked recruits in the state and are both shutdown corners on the Grayson defense. Roswell also boasts a vaunted defensive backfield featuring Alabama commit Xavier McKinney and Clemson commit LeAnthony Williams Jr. Elite quarterbacks Jake Fromm (UGA) from Houston County, Bailey Hockman (FSU) from McEachern, Chase Brice (Clemson) from Grayson and Davis Mills (Stanford) from GAC all look to lead their offenses to a championship. Breon Dixon (UGA) of Grayson, Leonard Werner of Brookwood and Tyler Taylor of Lanier are the three top linebacker prospects in the event and will be in charge of keeping their respective defenses organized. Finally, skill positions are incredibly important in 7-on-7 and some of the elite skill players include running back Anthony Grant from Buford, McEachern wide receiver Tyler Smith (UNC), Roswell wide receiver Corey Reed, and Grady tight end Kemari Averett (Louisville).
The nationally acclaimed teams and players participating in the Corky Kell 7-on-7 will make it a marquee event in the offseason for all the teams participating. The event will provide a competitive football environment that will showcase the high level of football Georgia has to offer before the celebrated 25-year anniversary of the Corky Kell Classic kicks off the high school football season in just two months.


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