Surprises, early commits trending with 2015 class

Photo by G-Rox Photography/

The Class of 2015 football recruits have been all about business. Unlike the 2013-14 classes that saw dozens of midseason flips and some hard-to-believe storylines, players have been committing early this year and sticking to the course. We’ve come a long way from two years ago when five-star Reuben Foster flipped from Auburn and signed to play at Alabama with an Auburn tattoo visibly on his arm. All the hat shuffling and games seem to be a thing of the past and it is saving time and energy for universities and, more importantly, the athletes that are focusing on finishing out their varsity careers strong.

We’ve reached the midpoint of the 2014 football season and National Signing Day is less than four months away (Feb. 4). Five-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter from Norcross picked UGA in a televised last-minute signing last year on National Signing Day and the year before Robert Nkemdiche, the No. 1-ranked recruit in the nation out of Gwinnett County’s Grayson pledged to Ole Miss on the final hour of signing day. This year’s top recruit out of the Peach State is defensive tackle Trenton Thompson out of Westover High School in Albany, and the 6-foot-4, 292 five-star recruit committed to UGA in August. The state of Georgia will still be a centerpiece of this year’s signing day, but the attention will not be as centered on a particular superstar holding off his decision like past years.

The fact that most of the Class of 2015 prospects are making early decisions has benefitted UGA the most. The Bulldogs already have 22 commits and is the No. 2-ranked recruiting class in the country behind only Alabama according to


The first seven weeks of the high school football season have seen teams and individuals emerge. Here are the biggest surprises that have caught my eye this season.

Hapeville Charter finished 1-8-1 last season and the Hornets looked to be back in the basement of the region this season. Hapeville bounced back from a 1-3 start with consecutive wins over Holy Innocents’ and Wesleyan. South Carolina commitment Arden Key, a 6-foot-5 defensive end, has been big for the Hornets. Key’s stock has jumped and he is now ranked as the No. 11 prospect in the state according to the 247sports rankings. Key’s teammate Antoine Wilder is also committed to the Gamecocks and is having a solid season starting at safety for the Hornets. These two stars have helped put Hapeville Charter on the map in the program’s third full varsity season.

Northview High School is 5-0 this season and one win away from the first six-win season in school history. The Titans are averaging 42 points per game while allowing just 5.6 points per game on the defensive side of the ball. Six- foot-three, 198-pound senior quarterback D.J. Pearson has been a catalyst to the success and has made a giant leap into the recruiting scene while establishing himself as one of Georgia’s top Class of 2015 quarterback prospects. Pearson committed to Arkansas State in June, but Georgia State is one of the many programs taking notice of Pearson’s success this year and looking to land him on campus next fall. Pearson has completed 76-of-115 passes (66.1 percent) for 1,187 yards and 14 touchdowns, while tossing just one interception through five games.


Cherokee High School has never been known for its passing game, but the pass-happy, 5-1 Warriors contend for the Region 5 title this season. Quarterback Spencer Ashley and wideout Andrew Harris have been the most productive quarterback-receiver combo in the state this season. Harris has hauled in a state-best 53 receptions for 918 yards and 10 touchdowns. Ashley has been an efficient 121-of-168 passing this year for 1,783 total yards and 19 passing touchdowns. In the win over Pope, Harris ran for a 47-yard touchdown, returned an interception 91 yards for a touchdown and caught 10 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns. Cherokee plays Milton on Friday and another big performance would have top college programs finally recognizing what Ashley and Harris have been doing this entire season.

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