Prep backs eye breakout

Georgia is known for producing some of the top prep running backs year after year and 2012 is no different. Norcross’ Alvin Kamara, Grayson’s Wayne Gallman, Walton’s Tyren Jones, East Paulding’s Kamani Thomas and Elbert County’s Tyshon Dye all have major offers and Lovejoy’s Travis Custis, ELCA’s Keyante Green and Milton’s Peyton Barber will all suit up at BCS conference schools next season as well. But those aren’t the only backs that will come out of Georgia this season. The state is once again flush with talent at running back, and several names may be flying under the radar now but won’t be in November.

North Cobb’s Quinten James stands 6-foot-1, 215 pounds and he will be a force in Cobb County this season. James holds offers from Miami and Mississippi State and could see several more before National Signing Day. North Cobb’s fortunes will rise and fall with James, and a strong season could push him higher in the rankings.

West Forsyth’s offense is led by quarterback A.J. Erdely, but wingback Jake Wieczorek’s return will only help the Wolverines put monster numbers on the board in 2012.

“He is obviously a great athlete, but he is an even better student and all around young man,” said West Forsyth offensive coordinator Adam Clack. “He is very explosive and has the ability to take a game over, so we definitely want him to get his touches.”

Wieczorek once scored three touchdowns in five minutes in one game last season, so expect plenty of offense to flow through him this season.

Terrence Upshaw of Northview has been receiving interest from Vanderbilt, and the 5-foot-9 sparkplug is capable of shouldering the load for the Titans.

“We feel Terrence Upshaw is one of the best (running backs) in the state,” said Upshaw’s 2011 offense coordinator Jeremy Edwards.

He rushed the ball 133 times for 647 yards and 14 scores while hauling in an additional 657 yards on 47 receptions and six touchdowns out of the backfield.

Chris Carson of Parkview, Marcus Cox of Dacula and Ernest Alexander of Archer all will be noticed in Gwinnett County this season, and look for each to improve on the offers they have received thus far. Carson has heard form Akron and Kent State while Alexander holds offers from Navy and Arkansas State. Cox holds offers from App State, Buffalo and has received interest from Cincinnati.

One interesting name to follow this season is Jamaal Cole. The Brookwood running back shared the backfield last season with Nick Tompkins and sometimes Cole would split out wide to keep both in the game at the same time. Cole should be the feature back this season, so expect big numbers from the 5-foot-11 rising senior. You can catch Cole and the rest of the Broncos at next Saturday’s Corky Kell Classic when Brookwood faces Jones and Walton.

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