Two sons of Georgia sports celebrities turned heads at the opening day of football practices for the RisingSeniors.com all-star game, which features some of the state’s top high school juniors.
Back to RisingSeniors.com: Nigel Warrior, a junior defensive back from Westlake High School with a great last name for a football player, is from Georgia football royalty: His father is Dale Carter, who starred at Newton High School and later played 12 seasons in the NFL, earning Pro Bowl honors at defensive back.
Warrior reminded some observers of his father, and not just because of the last name.
“I got to take a close look at hips and turns, and things that college scouts measure these guys by,” said Washington County High School coach Joel Ingram, coach of the East squad.
“And Nigel really stood out, just the way he turns his hips … and with the way he strikes on defense. He’s got a little nastiness in him, and I mean that in a good way. When the ball is in the air, he’s going to go up and fight for it. He’s got a real aggressive nature about him.
“When they said his dad was Dale Carter, it was pretty obvious.”
Warrior has more than a dozen offers, including Tennessee (father’s alma mater), UGA and Ohio State.
On the East offense, the day’s top performer might’ve been Elijah Holyfield, son of former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Evander Holyfield. The younger Holyfield is a running back from Woodward Academy with more than 20 offers, including Michigan, Ohio State and UGA.
“Holyfield was blocking on screens, and just dominating people,” Ingram said.
Here’s a list of unofficial award winners from Saturday (Please note that these are unofficial and were not selected by the game organizers or the coaches; they were selected by the AJC after input from various coaches, scouts and other evaluators):
MVP: Elijah Holyfield, RB, 5-11, 180, Woodward. Runner-up: Ben Cleveland, OL, 6-7, 320, Stephens County (committed to UGA)
Biggest surprise: Randrecous Davis, WR, 6-0, 175, Mays: “His speed and his shake are really good. He’s extremely quick, and his ball skills are tremendous.” Runner-up: Zeb Noland, QB, 6-3, 200, Oconee County.
MVP: Nigel Warrior, DB, 6-1, 180, Westlake Runner-up: Derrick Brown, DT, 6-4, 309, Lanier; Landon Rice, DE-TE, 6-5, 250, Calhoun (committed to Auburn).
Biggest surprise: Todd Bradley, LB, 6-0, 190, Valdosta. “He’s your typical South Georgia kid. He doesn’t say a lot, and flies around the football from sideline to sidelines. Those kids have been brought up to eat, sleep and breathe football.”
MVP: Demetris Robertson, WR, 6-1, 175, Savannah Christian Prep (committed to Alabama): “He’s special. He’s explosive. He runs great routes. He has a great attitude. Every time he got a football thrown at him, he caught it. He’s going to be very special.” Runner-up: EJ Price, OL, 6-5, 273, Archer
Biggest surprise: Chancellor Johnson, QB, 6-6, 220, Newnan: “He kind of manages the team like a field general. He picked up the system really quickly, and he threw well, too.”
MVP: Emanuel Bridges, LB, 6-2, 215, Newnan (committed to Tennessee): “He runs better than expected. He was very explosive with his tackling.” Runner-up: Julian Rochester, DT, 6-6, 283, McEachern
Biggest surprise: Jordan Smith, DE, 6-6, 225, Lithonia: “He’s rangy. He’s aggressive, too. You can tell he wants loves contact. He and Julian, they couldn’t be blocked up front at Saturday’s practices. He’s raw, but with a little work he could be very, very good.” Runner-up: Mecole Hardman, DB, 5-11, 165, Elbert County; Tre Lamer, LB, 6-3, 230, Roswell