True story: The team that scorched every practice field at UGA on Thursday and carried the act down to Sanford Stadium was sponsored by a South Florida bail bondsman. Hallandale scored 137 points in the four games of pool play and averaged 30-plus points in the four games of the Mark Richt 7-on-7 tournament. That’s 250-plus points and an 8-0 record.
Remember the scene from the movie “Bad News Bears” with the back of the T-shirts? That was the deal on Thursday inside Sanford Stadium as Hallandale took the 7-on-7 championship by a 33-19 margin against Collins Hill. The Chargers were led by a quarterback who dropped thunderbolts all over the field at Sanford Stadium which drew the attention of several Georgia coaches.
TODAY’S BIG UGA NEWS: 2016 North Carolina RB de-commits from UGA
That tournament was the backdrop for another day of player evaluation in Athens.
TOP 10 PLAYERS FROM THURSDAY’S 7-on-7 IN ATHENS
1. 2016 DT Derrick Brown, Lanier: When the nation’s No. 2 defensive tackle opts to wear a No. 5 jersey and puts his hand on the ground to serve as a tight end, that’s noteworthy.
When he catches a ball in the seam and scores a couple of touchdowns against a Dalton team that eventually went on to the semifinals, that’s pretty special. Brown got the white glove treatment wherever he went and even wore a red helmet when he was on the field running routes and making plays.
Brown is quite the athlete and it was apparent he has some of — if not the best — hands on his team. UGA defensive tackle commitment Tyler Clark of Americus-Sumter was at the event. He was just in street clothes and didn’t work out, but got the chance to ride in a golf cart with Brown around the practice fields with a member of the coaching staff at the wheel.
2. 2016 WR Kyle Davis, Archer: Archer was upset in the quarterfinals on Thursday by a determined Clarke Central team. Davis didn’t really go off in the tournament. Archer barely nipped Tucker in the early rounds and then fell to Clarke Central.
The speed, size and athleticism Davis brings to the table was on display in the early morning pool play sessions at Sanford Stadium. He had several touchdowns and got a lot of attention from the Georgia coaches. Receivers coach Bryan McClendon spent a lot of time around Davis.
Its clear Davis is one of the elite targets on the UGA board. The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder is rated by 247sports as the No. 5 player in the state of Georgia for the 2016 class and the No. 5 receiver overall. The one-time South Carolina commitment looks like he’ll either be in the NFL five years from now or in an Under Armour ad. Maybe both.
He’s a specimen that would stand out in a room full of SEC signees. There’s no better way to say that.
3. 2016 QB Tyler Huntley, Hallandale (Fla.): Oh my goodness. The kid made one big-time throw after another on Thursday in Athens. He’s a Florida Atlantic commitment, but the 6-foot-1, 177-pounder can shine on a bigger stage. He had a showman’s mentality and repeatedly threw vertical routes to a cadre of talented receivers. Cincinnati and South Florida are also still in the mix with his recruiting. There should be more to come.
He made one beautiful arcing throw into the Tate Center home sideline end zone that all but made defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt’s jaw drop. Pruitt made a point to look across the way to other members of the UGA coaching staff with a “Did you see that throw?” look on his face.
4. 2016 WR Josh Hammond, Hallandale (Fla.): The Florida commitment must have caught at least 10 of Huntley’s touchdown passes. He went deep, worked the sides and across the middle of the field. He was another Charger the UGA coaches made sure to speak to after the event.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder is rated a three-star prospect by both 247sports and Rivals. He was the Fantasy Football receiver of the day in Athens.
5. 2017 DB Isaiah Pryor, Archer: Pryor is another one of those Archer standouts it seems like the whole world has offered. That includes the entire SEC world. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound safety is rated No. 2 in the nation for his position for the Class of 2017 by 247sports and the No. 26 player overall nationally.
He’s got length and size and plenty of it. He showed a lot of intensity on Thursday making plays on deep balls downfield and covering a lot of ground. He’s a prototype safety for the new SEC because he can stay on the field and be an asset in both run support and deep coverage and even in man coverage.
6. 2016 RB JaQua Daniels, Clarke Central: The hometown boy had a strong day split out as an outside receiver. Running back is his preferred position at the next level, but he must have caught at least eight touchdowns on Thursday.
UGA coach Mark Richt made sure to shake his hand and wish him well as he left Sanford Stadium. The 6-foot-2, 217-pounder is a three-star prospect per 247sports and the No. 20 RB in the country for his signing class. He looks like the type of athlete that can do it all, but he could be a dominating linebacker on Saturdays if that was where he wanted to line up.
He’s got 4.6 speed in the 40-yard dash. He’s listed as having a UGA offer but its not certain if he could commit at this time. He is also being courted by Ole Miss and Tennessee.
7. 2017 ATH/DB Jaymest Williams, Archer: Archer has a slew of good-looking athletes that pass the eyeball test and Williams has been a player to watch for awhile now. He had a nifty catch-and-run up the sideline to burn Tucker for an opening score in their tournament game. He also was a shut-down corner on his side of the field.
The 5-foot-9, 175-pounder is rated as a four-star prospect at athlete by 247sports. His best position given his size might be at corner. He has Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ohio State, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas A&M offers among many others college options at this point.
He’s another one of Archer’s recruits it seems like every college football program with a mailing address has offered.
8. 2017 DB/WR Kyric McGowan, Dalton: Dalton had one of the better days of the 21 teams in the 7-on-7 field. McGown would have made the All-Thursday team as both a coverage man and a receiver. The 5-foot-10, 172-pounder was very good in coverage and came up with a couple of clutch touchdown catches that helped his team advance in the tournament.
Dalton has a young team. There were only four seniors in Athens on Thursday and a couple of their other top skill guys were not able to make the trip. Hallandale beat them in the semifinals.
9. 2016 LB Tabarius Peterson, Tucker: The 6-foot-3, 232-pounder was a nimble big body covering slot receivers and manning the middle. His offer list includes Appalachian State, Colorado State, California and Charlotte offers and he’s listed as a defensive end and a tight end on the team’s online rosters.
He’s rated as a three-star weak-side defensive end by 247sports. A bigger program is going to come snatch him up. Just wait for it.
10. 2017 QB Drew Densmore, Collins Hill: He gets the 7-on-7 format by just checking down to his receivers and not trying to do too much. The “heavyweight fight” metaphor for football is the most overplayed line in the history of sports writers, but Densmore was effective jabbing his way down the field. He rattled off accurate throws despite windmilling his arm a few times to work out what appeared to be some arm soreness.
Collins Hill had a great day Thursday. A lot of it had to do with its quarterback play. Densmore’s a big kid. He’s about 6-foot-4 on the growth chart and at least 195 pounds.
BEST OF THE REST: 2016 LB/TE Emmanuel Belmar, Collins Hill; 2016 S Jordan Bertrand, Collins Hill; 2017 WR Zeke Cobb, Dalton; 2016 OLB/QB Jase Chastain, Dalton; 2017 WR Mark Flores, Collins Hill; 2017 WR Justin Gibbs, Aquinas; 2017 S Calito Gonzalez, Stephenson; 2016 DL Devin Hill, Georgia Military Prep; 2018 CB Mikey Johnson, Tucker; 2016 TE Michael Kouassi, Archer; 2016 WR Justin Macaulay, Collins Hill; 2016 CB Rayshawn McCall, Clarke Central; 2017 LB Michael Mankins, Stephenson; 2017 CB/WR Jordon McKinney, Dalton; 2017 DB/WR Khalil Newton, Stephenson; 2016 DB/WR Tyler Noland, Dalton; 2016 DE Michael Pitts, Stephenson; 2017 CB/RB D.J. Rivers, Walnut Grove; 2016 QB Garrett Rigby, Tucker; 2017 CB Askri Smith, Collins Hill; 2016 LB Robert Snyder, Collins Hill; 2017 OLB Tyler Taylor, Lanier; 2016 QB/DB Chase Tyson, Tucker; 2016 DE Dennis Wonnum, Stephenson.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.