Notebook: GHSA rules on high-profile transfers

Transfers are about as common as kickoffs in Georgia high school football, but it's unusual to have three outstanding players moving after the first day of practice and seeking immediate eligibility. Three came to the attention of the GHSA this week.

Chapel Hill DT Tyler Cross, who has committed to Syracuse, transferred last week to Northview with hopes of playing in today's big Region 6-AAAAAA game against South Forsyth. Both teams are 4-0 in region play. But Cross is not eligible yet. The GHSA says it got Cross's transfer-eligibility form on Wednesday and won't rule until today, at the earliest. The GHSA allows student-athletes to be eligible immediately at their new schools if they document that they have made a bona fide move into their new school district.

Cross's prospects appear better than those of Drake McCowan, who rushed for 1,022 yards as a North Murray sophomore last season. McCowan transferred to Dalton after three games. The GHSA this week denied his hardship request to be eligible immediately. Dalton will appeal. McCowan lives in the Dalton district and played football for Dalton Middle, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen, but because he attended North Murray and his transfer to Dalton did not accompany a change in residence, he is obliged to sit out a year, per GHSA rules, failing a hardship approval. He would be ineligible until Dalton's fourth game in 2015. His appeal hearing is Oct. 21.

Then there is Demetris Robertson, the five-star recruit who transferred from Savannah Country Day to Savannah Christian during preseason practice in August. Robertson also was denied his hardship request this week and has appealed. Robertson, who has committed to Alabama as a defensive back, expected to be eligible when he moved into another public-school district. But the GHSA changed its bylaws on the matter on Sept. 15, which was before Robertson's move was completed, according to the GHSA. AJC.com's S. Thomas Coleman posted a blog this week giving the reaction from Robertson's brother and guardian.

Terry's 403 yards rank 10th all-time

Marquis Terry's 403 yards rushing against Starr's Mill rank 10th all-time for a single game, according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association. The senior from Drew scored four touchdowns in the 67-43 victory. "Marquis is very powerful with breakaway speed," Drew coach Dorwyn Lyles said. "He can make you miss in the open field and can drop his shoulder to get the extra yards. Not an easy guy to tackle one on one." Lyles said Terry has offers but wants to have a big year and improve his academics and see where he stands. He has 774 yards on 80 carries this season. He has scored 11 touchdowns, two receiving.

Landmark sophomore has breakout game

Landmark Christian sophomore Lofton Tidwell made a name for himself last week when he rushed for a school-record 395 yards and three touchdowns in a 55-39 victory over Rockmart. Tidwell had a big year as a freshman in the secondary last season, when he intercepted three passes, forced four fumbles and blocked two punts, and on the baseball team, where he was the starting center fielder. As a running back this year, has 833 yards rushing with 13 touchdowns, two receiving, for a 5-1 team. Lofton is 5 feet, 10 inches and 205 pounds. "He is a powerful north-and-south-type runner," Landmark coach Wayne Brantley said. "Great pass receiver as well. Great hands."

Pickens star passes 1,000 for third time

The state's most underrated running back might be Shannon Brooks, a senior at Pickens who has committed to Minnesota. He played in the same region the past two years as Cedartown's Nick Chubb, now at Georgia. Brooks rushed for 246 yards and four touchdowns last week against Northwest Whitefield to put his season total at 1,154 yards and 16 touchdowns in Pickens' 4-1 start. That's 230.8 yards rushing per game. Brooks rushed for 1,696 yards as a junior and 1,064 as a sophomore in only 10 games each season as Pickens failed to make the playoffs.

Big rushing night for Clinch County

We didn't receive this in time for our Top Performances in Tuesday's issue, but Clinch County put two backs over 200 yards rushing last week in a 46-13 victory over Atkinson County. Sophomore RB Shannon Young ran for 226 and three touchdowns on 12 carries. QB Octavis Johnson, who is committed to South Carolina, ran for 205 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. Two others ran for 194 yards and two scores - giving Clinch 615 yards rushing for the game.

Shootings near high schools cause for alarm

Police have named a suspect in the shooting death of Kristofer Hunter, who was shot and killed Oct. 3 at Hughes High School after Hughes' 38-7 homecoming victory over Campbell. The suspect is an 18-year-old, Eric Dan Johnson Jr. "You can't even come to a football game and just watch it anymore. You have to worry about somebody getting shot," his friend Khyra Perry told an Atlanta TV station. "Kris was a great person, a loving person. He never hurt anybody." The victim was not a Hughes student. The news of the shooting came only a couple of days after Savannah and Johnson postponed their homecoming game scheduled for Oct. 3 at Savannah Memorial Stadium because of the shooting death of a 16-year-old about a mile away from the stadium the previous day. The shooting was not related to the high school, but the proximity led to the postponement. The Savannah-Johnson game is scheduled for

Tuesday, Nov. 4.

King has plenty of offers, after all

On Wednesday, we reported that Colquitt County RB Sihiem King, who rejoined our Player of the Year Watch, had no reported scholarship offers. Apparently, we checked the wrong recruiting Web site. Colquitt offensive coordinator Zach Grage sent us this e-mail: "I am fortunate enough to coach Sihiem King, and am excited every week to see where he falls in your top 10. I also noticed the last sentence in his write-up where he has no reported DI offers. As of right now, he has offers from Georgia Tech, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Middle Tennessee, Southern Miss, South Alabama, Troy, Marshall, and Old Dominion, among others."

A passing trend at Grayson

Several readers have remarked, even joked, about the presence of a Grayson quarterback in the state leaderboard for passing yards. Chase Brice has 1,006 yards passing, which ranks in the top 40 in the state. There are more than 400 teams, so that's top 10 percent. Grayson, of course, is historically a run-based Wing-T team. "Hard to believe, but we are throwing the ball," Grayson coach Mickey Conn said. Grayson still runs well, too. Cameron Brent, with 691 yards, is an almost certain 1,000-yard rusher. But it might not be a one-year thing. Brice is only a sophomore. He has completed 72 of 112 attempts with 10 touchdowns.

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