Projected top players by position: Defensive linemen

McEachern junior DE Jamil Burroughs (99) tackles Cedar Grove senior Robert Jones III in the second half of their game Friday, September 7, 2018 at McEachern High School . PHOTO/Daniel Varnado
McEachern junior DE Jamil Burroughs (99) tackles Cedar Grove senior Robert Jones III in the second half of their game Friday, September 7, 2018 at McEachern High School . PHOTO/Daniel Varnado

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Credit: Daniel Varnado

There’s really no comparison between Bradley Chubb and Myles Murphy, two of the best football players to walk the halls of Hillgrove High in Powder Springs.

Chubb is the Hillgrove alumnus who was the fifth overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to the Denver Broncos, for whom he now starts at outside linebacker. He was a defensive end at N.C. State.

Murphy is a Hillgrove student who is the fourth overall prospect nationally in the class of 2020. He’s committed to Clemson. He’s a defensive end.

Chubb is everything that Murphy wants to be as a professional. Murphy is everything that Chubb never was as a high school player.

More on position previews

» Quarterbacks
» Running backs
» Wide receivers/tight ends
» Offensive linemen
» Defensive linemen
» Linebackers
» Defensive backs
» Athletes
» Kicking specialists

“'Yes, two totally different situations with Myles and Bradley,” 247Sports recruiting analyst Rusty Mansell said Wednesday.

Mansell went on to explain: Chubb was 6 feet, 2 inches, 221 pounds at a Vanderbilt prospect camp two months before his senior season. Four years later at the NFL Combine, he was 6-4, 271 and faster than in high school.

“There is no one that could have predicted that,” Mansell said. “I kept going back to see Kenyan Drake [Chubb’s Hillgrove teammate, now in the NFL], and I never left thinking Bradley was going to be an NFL high draft pick. I am glad he is because he worked his tail off.”

Meanwhile, Murphy is already 6-5, 260 as measured at the Opening Regional prospect camp in March, when he ran a laser 40-yard time of 4.65 seconds.

“Myles is a grown man right now,” Mansell said. “I see one or two of these types every year in my job. If nothing changes the path he is on, he will be another NFL high draft choice from Hillgrove. I hate to use the word because it gets thrown around so much in my world, but he is every ounce of a freak. I watched him two years in a row take over the McEachern game in the fourth quarter. Tells you all you need to know playing that good, that late in games.”

Below are 10 of the state’s best defensive linemen for 2019. GHSF Daily will publish its 10 best at each position over nine issues in preseason. The players’ status as recruits is a factor, but the choices are made largely on production as high school players.

• Will Anderson, Dutchtown: Anderson, a first-team all-state player last season, had 22 sacks and 15 other tackles for losses for a defense that allowed just 7.7 points per game. Dutchtown won it first region title in 2018. Anderson (6-3, 230) is a top-100 national recruit committed to Alabama.

• Simeon Barrow, Grovetown: Barrow led his Augusta-area school to its first region title in 2018. He contributed 31 tackles for losses, 15 sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception. Barrow (6-2, 250) is a three-star recruit and likely the first Power Five Conference signee in school history. His reported favorites are Tennessee, Michigan State and Virginia Tech.

• Jamil Burroughs, McEachern: Burroughs (6-2, 330) had 10 tackles for losses, nine hurries and five sacks against frequent double-teams for McEachern, a perennial Class AAAAAAA playoff team. He's a four-star recruit committed to Georgia.

• Jaden Hardy, Islands: Hardy is a run stuffer in the interior of the line but quick enough to register 12.5 sacks for Benedictine in 2018. He's transferred across town to Islands in Savannah. Hardy is a three-star recruit with Auburn and others closest on his trail.

• Myles Murphy, Hillgrove: Murphy had 16 tackles for losses and seven sacks for a 12-1 team that lost only to eventual Class AAAAAAA champion Milton 20-19. He is the consensus No. 1 prospect in Georgia.

• B.J. Ojulari, Marietta: Ojulari led his team with 104 tackles — 18 for losses — while forcing three fumbles in 2018, when he was the only first-team all-state junior defensive lineman in the highest classification. He's also a three-year starter on the offensive line. Ojulari (6-3, 225) is a four-star recruit slated to announce his college choice Aug. 16. His brother, Azeez Ojulari, is an outside linebacker at Georgia.

• Nazir Stackhouse, Columbia: Stackhouse (6-3, 300) had five sacks and 13 other tackles for losses in just 10 games for a 2-8 team. He's a four-star recruit committed to Georgia.

• Akelo Stone, Jenkins: Stone had 21 tackles for losses and five sacks and blocked three punts last season for Jenkins, a Savannah school that hadn't made the quarterfinals since the 1960s until players such as Stone began to suit up. Now, the Warriors have made the Class AAA quarters in consecutive years. A three-star recruit, Stone (6-2, 250) is committed to Georgia Tech.

• Zykeivous Walker, Schley County: Walker, a first-team all-state player last season, had 10.5 sacks and 14.5 other tackles for losses on a 9-3 team. He's the highest-rated defensive player in Class A. He's been all-region in football and basketball since he was a freshman. Walker (6-4, 260) is an uncommitted four-star recruit.

• Alvin Williams, Cedar Grove: Williams had 70 tackles, 11 for losses, plus five sacks, for the Class AAA champions last season. Always athletic, he's now grown taller and picked up 30 pounds of muscle in the off-season. A three-star recruit, Williams (6-4, 220) is committed to Colorado.

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