Five players to watch at Corky Kell Classic

Many of the state’s top football players and college prospects will be on display Saturday in the Corky Kell Classic at the Georgia Dome. The four-game set kicks off with Starr’s Mill vs. Etowah at 11:45 a.m., followed by Brookwood-McEachern (2:30 p.m.), Grayson-Camden County (5:30), and Norcross-Walton (8:30).

Here are five players to watch:

Ean Pemberton, RB, Grayson: Perhaps no one has more to prove than the 5-foot-4, 160-pound senior. He is already established as perhaps the state’s top player, rushing for 1,950 yards and 14 touchdowns last year. However, he has been virtually ignored by college scouts because of concerns over his size and durability. It bothers his coach, Mickey Conn. “If I could say two things about Ean, it’s that he plays bigger in the bigger games, and the more carries he gets, the better he gets. We’re absolutely playing the best team in the state, the defending champs [Camden County], which provides a good stage for Ean to show what he can do.”

Max Garcia, OL, Norcross: The 6-5, 275-pounder is one of the state’s top uncommitted prospects and has narrowed down from 15 scholarship offers to three finalists — Clemson, Vanderbilt and Maryland. “Max is truly a Norcross product. He has been in our youth football program since he was six years old,” coach Keith Maloof said. “It has been exciting to watch him develop and mature over the years. He is one of the best lineman around, averaging from 88-92 with his [blocking grades]. And he’s one of the smartest kids you’ll ever meet, both in football and academics.”

Delino DeShields, RB, Norcross: Christmas came early for the Blue Devils when the speedy son of a former major-league baseball star transferred from Woodward Academy a few weeks ago. The 5-9, 185-pounder is still learning the playbook, but it took only a few minutes of practice for his new coaches to learn why he has offers from Georgia and Ole Miss, among others. Said Maloof, “He’s a 4.3 guy [in the 40-yard dash], very explosive and tough. It has been fun watching Delino and [junior] Kendrick Huitt push each other in practice.” The two are battling to replace D.J. Adams, who is a freshman tailback at Maryland.

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Ean Days, RB, Camden County: The 6-0, 190-pounder is the early candidate to the No. 1 prospect on the reigning champions with offers from Central Florida, Illinois and Indiana, among others. What do the scouts like? “He’s a little bit of everything,” Camden coach Jeff Herron said. “He’s big and powerful, and also fast and elusive.” Days ran for around only 800 yards last year, but won rave reviews for leading the team in rushing during the playoff stretch.

Kyle Woestmann, DL, Walton: The two-way starter is another elite candidate for honors as the state’s top player. His toughness is unquestioned, with Woestmann suffering a severe laceration on his right forearm in mid-July and fulfilling vows to make it back in time for Saturday’s opener. Said coach Rocky Hildago, “He’s a high-motor guy, who has exceptional hands.” The 6-4, 260-pounder starts on the offensive line, but also will play 25-30 snaps at defensive end. He turned down offers from Georgia and Georgia Tech to commit to Vanderbilt.

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