Going into his sophomore year, safety Terrance Parks was one of the most talked-about underclassmen in the state of Georgia. His combination of size, speed and athleticism put him on the radar of many college programs early in his career.
However, toward the end of the 2005 season he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee. He worked hard during the spring and summer rehabbing the injury, and he was cleared to go in the fall 2006.
Creekside played North Clayton in their annual preseason scrimmage, and Parks heard a pop in the same knee after making a cut. The ACL again was damaged and he missed all of 2006.
After going through his second surgery and rehabbing his knee again, Parks is back on the field now and feels good.
"My knee is 100 percent, and it is the first time it has felt this good since my sophomore year," Parks said. "It has been a long process, but I finally feel good."
The injury did not scare off the college recruiters. Parks picked up offers from schools like Tennessee, Ohio State, Georgia, Florida State and many more before he decided he wanted to be a Seminole earlier this summer.
Now that recruiting is out of the way, the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder can focus on his senior year.
"We are off to a good start," Parks said. "We are now 2-0 and we have played pretty good. I am playing a little bit of quarterback and wide receiver on offense, and I play both corner and safety on defense.
"I have a touchdown catch, an interception and a good number of tackles. I did not play too much offense in the second game because the other guys took care of things."
Creekside Head Coach Kevin Whitley sees Parks getting back into form.
"This past week against Riverdale he played exceptional," Whitley said. "He had a big-time interception, he made some nice tackles and I think he is getting his confidence back. He sure played like it on Friday night."
Bobby Bowden and FSU are getting a special player according to Whitley.
"He is going to be very good there. I think he will play corner at Florida State because you don't get guys with his size that can cover like he does. He is a big corner that can run, cover and hit. Terrance will make some plays for FSU."
FSU is the dream school for this Peach State prospect, and the Creekside Seminole plans to stay a Seminole.
"I know they lost to Clemson that first game, but that doesn't matter to me," he said. "They could lose all their games and I would still stay committed to them. I am still excited and still happy about going to FSU."
Notre Dame commitment Omar Hunter is off to a great start in 2007 after recovering from a broken leg. He has helped Buford begin the season 2-0, with wins over Grove City in the Herbstreit Challenge and a 40- 0 win over a talented Cartersville team in Georgia.
Hunter showed he was back in form in the middle of August when he was dominant against Flowery Branch in a scrimmage. His numbers after a couple of regular season games and that scrimmage are close to what some defensive tackles have in a season.
"I haven't played too much past the first half of a game yet this year," Hunter said. "The way our team is playing I have not had to just yet.
"In the scrimmage game I had four sacks. In the game in Ohio I had three, and this past week I had one. I think I am playing well, but the team is playing really well. I am just happy that we are playing this way."
Hunter is a member of the Rivals100, and it will be hard for anyone to push him off that list this season. He takes pride in his work, he wants to be highly regarded and he is happy his talent is showing.
"I want everyone to think I am the best every time they see me play," Hunter said. " I give it all I have and I want to make plays. I think it is an honor to be ranked high on Rivals.com, but I don't get into that stuff too much. I try to stay away from it because I just want to work hard and not get the big head."
He is still a solid commitment to Notre Dame, but not all schools have given up on him just yet.
"After we played in Ohio on Sept. 1, I had a ton of phone calls," Hunter said. "Florida, Michigan, Georgia, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Auburn are some that have called. I have had about 100 calls since then.
"It has been crazy and I guess schools are trying to get on me because Notre Dame is struggling. That doesn't matter to me. I am still solid to Notre Dame and I am 100 percent committed to them."
Duke is stealing two talented prospects out of Georgia
Nigel Nicholas and Matt Daniels are two high school athletes in Georgia that have committed to Duke University. Both could be a little underrated, and Duke has done a great job getting them to believe in the Blue Devils program.
Nicholas is a 6-foot-3, 247-pound defensive end out of Rossville. He is strong, smart and he is solid in technique. He needs to work on shedding blocks, but he has the potential to help Duke early up front.
A few schools are still showing interest in Nicholas, but he appears to be very happy with his decision.
"I am still solid to Duke and I don't see myself changing my mind," he said. "I did visit Georgia for the Oklahoma State and they are still recruiting me, but I am set with Duke. I like what they have to offer and am very happy with my commitment."
Daniels is a 4.0 student with a lot of potential on the field. He has the size at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds to be an immediate impact player in Durham.
He can hit, he can cover and he does a lot of damage on the offensive side of the ball at Fayette County. Daniels is the leader of that secondary, and he is only going to get better.
He is currently in a race with Nick Williams for the No. 2 safety spot in Georgia, behind Notre Dame commitment Jamoris Slaughter.
Daniels does have other offers and other options, but says he is a solid Duke commit.
"I am interested in Georgia, but I am still committed to Duke," Daniels said after a visit to UGA this past weekend. "It would take something to go drastically wrong for me to change, but I am interested."
"Right now Georgia is more of a fall-back option if Duke does not work out, but Georgia is still recruiting me and I am just listening."
Daniels and Nicholas are guys that have flown under the radar because of their early commitments, but don't let that fool you. They are both talented players with a lot of potential.
South Georgia receiver is emerging
In the small town of Cussett, receiver Octavius Staton is starting to emerge. Staton stood out at a couple of 7-on-7 tournaments this summer, and he is starting to get recognized.
"He is getting close to his first offer," said Chattahoochee County coach Josh Kemp. "Middle Tennessee State is close to pulling the trigger.
"He is also getting a lot of interest lately from N.C. State, South Carolina and Kentucky, too."
Staton is a long and rangy receiver that has deceptive speed. He takes long strides and he moves gracefully across the field. He hands are solid and he is good in the open field. At 6-foot-2 and with long arms, he is a big target.
He stood out in Athens at Georgia's tournament, and played well in Carrollton at the Atlanta Falcons' tournament as well. He has flown under the radar for a while, but it looks like he is starting to emerge early this fall.
2009 QB picks up two more offers
Watkinsville-Oconee quarterback Zach Mettenberger was offered a scholarship by Florida State after his strong performance at their camp earlier this summer. Now, two more schools have jumped in and offered him scholarships.
"Boston College and Ole Miss have offered me now," said Mettenberger.
This 6-foot-5, 210-pound pocket passer created a buzz around the state after his performance at the University of Georgia camp in June. He was one of the top overall prospects there, and the camp was loaded with top juniors and seniors.
Mettenberger showed arm strength, accuracy, maturity, touch and the ability to be coached. Mettenberger is still raw and needs to work on fine-tuning his footwork, release and consistency, but he is still only 16 years old. With almost two full years of high school football in front of him, he has time to mature as a player.
Look for Mettenberger's offer list to continue to grow. We expect him to be one of the top recruits in Georgia next fall. He has all the tools to be one of the best pure passers to come out of this state in years.