Simmons' Takeaways: Atlanta Rivals adizero Combine
AUSTELL, Ga. — The Rivals Camp Series presented by adidas made a stop in Georgia for the Rivals adizero Combine at South Cobb High School and the prospects in the South showed up in force. It was a record number. More than 2,000 athletes participated in the event but some stood out among the rest.
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Wide receiver Malik Dixon traveled up to Atlanta from Orlando and he arrived at 7 a.m. Saturday for this event. He was in the first group that tested and he drew praise from numerous staffers. He is a 6-foot, 178-pound prospect in the 2019 class out of Wekiva with an offer from Eastern Illinois. He is also hearing from Georgia Tech and Syracuse among others. Dixon expects a list of coaches to come check him out during the spring evaluation period.
Two brothers made the trip over from Huntsville (Ala.) Sparkman and they will return for a second day of competition Sunday. Dell Pettus is the older brother, a 2019 cornerback just shy of 6-feet who was timed at 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash Saturday. Troy, UAB and Samford are showing interest and Pettus feels if he does well at their camps this summer, then an offer will come.
The younger brother is Micah Pettus, a 6-3, 288-pound lineman who plays defensive tackle, but looks on the hoof more like an offensive tackle. He is a 2021 prospect who moves well for his size. He grew up an Alabama fan and his recruitment could start this fall.
One that created a buzz early at the combine was 2021 athlete Jamarion Ellis of Eastman (Ga.) Dodge County. The 6-1, 205-pound freshman flashed agility and quickness at the combine and he grabbed the attention of numerous coaches. He also already has the attention of the Georgia Bulldogs. Lorenzo Carter is Ellis’ favorite player, so he would love an offer from the in-state school. He plays both running back and linebacker in high school, but he will work out on defense at linebacker Sunday.
There is a freshman who has more than the hair and that is Reese Jones of Hoschton (Ga.) Mill Creek. He is a 6-3, 203-pound edge rusher who ran the 40-yard dash under 4.6 seconds not once, but twice. He has a great frame and he is going to be a name to know in the fall. Ohio State was his childhood favorite due to him being born in Ohio and his brother going to school there. Other schools he hopes to hear from moving forward are Auburn, Michigan and South Carolina.
Joseph Hockery made the trek down from Ohio and he earned an invite for Sunday’s camp. Akron, Bowling Green, Eastern Kentucky and Elon have already offered the 6-6, 233-pound tight end and he is hearing from Ohio State, Pittsburgh and Toledo. When asked why he made the trip down for the combine, he said, “I’m hungry.” Hockery will have a chance to impress Sunday.
Despite having an offer from Michigan, Joshua Brown traveled up from Valdosta (Ga.) for the combine and he earned an invite to the camp. North Carolina and West Virginia are showing interest in Brown as well. He started at cornerback on the varsity in 2017 and he is set to have a big junior season.
Others that received invites
Quintarius Chapman, 2020 wide receiver, Hinesville (Ga.) Bradwell Institute
Christian Thomas, 2021 cornerback, Birmingham (Ala.) Ramsay
Jaylen Blackwell, 2021 athlete, Locust Grove (Ga.) Strong Rock Christian
Trevon Miller, 2019 outside linebacker, Phenix City (Ala.) Central
Kameron Gaines, 2020 cornerback, Birmingham (Ala.) Jackson-Olin
Fredrick Davis, 2019 running back, Columbus (Ga.) Northside
Michael Ryan, 2020 wide receiver, Bainbridge (Ga.)
Jacori Goodwin, 2019 linebacker, Adamsville (Ala.) Minor
Desmond McDowell, 2019 running back, Austell (Ga.) South Cobb