Here’s a look at the top prospects to watch starting with the Lanier Longhorns:
Phillip Webb - 6-4, 225-pound, senior. 247 Sports Composite 4-star and No. 5 OLB. 44 offers with LSU, Alabama, Clemson and Auburn his leaders. Webb is the prospect that everybody has their eyes on. He’s the highest-rated recruit in Georgia that remains uncommitted. Webb has dominated as an edge rusher for the Longhorns this season with a team-leading 10 sacks, 19 TLK and 23 QB hurries. He’s got a pick-six, blocked punt and field goal. Webb has taken official visits to LSU and Oklahoma and was in attendance several weeks ago when the Tigers defeated Florida 42-28. He’s expected to make an unofficial to Auburn again this month for either the Tigers game against Georgia or Alabama. His former Longhorns teammate Kameron Brown and Kameron’s All-American brother Derrick, who both played at Lanier, now play at Auburn. Webb will play in the Under Armour All-American Game in Orlando Jan. 2. Coach Korey Mobbs says all the attention has only made him more focused and adds that he “wouldn’t be surprised if Webb wakes up one day, says ‘I’ve made my decision,’ tweet it out and be done with it.”
Jamar Rucks - 6-4, 250-pound, senior. 247 Sports Composite 3-star DE. 18 offers including Georgia State, App State, Illinois and Kansas. He’ll be visiting Memphis this weekend. Rucks leads Longhorns’ defensive linemen with 37 total tackles and also has eight sacks and 11 TFL. Mobbs says Rucks gets overshadowed by Webb and not to oversimplify their defensive strategy but the Longhorns put Rucks on one side and Webb on the other.
Taj Barnes - 5-10, 185-pound, senior running back. One of three Longhorns players to commit to Fordham in July and Mobbs says all three were attracted by the idea of playing college football and living in New York City. Leads the team with 1,108 yards rushing for a 7.3-yard average, 138.5 ypg and 13 TD. Barnes really came on strong last season during Lanier’s run to the state semifinals and put on 15 pounds during the off-season and has become even more of a threat running between the tackles.
Cole Thornton - 6-3, 180-pound, senior wide receiver. Also committed to Fordham in July. The Longhorns top wide receiver with 61 catches for 991 yards and 13 TD (nine this season) the last two years. Thornton is a great athlete who finished fifth in the state triple jump last spring and placed in the 300-meter hurdles.
Nahil Perkins - 5-11, 170-pound, senior cornerback. Another commitment to Fordham in July. Perkins has one interception, team-leading 14 passes defended, three fumble recoveries (one for a TD) and two blocked punts. He’s also caught seven passes for a 17-yard average with one TD. Perkins finished second in the state in the 300-meter hurdles last spring.
Mason Ladd - 6-4, 300-pound, senior OT. Offered by Clark Atlanta. Second year starter who moved from center to right tackle this season.