Savannah Morning Information High 20 highschool soccer gamers to look at


High school football is finally back as teams across Georgia begin their season on Friday night.

Local fans are excited to see the prospects of their favorite teams. Benedictine is back to advance to the GHSA Class 4A championship game after reaching the semi-finals last year. Calvary Day is ready after a Final Four finish in Class A Private.

Savannah Christian reloads after a run in the state quarter-finals last season, and Islands wins the first playoff win in school history in class 4A.

There are an abundance of stars drawing college recruiters to the coastal empire, and we’ve picked the top 20 to keep an eye on as the 2021 season begins.

Holden Geriner, Benedictine, QB, Sr.

The 6-foot-3,215-pound senior is a four-star contender who has been recruited by some of the top teams in the country.

The Auburn commit had offers from LSU, Michigan, and UGA before settling on the Tigers.

He threw 2,770 yards with 25 touchdown passes and only three interceptions last year as he led BC to the Class 4A semifinals.

Justin Thomas, Benedictine Senior Slot / Defensive Back.

Justin Thomas, Benedictine, Slot / DB, Sr.

Thomas is dedicated to the UGA as a midfielder in baseball, but he’s also a star on the grid. The 3-4A Region Player of the Year last season scored a total of 25 touchdowns rushing and receiving a total of 1,344 yards, adding five interceptions and 73 tackles on defense.

As a junior, he was the Savannah Morning News Offensive Player of the Year.

George Futch, Savannah Christian senior wide receiver and defensive back.

George Futch, Savannah Christian, WR / DB, Sr.

Futch earned the All-Greater Savannah honors as a receiver last year with 47 catches for 797 yards and 12 touchdowns. He had an interception return for a touchdown of 101 yards and a kickoff return for a score of 98 yards.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder has offerings from Chattanooga, Savannah State, Lenoir-Rhyne, and Virginia University-Lynchburg.

Jalin Scott, junior lineman at Calvary Day School.

Jalin Scott, Calvary Day, OL / DL, Jr.

Scott was an All-Greater Savannah first-team recommendation on offense last season, and his inventory continues to grow after excelling at some of the top off-season camps.

Scott set a school record in the shot put that spring with a throw of 42 feet, 9 inches in his first season in the sport.

Peyton Cromwell, senior linebacker for Savannah Christian.

Peyton Cromwell, Savannah Christian, LB, Sr.

Cromwell has a nose for the ball and as a junior has collected 146 tackles, including 11 for losses.

He was an All-Greater Savannah first-team pick and an All-state first-team pick by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Holden Sapp, senior linebacker for the Benedictines.

Holden Sapp, Benedictine, LB, Sr.

Sapp had 102 tackles, including 16 for losses, with 14 sacks and five quarterback hurries to earn Region 3-4A Defensive Player of the Year honor.

All-Greater Savannah’s first-team selection includes offerings from Army, Charleston Southern, Wofford, Middle Tennessee State and Lenoir-Rhyne.

He is a Georgia High School Football Daily preseason all-state pick.

Troy Ford, Calvary Day School Junior Linebacker and Tight End.

Troy Ford Jr., Calvary Day, LB / TE, Jr.

The 6-foot-2,230 pounder had 69 tackles and five sacks last year, with 11 catches for 157 yards and four scores.

With offers from Notre Dame, Auburn, South Carolina and Georgia Tech, he has grown to become one of the top recruits in the country.

Ford suffered a hand injury in the first week of training that required surgery but is expected to return to the season opener. He is a Recruit Georgia all-state preseason pick for the first team.

Barry Kleinpeter, Savannah Country Day senior quarterback.

Barry Kleinpeter, Savannah Country Day, QB, Sr.

Kleinpeter is returning for his fourth season as a starter at the SCD. He has thrown 5,123 yards and 54 touchdowns and is ready to bolster those stellar numbers with his favorite receiver Kenny Odom for his senior season.

Little Peter has offerings that include Akron, Samford, and Austin Peay.

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Mike Cabellero, Windsor Forest, RB, Sr.

Mike Cabellero, Windsor Forest Senior is running back.

Cabellero combines power with breakaway speed. He stormed for 1,236 yards and 15 touchdowns in his sophomore year, and he followed with another great performance last year when he was named Region 3-3A Offensive Player of the Year.

Cabellero has offerings like Eastern Michigan and Fordham.

Kenny Odom, Savannah Country Day senior wide receiver and defensive back.

Kenny Odom, Savannah Country Day, WR / DB, Sr.

Odom, who is also an athletics star for the Hornets, had 54 receptions for 814 yards and 10 touchdowns last year. He has 103 career catches for 1,785 yards with 22 touchdown receptions.

Odom has offerings from Western Kentucky, Austin Peay, Middle Tennessee State, Savannah State, and North Alabama.

Langston Lewis, Iceland's High School senior wide receiver and defensive back.

Langston Lewis, Isles, WR / DB, Sr.

Lewis was an All-Region 3-4A first team pick at the receiver last year. He had 26 catches for 299 yards and six touchdowns.

He got the green scoring pass in a comeback win over Hardaway for the first playoff win in school history for Iceland.

Lewis is also a star midfielder in baseball and hopes to practice both sports in Central Michigan, where he is committed to football.

Jake Merklinger, Calvary Day sophomore.

Jake Merklinger, Calvary Day, QB, Sun.

Merklinger became a freshman QB1 for the Cavs, throwing for 2,107 yards and 18 touchdowns – completing 65% of his throws – and adding five touchdowns.

He’s grown to 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, and has received offers from Michigan State and Cincinnati in the off-season.

Za'Quan Bryan, Benedictine Junior Wide Receiver and Defensive Back.

Za’Quan Bryan, Benedictine, WR / DB, Jr.

Bryan had a breakout season for his sophomore year with 45 catches for 710 yards and five scores. He added 292 yards of rushing and another score.

He is also an outstanding defensive back with 55 tackles and two passes that were defended last year.

Bryan has an offer from Coastal Carolina.

Keion Wallace, junior wide receiver, Effingham County High School.

Keion Wallace, Effingham County, WR, Jr.

The 6-foot-3,215-pound Wallace has an elite skill that comes with his size, strength, speed, and work ethic. He has offers from Texas A&M, Ole Miss, and Georgia Tech.

Wallace had 10 catches for 193 yards and three touchdowns against Statesboro last year, and more big games are on the horizon.

Keion Wallace Second highlight

Kam Bing, New Hampstead Senior Offensive Lineman.

Kam Bing, New Hampstead, OL, Sr.

Bing is a four year old starter for the Phoenix. The 6-foot-2, 305-pounder was a first-team selection of all Regions 3-4A last year and is a first-team selection for all of the states preseason by Georgia High School Football Daily this season.

More:New Hampstead is ready to take the next step as Kyle Hockman’s program takes shape

Ashton Jackson, Jenkins, OL, Sr.

Ashton Jackson, Jenkins Senior Offensive Lineman.

The 6-foot-5, 310-pound senior was an All-Region 3-4A First Team pick last year. He has offers from Florida International, Savannah State, and Morehouse College.

Juwan Johnson, Calvary Day senior wide receiver and defensive back.

Juwan Johnson, Calvary Day, DB / WR, Sr.

Johnson shared the lead with four interceptions last season, defending 38 tackles and six passes.

He had 11 catches for 147 yards as a junior and is expected to play a bigger role in the offense this year.

Johnson has offers from Army and Gardner-Webb.

Terry Simmons, Calvary Day Junior Defensive Lineman.

Terry Simmons, Calvary Day, DL, Jr.

Simmons had 51 tackles, 12 quarterback hurries, and a pair of sacks for the Cavs last year.

The 6-foot-2, 305-pounder is a preseason all-state pick from Recruit Georgia.

Elijah Griffin, Savannah Christian Freshman Defensive Lineman.

Elijah Griffin, Savannah Christian, DL, Fr.

At 6 feet 5 and 280 pounds, Griffin is not your typical newbie.

He won’t turn 15 until October but received his first college offer from the University of Georgia in September of his eighth grade.

Griffin will start on the defensive for the Raiders.

Pauly Seely quarterback New Hampstead.

Pauly Seeley, New Hampstead, QB, Jr.

Seeley split time behind the center last season, throwing 993 yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions. During the off-season, he solicited offers from Bowling Green, Middle Tennessee, and Western Kentucky.

Dennis Knight reports on sports for the Savannah Morning News. Contact him at [email protected]. Twitter: @DennisKnightSMN