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November 23, 2007

Rivals.com's staff of recruiting analysts offer thoughts on things they learned while on the road scouting some of the nation's top prospects in this week's edition of From the Road.

Barry Every, Rivals.com Recruiting Analyst
Foley remains unbeaten: Foley jumped out to an early lead on Mobile (Ala.) Murphy and cruised to its school record 12th straight victory. Julio Jones, the nation's No. 2 ranked player, got things started by returning the opening kickoff 63 yards to set up the first of four scores by senior running back LaVance Mitchell.

Murphy senior linebacker Jacoby Thomas did his part to keep the score close in the first quarter by batting a pass down and accounting for two tackle for losses. It was enough to keep the opening drive by Foley the only score in the first quarter.

Mitchell then took over the game, beginning with a direct snap in punt formation on fourth down and converting a key first down. He would also score twice in the second quarter, allowing Foley to take a 21-0 halftime lead.

The second half would start off like the beginning of the game with Jones making a beautiful catch over the middle setting up Mitchell's fourth and final touchdown. Jones later took a short pass near the far boundary and weaved his way for a 23-yard touchdown to put the game out of reach.

Lead by senior safety Robert Lester's 11 tackles, the Foley defense would keep Murphy scoreless for more than three quarters. Offensively for Foley, Mitchell ended the game with 121 yards rushing on 15 carries and four touchdowns, while Jones chipped in nine catches for 93 yards and a touchdown.

For Murphy the bright spots would be Thomas, who had ten tackles, three TFL's, and a pass break-up, along with sophomore cornerback Jordan Spriggs who would pick off two Foley passes and be credited with a pass break-up.

Foley travels to take on Prattville Friday in a matchup of undefeated 6A teams.

Brown starts and ends the scoring: On an unseasonably brisk night in the gulf coast region of Mississippi, the Ocean Springs Greyhounds played host to the Hattiesburg Tigers.

Rivals100 receiver DeAndre Brown got things started early. A long bomb was thrown on Ocean Springs first possession by sophomore quarterback Sam Noblin and Brown cruised by defenders like they were standing still, running right under the pass. The Hattiesburg defense double- and triple-teamed Brown for the rest of the game, and only trailed 17-10 at intermission.

In the second half, Hattiesburg sophomore running back Marcquese Hosey scored on a three-yard run and again on a 53-yard screen play. Hosey finished the game with 23 carries for 118 yards and two touchdowns, and helped his team knot at 24 in the fourth quarter.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Greyhounds again called Brown's number, and he delivered. Noblin hit Brown on a short bubble screen that would be sniffed out by the Hattiesburg defense, but Brown would not be denied. He shifted his way back behind the line of scrimmage and over to the opposite sideline. Once he hit the far sideline, he turned it up field and showed off his amazing speed for someone 6-6, 210 pounds, running 33 yards untouched to the end zone for the winning score.

Ocean Springs will now face the Meridian Wildcats in the second round of Mississippi 5A playoffs.

Chad Simmons, Recruiting Analyst
No. 1 falls in AAAAA: Kennesaw (Ga.) North Cobb entered its game against Peachtree Ridge with a perfect 10-0 record, but the Warriors picked the wrong the wrong time to record their first blemish in 2007.

Senior quarterback Matt Roark showed his talents as he threw for 245 yards and ran for another 174 yards. The 6-foot-6, 190-pound signal caller is the leader of North Cobb, but he and the Warriors fell a little short Friday in losing 35-28.

Roark showed great athleticism as he ran quarterback sweeps, he scrambled for first down after first down, and he almost brought North Cobb back late in the fourth quarter. Some doubt his skills as a passer, some doubt his toughness, some doubt his savvy and some doubt him as a major college prospect, but he showed why they shouldn't.

He throws great on the run, he is elusive, he loves to compete and he could big a big threat at quarterback in the right offense. Put him in the shotgun, give him the freedom to run or pass and he will shine on the next level.

Where could he end up? Keep an eye on the Oregon Ducks he would be a perfect fit in there offense and he has already traveled north for a visit. He may be a three star now, but he has potential to be better than that down the road.

Minter's time is now: Suwanee (Ga.) Peachtree Ridge junior linebacker Kevin Minter may only be a junior, but he is the leader of his team's defense. Minter is a 6-foot, 230-pound linebacker that can hit.

He lines up inside and outside for the Lions and he showed his ability to play in space and blitz Friday night. He covered the slot receiver at times, he was on the edge playing Roark and the option some and then he was used in blitz packages as well.

The junior moves well space, but his home will likely be on the inside on the next level. He really plays off blocks well, he plays physical and his body is perfect for a middle linebacker. He has a great base, good instincts and he chases the ball very well.

Virginia and Ole Miss have already extended offers to Minter and more are likely on the way. He likes the idea of staying close to home right now, but he is open to any school that offers him as well.

2009 DL to Watch - Put the name Derrick Lott on your radar because you will likely be hearing a lot more about this junior out of Kennesaw (Ga.) North Cobb over the next year.

Lott is a 6-foot-3, 265-pound interior lineman that has a great frame a lot of athleticism. He battled a minor knee injury all game, but he was still in the backfield quite a bit.

He plays high now and doesn't use his hands well, but he just out-quicks and overpowers the offensive linemen that try to block him. The ability and size are there and he will only get better fundamentally, so expect to hear more from Lott in the coming months.

Previous From the Road: Sep 6 | Sep 13 | Sep 20 | Sep 27 | Oct 4 | Oct 11 | Oct 18 | Oct 25 | Nov 1
Nov 8 | Nov 15

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