It used to be that the first question one asked to gauge the prospects of a high school team was, “How many starters are returning?” Now, just as important for some is, “Who’s moving in?”
Norcross, the 2012 Class AAAAAA champion, gained a quarterback and running back who are expected to fill major graduation voids. Not to be outdone, 2012 runner-up Lovejoy got a 2,000-yard rusher.
Here are 12 transfers who could have a big impact on the 2013 season.
*Will Anderson, Lassiter: Anderson passed for 2,264 yards last season for Class AA private school Wesleyan. Now, he’s the successor to Missouri signee Eddie Printz at Lassiter. Anderson will have Division I receiver prospects Duby Nwaubi and Quincy Perdue to throw to.
*WR Emanuel Beal, Hillgrove: Beal came from Wheeler, where he caught 43 passes for 855 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s one of the top half-dozen receiver prospects in Georgia and lists Kansas State as his leader.
*RB Josh Boyd, Norcross: Boyd rushed for 760 yards and nine touchdowns in 2012 for South Gwinnett. Note that no Gwinnett County player who is returning ran for more than 850. Norcross lost its leading rusher in Alvin Kamara, the all-class player of the year who signed with Alabama. Boyd has offers from Air Force and Buffalo.
*QB AJ Bush, Norcross: Perhaps the biggest graduation loss for Norcross figured to be underrated Joseph Wilber, the quarterback who threw for 2,448 yards and 29 touchdowns. Enter Bush, a dual-threat left-hander from Milton who has offers from Kansas State and a few others.
*OL Dyshon Sims, Lowndes: Dye, who has committed to Georgia, was Valdosta’s best lineman last season, probably the best returning blocker in Region 1-AAAAAA. His family moved into the county and arch-rival Lowndes’ district before the school year ended. Dye is preseason all-state in AAAAAA.
*DB Nick Glass, Peachtree Ridge: Glass, a strong safety, left St. Pius before the season ended in 2012 for personal reasons and ended up at Peachtree Ridge, where he’ll play with a team that has five Division I recruits, including OL Orlando Brown (committed to Tennessee) and RB Jordan Ellis (Virginia). Glass has committed to Georgia.
*RB Jeremiah Kirkland, Lovejoy: Kirkland rushed for 2,007 yards last season for Landmark Christian. Kirkland had played at a Lovejoy feeder school before going to Landmark. Lovejoy has other pretty good backs, so it’s not certain that Kirkland will be the feature back that Travis Custis (Georgia Tech) was last season, but he’s a significant addition.
*RB C.J. Leggett, North Gwinnett: Leggett transferred from Chattahoochee. He’s well built at 5 feet 10 inches and 215 pounds, and catches the ball well, which will be an asset in North Gwinnett’s offense. He has been recruited by UCLA, Vanderbilt and even Yale.
*Sedrick Palmer, Eagle’s Landing: Palmer was one of the area’s top running backs at Henry County last season and played in the Rising Seniors all-star game. Eagle’s Landing already has an all-state RB candidate in Corey Holloway. Palmer could help there, or he could be a starting linebacker.
*Dallas Rivers, Stephenson: Rivers, a preseason all-state player in Class AAAAA, rushed for 1,110 yards and scored 14 touchdowns on 163 carries last season for Tucker while sharing the load in the Wing-T. He transferred in January to Stephenson, which could make him the focus of the offense. Rivers has committed to Vanderbilt.
*OL/DL Caleb Samuel, First Presbyterian Day: Samuel is the No. 3 offensive line prospect in Georgia, according to the 247 Composite rankings. He transferred from Stratford Academy, a GISA school that will join the GHSA next season, to play at former GISA school First Presbyterian. Both are in Macon. Samuel has committed to North Carolina.
*DB/WR Adonis Thomas, Central Gwinnett: Thomas has started since he was a freshman at Lakeside of DeKalb County. Now a junior, he has moved on to Central. Adonis has offers from Georgia Tech, Louisville, South Carolina, Tennessee and others.
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