With the preseason approaching soon, here’s a look at some notable players to watch on Lakelands high school football teams this upcoming season.
Tolbert could play in several different spots for Greenwood next season, but it seems likely that he’ll be under center for the Eagles. Tolbert, a rising junior, is 6-foot-2 and 186 pounds and enters the 2019 season looking like a reliable rusher and passer for Greenwood.
Makins camped at South Carolina during the summer and already garnered an offer from Appalachian State in his sophomore year. Makins, a rising sophomore cornerback, will lead an exceptionally talented Greenwood defense.
Another player to watch on Greenwood’s defense is defensive end Braylon Ryan. Ryan committed to Coastal Carolina and heads up a strong Eagles defensive line.
The rising junior quarterback will be tasked with leading a triple-option for the Vikings this season. Elmore played in the triple option on the junior varsity team last season and looks to have continued success on the varsity squad.
Another member of Emerald’s promising rising junior class, Williams was a surprise last season and figures to be a key part of the Vikings’ defense this year. Williams is a linebacker who made many tackles last season.
Stumbo started at quarterback last year for the Hawks, and some of Greenwood Christian’s best junior rode behind the talent of nine outstanding seniors. The 2019 season is time for Stumbo and fellow seniors Carter Johns, Will Campbell and Luke Ergle to take charge.
The senior running back played alongside Tae Brown in the backfield last season and helped power the Wildcats to a strong season. Booker is also expected to see time in the secondary in 2019.
Fleming was one of the most important parts to a Ninety Six running game that tore through Region 2-2A last season. He returns for his senior year as an unquestioned leader and has Booker in the backfield.
Goodman served as a utility player for the Hornets last season, playing at multiple positions on a roster with limited players. The rising senior, however, is expected to play a big role at running back in 2019.
Calvert was the Hornets’ backup quarterback last season as a freshman, but he’s expected to start this season. He and Goodman have both thrown the ball during camps this summer.
The rising senior quarterback is the engine on the Panthers’ run-dominant offense. Moore is coming off a junior season in which he ran for a team-high 1,354 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also completed 26 of 52 passes for 609 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Moore has made significant strides in his throwing this summer. He posted a 4.4-second 40-yard dash and had the highest vertical leap at a recent camp.
Abbeville offensive lineman Trai Jones committed to South Carolina on June 8, and he’ll be the first Abbeville grad to play for the Gamecocks since 2012.
Jones still has one more season to go in garnet and gold, though. He’ll be a main factor this season, likely playing on both lines.
Another player to watch at Abbeville is linebacker Jhalyn Shuler. Shuler could also line up at wide receiver. He is a punishing tackler with offers from several Division I schools.
Following the departures of several key defensive players, Smith is expected to anchor the Dixie defense in 2019. Smith recorded many quarterback hurries last season and has shown an ability to tackle well in space.
The All-Lakelands quarterback will be entering his senior season with Saluda. Last season, Bell passed for 1,960 yards and 25 touchdowns, and he ran for 307 yards and three touchdowns in the regular season. He’ll look to lead the Tigers to another playoff appearance in his final season.
Wright was a productive wide receiver for the Tigers last season, and he’s expected to remain a key weapon for Bell on offense in 2019. Wright already has an offer from South Carolina State.
Rising freshman A’Chean Durant, the brother of former star running back and current Duke sophomore Mataeo Durant, will see plenty of snaps in the backfield next season. A’Chean has already impressed McCormick coaches with his speed and athleticism.
The freshman quarterback starred alongside A’Chean on McCormick’s middle school team last year. He also plays baseball and has a big arm that the Chiefs are looking forward to using this season.
The Blue Flashes’ offense will receive a push from DuBose, a rising senior whose strength up front gives Calhoun Falls some hope when it comes to buying time for the team’s backfield. DuBose will help clear the way for quarterback Avant Harris and running back Glen Moon.