T.L. Hanna (Anderson, S.C.) head coach Scott Parker boasts at least two, maybe three Division 1A targets for the 2007 class. Of these kids, Virginia Tech has officially offered one – versatile running back Brian Maddox – and verbally offered another – talented athlete Cameron Ford.
Brian Maddox is currently the most highly recruited player for T.L. Hanna, although Parker says interest in Ford is coming on strong. Maddox currently holds official offers from Clemson, Duke, Maryland (first to offer), North Carolina, N.C. State, South Carolina, Virginia Tech and Vanderbilt. Florida and Texas A&M called last week for more information.
“This will be Brian’s fourth year coming up,” Parker said. “I’ve had three ninth graders who have been able to play with me since I’ve been here and I’ve been here for seven years – one (DT Ben Alexander) is going to Texas this year; one’s a ninth grader and will be a tenth grader; and then there’s Brian. All three of them have been extremely great playmakers on their part. This past year he rushed for about 1350 yards and had receptions for about 750 yards.”
According to Parker, Maddox compares favorably with former Hanna and current Kentucky tailback Rafael Little. Little was rated among the top all-purpose backs coming out of high school.
“We had a young man a couple of years ago who signed with Kentucky by the name of Rafael Little. Brian is bigger than Rafael but is very reminiscent of Rafael,” Parker said. “Brian’s about 6-2, about 215 pounds, very strong, big, fast kid. He catches well out of the backfield. He runs hard. He’s what you’re always looking for in a great back.”
Maddox is being recruited by all schools as a running back, although Clemson, which offered him this past weekend, mentioned outside linebacker as well. In terms of a possible decision, Maddox is eyeing a possible May 28th decision date but may not be totally set on that just yet.
“He kept saying that the mark was going to be his birthday on May 28th, but I don’t know how committed he is to that,” Parker said. “He came to me Friday and said he may hold off on that.”
Maddox has taken unofficial visits to South Carolina and Clemson and will continue to make unofficial trips throughout the late winter and into the spring.
“He’s been very busy,” Parker said of Maddox. “He has a very understanding dad. His dad played at Western Carolina. He wants the best for his son and so he has gone out of his way to get Brian to as many junior days and things of that sort as he can. They’ve been busy this spring.”
Virginia Tech will likely get a visit during spring practice.
“In fact, they tried to set [a visit to Virginia Tech] up about two or three weeks ago but it conflicted with his schedule,” Parker said. “Now, he’s supposed to come up to spring practice at Virginia Tech. His dad told me that and told me they were going to try and make a two-day stay out of it, but I don’t know which dates they were.”
Reports elsewhere have Maddox leaning heavily towards South Carolina, but Parker believes that may not be the whole story.
“Well, if you read the internet you’d think they were,” Parker said of the Gamecocks being in the lead. “I think Brian is really wide open. Clemson’s 18 miles from here. Clemson kind of delayed their approach and now they’re in on the action. South Carolina didn’t delay. They came by one day, freaked out over him and consistently harped on how great the type of back he is and he is what they want. I think he has told the guys on the internet that they were the one to beat. I don’t think that’s true. I think Brian’s wide open and I know his dad is. His dad and I talk almost everyday in terms of the latest that’s happening with Brian, so I do think they’re wide open.”
6-4, 215-pound Cameron Ford transferred to T.L. Hanna just before his junior year. He played wide receiver and free safety this past season.
“Cameron’s a kid who moved in here and who, had he been here the entire time, I think would be higher up the ladder than he is,” Parker said. “He transferred to us from a small double-A school and he wanted to be a quarterback. He really has all the capabilities of being a quarterback with the exception of I have a quarterback in place. I told him we were going to put him at the place he can help us the most, so we put him at wide receiver and also he plays free safety – he’ll probably be a strong safety in college on defense. On offense, he’s played every where. I think he could be a great running quarterback, but we throw the ball a lot so that dampers that.”
Cameron is being recruited as an athlete for the next level.
“He could be a tight end, and that’s Virginia Tech asked me about,” Parker said. “I told them he’s going to have to beef up because he’s only about 210 or 215 pounds. They said they want an athlete and I said that’s what he is. Cameron may be one of the most special athletes I’ve come across in a long, long time. He’s a tall kid and he can make things happen. He’ll play tailback with Brian sometimes this year. What’s amazing is that he’s almost 6-5, but he runs like a little scat-back.”
An athlete who plays soccer as well as football, Ford has terrific footwork according to Parker.
“He grew up playing soccer, and so I think soccer had a tremendous impact on his footwork,” Parker said. “He’s never really been in an organized weight program until this year. We’ve got him in there now and I think the sky’s the limit for him and we’ll find out just how good he can be.”
N.C. State was the first school to extend an official offer to Ford. South Carolina and Vanderbilt have officially offered as well, while Virginia Tech has verbally offered. Parker says he is awaiting the official offer from the Hokies.
Linebacker/fullback prospect Aaron Parker could be the third Division 1A prospect. Like Ford, Parker transferred to T.L. Hanna for his junior year. He is currently drawing interest from Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech and South Carolina, but coach Parker feels interest in Aaron will grow as recruiting goes into the May evaluation period.
“Aaron Parker is another a good looking kid at 6-2, 242 pounds,” Parker said. “I told him he’s going to have to get down to about 225. He’s an inside linebacker/fullback. He has great feet, can make things happen and that’s the thing. He didn’t really come out onto our radar until the second part of the season. That’s when he started playing real, real well. He’s one of those guys who has fallen off the radar a bit, but when those guys come see Brian and come see Cameron they’ll see Aaron.”
Aaron racked up 106 tackles last season.
Besides talent and physical ability, one common trait among all three of these kids is that “they are good students,” Parker said. “That typically happens with us. We are a good school academically and our players qualify.”
Coach Parker is excited about the 2006 season.
“We feel like we’ve got some tremendous leaders on the team including the three kids I’ve mentioned,” Parker said. “We’re really looking forward to this season and can’t wait for it to get here.”
In terms of unofficial visits, all three kids are heading to Auburn in two weeks.