As college football’s postseason winds down, high school and youth league bowl games pick up steam this weekend.
Several local players already participated in the Cobb County All-Star Senior Bowl and Georgia Junior Bowl. More opportunities abound for several others to compete at a national level, including Kell’s Brendan Langley, Lassiter’s Eddie Printz, Harrison’s Jimmy Hutchinson and Walton teammates Tyren Jones and Brandon Kublanow.
Langley, a cornerback committed to play at Georgia next season, took part in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl on Dec. 30 at Reliant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Houston Texans.
Printz and Hutchinson will participate in Friday’s Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., while Jones and Kublanow were chosen to play in Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
According to Printz’s father, Ed, the quarterback has enjoyed his time in California and in practice leading up to the Semper Fidelis game, which will be broadcast live by the NFL Network at 9 p.m.
“Eddie and Jimmy have been hanging out together a lot since they’ve been in California, so they’ve gotten to be pretty tight,” Ed Printz said. “I’ve heard from Scouts and Rivals that Eddie has gotten top marks for his play at quarterback over the last couple of days of practice. They’ve each written stories on him … and they both like what they see.
“Others are saying that Eddie is looking the best out of all six quarterbacks during practices, so things are going well. He said he’s enjoying the experience. The competition is amazing and the level of talent he’s competing against is great.”
Issues arose during Eddie Printz’s recruiting process, which led him to decommit from SMU and UCLA. However, now that the signal-caller has committed to Missouri, he’s ready to begin the next phase of his college football career.
“(Eddie’s) anxious to get on campus (at Missouri) next week,” Ed said. “Even though he’s in California practicing and getting ready for the bowl game, he’s focused on starting college and getting involved in everything Missouri has to offer.”
Hutchinson, a punter, is set to play at Auburn in the fall, and he’s remained committed to the Tigers through the firing of Gene Chizik and hiring of new coach Gus Malzahn.
Jones, a running back committed to Alabama, sprained his knee Nov. 2 and missed the remaining two games of the season, and he will likely sit out Saturday’s U.S. Army game, according to Walton coach Rocky Hidalgo. Kublanow, an offensive lineman committed to Georgia, is scheduled to still play the game, which will be televised by NBC at 1 p.m.
“I spoke with Brandon before he left, and he’s really excited about playing in this game,” Hidalgo said. “He’s looking forward to competing against some of the best players in the country and wants an opportunity to showcase what he can do. I know he’ll do well and we’re excited for him.”
Another Walton player, freshman defensive lineman Christian Blackstock, is expected to play in the Eastbay Youth All-American Bowl as part of a Team USA squad that will take on a team Canadian all-stars at the Alamodome following the conclusion of the U.S. Army game. The rosters are built from ninth-graders born after Aug. 1, 1997.
Joseph Blount, a student at Lovinggood Middle School in Powder Springs, will play in the eighth-grade game Sunday.
The Eastbay games include a week of activities that consists of practices, a skills competition and breakout sessions with Football Hall of Famers, as well as current and former NFL stars and celebrities.