rivals

Marietta quarterback Harrison Bailey passes under pressure as Hillgrove defensive end Myles Murphy (98) is blocked by offensive lineman Jake Wray. All three are among the players on Rivals’ listing of the top 130 rising senior recruits in Georgia.

For high school football fans in Georgia, the chance to see the best players in the state lies here in Cobb County.

This week, Rivals.com published its list of the state's top 130 players for the class of 2020. 

The county has the top two recruits in Marietta tight end Arik Gilbert and Hillgrove defensive lineman Myles Murphy, both of whom are five-star recruits. Cobb is also home to six of the top 15, and 15 on the full list. Those 15 players have a combined 260 Division I offers, with an average Rivals star rating of 3.67.

Marietta leads with way with nine players on the list, including six on offense -- Gilbert (1), quarterback Harrison Bailey (8), offensive lineman Jake Wray (31), wide receivers Kobe Stewart (61) and Taji Johnson (84) and running back Kimani Vidal (92). On the defensive side are linebacker B.J. Ojulari (15), and defensive backs Rashad Torrence (30) and Dawson Ellington (72).

McEachern is second with three players -- defensive lineman Jamil Burroughs (10), wide receiver Javon Baker (12) and running back Jordan Simmons (39) -- while Hillgrove, Sprayberry and Wheeler each have one.

In addition, Gilbert, Murphy, Bailey, Burroughs, Baker and Ojulari are all ranked among Rivals' top 250 seniors in the country. All six play in Region 3AAAAAAA, which should make for some intriguing games this fall, and a lot of college coaches making visits. Gilbert and Ojulari have yet to decide on where they will play in college, nor have six of the other of Cobb's top players.

"It's a great thing for players to test themselves against elite competition," Marietta coach Richard Morgan said. "It's great for football in and around Cobb County."

Marietta will face off with McEachern on Oct. 18, then will face Hillgrove on Nov. 1. In the latter, there will be a good chance that the top two players in the state will have to block one another, as Gilbert will try to keep Murphy from putting pressure on Bailey.

Marietta will also face Grayson on Sept. 13, which has five players ranked in the Georgia 130, and it opens the season against Rome , which has two.

Archrivals McEachern and Hillgrove will open region opener against one another Oct. 11. The Indians will also match up with Cedar Grove, which has two players on the list.

New McEachern coach Franklin Stephens us looking forward to the matchups, but, more importantly, he's looking for his highly ranked seniors to grab hold of the team's leadership roles.

"You really have to cultivate that talent and get them to work in a team atmosphere," Stephens said. "They have to really focus on McEachern. It's something to work toward. You can be very talented, but, if you can't be mentally tough as a team, it can be difficult."

On Aug. 30, Sprayberry will face off against Wheeler. That game will showcase Yellow Jackets defensive lineman Marlon Krakue (79) and Wildcats wide recevier Ricky White (104).

Rivals 2020 Georgia Top 130

Name, School                         HT/WT      Pos.      State      National     College

Arik Gilbert, Marietta              6-5, 248      TE           1             7          Undecided

Myles Murphy, Hillgrove          6-4, 255      DL          2            11          Clemson

Harrison Bailey, Marietta         6-4, 220      QB          8            43         Tennessee

Jamil Burroughs, McEachern    6-3, 320      DL         10           81          Georgia

Javon Baker, McEachern          6-1, 183     WR         12           95         Alabama

B.J. Ojulari, Marietta               6-3, 220      LB          15         163         Undecided

Rashad Torrence, Marietta       6-0, 195     DB          30                        Florida

Jake Wray, Marietta                6-5, 290      OL          31                       Colorado

Jordan Simmons, McEachern   5-11,180     RB          39                        Undecided

Kobe Stewart, Marietta            6-3, 185     WR         61                        Undecided

Dawson Ellington, Marietta      5-11,172     DB          72                        Undecided

Marlon Krakue, Sprayberry      6-4, 220      DL          79                        Undecided

Taji Johnson, Marietta             6-3, 200      WR         84                        Boston College

Kimani Vidal, Marietta             5-9, 204      RB          92                        Undecided

Ricky White, Wheeler              6-1, 165      WR        104                       Undecided

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