IT CAN’T HAPPEN FREQUENTLY — THAT A 6-FOOT- 2,
300-pound football player remains under the radar.
For Tyrone Truesdell, his day appears soon to come.
The state of Georgia has recently been loaded with
defensive linemen, headlined by Jonathan Ledbetter and
Trenton Thompson in 2015 and Derrick Brown and Julian
Rochester in ’ 16.
It’s not just the players at the top that make it impressive
— it’s the depth at the position that sets it apart.
Eight defensive lineman in this year’s senior class are
ranked four-stars or higher, according to 247Sports.
That’s deservedly kept the spotlight on the
But there’s a handful of players in the 2017 class that
should carry the torch into the future.
Truesdell is one of them, joining Mary Persons Malik
Herring as two names to track in the class.
If Truesdell continues on his current track as a blossoming
college recruit, so too could Laney High School grow into
more of threat in Class AAA.
The Wildcats from Augusta have been solid and consistent
since Lemuel Lackey took over as coach in 2007.
The record is 56-33, with all but one of his eight seasons
resulting with between six and eight wins.
The outlier came in 2013, when Laney finished 10-3
and reached the state quarterfinals. A close, 35-33 loss to
eventual champions in Lovett ended that successful run,
surely one of the best seasons in school history.
The Wildcats have two state titles in their history — in
1961 and 1966. The Mama’s and Papa’s were singing
California Dreamin’ the last time Laney won it all (a reference
that might be over all the current players’ heads).
The last of five region crowns came in that 2013 season,
the last campaign the Wildcats played at the Class 2A level.
They took the transition in stride. The only slip-up in
region play came at home against Washington County —
the War Hawks haven’t lost a regular season game since
Laney hopes to be the team to end that streak this
season. Washington County will still be strong, but they lose
a lot of playmakers that reached the state final in each of the
last two seasons.
Two tough home losses to Atlanta’s Westminster Academy,
once in September and again in the first round of the state
playoffs, showed the Wildcats they could compete with any
team, region foe or otherwise.
Truesdell had 39 tackles, 2. 5 sacks and three quarterback
hurries as a sophomore. That early production led to recruiting letters and raised expectations moving forward. Work in
the offseason kept the excitement going and visits to schools
like Georgia went well. Truesdell didn’t just go check out the
campus. He went to work.
That means he could be about to come into his own.
If that happens, look for him to carry Laney with him.
TRUESDELL, LANEY LOOK TO MAKE A MOVE
Junior Tyrone Truesdell
should build on his produc-
tion in 2014 — 39 tackles and
2. 5 sacks — as he develops
into one of the better
d-linemen in the state.
QB Zeb Noland, Oconee County
QB Kaelan Riley, Calhoun
RB Labron Morris, Cedar Grove
RB Devyn Collins, Pepperell
WR Andre James, Laney
WR Orenzo Smith, Maynard Jackson
TE Landon Rice, Calhoun
OL Jack DeFoor, Calhoun
OL Netori Johnson, Cedar Grove
OL Cody McPeek, Fannin County
OL Caleb Chandler, Jefferson
DL Antwuan Jackson, Cedar Grove
DL Michail Carter, Jackson
DL MJ Webb, Morgan County
DL Shane Parton, Blessed Trinity
LB Jaleel Laguins, Oconee County
LB Elysee Mbem-Bosse, Cedar Grove
LB Jireh Wilson, Calhoun
DB Tyrique McGhee, Peach County
DB Cam Young, Dodge County
DB Mecole Hardman, Elbert County
P Anthony Lotti, West Hall
DB Tre Shaw, Cedar Grove
ATH Tyquan Statham, West Hall
2. Washington County
3. Peach County
4. Blessed Trinity