explodes off the ball and closes on the quarter-
back as well as anyone.”
It seems Thompson will be a defensive tackle
for sure in college. Ledbetter is a different story.
“He has length to create separation, and he
could play inside or outside on the next level,”
Simmons said of Ledbetter.
Tucker coach Brian Lamar uses Ledbetter at
defensive end in the Tigers’ defensive scheme.
He also played some tight end for Tucker. But this
fall Ledbetter said he will change his number from
the very offensive No. 81 to a more neutral No. 9.
“Man, I hated wearing that No. 81,” he said.
Coaches in AAAAAA will have to adjust their
notes during film sessions to take note of
Ledbetter – although his disruptive play sticks
out enough to notice no matter the number he
wears. Tucker will play in the state’s largest classification for the first time in recent memory.
The Tigers failed to win the school’s third state
title – falling to Creekside in the championship
game last December.
The move up to AAAAAA will be a challenge
– that’s something Lamar acknowledges. But
having Ledbetter provide the foundation for the
defense should make things go a little easier
for the Tigers in 2014.
One thing is certain: neither player will be getting ignored on the recruiting trail any time soon.
“Everyone has come through here,” Lamar
said of college recruiters. – Dean Legge
Two of the Defensive Linemen in Georgia come from very different places. Trenton Thompson grew up in Albany – a landmark city in south Georgia — and
plays for a high school, Westover, that hasn’t
won ten games in a season in the program’s
history. He works out in a school that shows its
age. He’s as raw as they get in terms of being a
college prospect – and he has never committed
to a school.
Jonathan Ledbetter, on the other had, plays
in suburban Atlanta. He plays for a high school,
Tucker, that has won ten games or more every
season but one (and that was a 9-3 year) since
2007. Ledbetter works out in a brand new high
school. He’s more developed thanks to living
in Atlanta and being at a school like Tucker. He
committed to Alabama in January.
But both Ledbetter and Thompson have two
things in common – they are as disruptive as
it gets on the field and are as pursued as any
other prospect in the state by colleges.
Thompson, considered the top overall college
prospect in America by Rivals.com, is a bruising
defensive tackle. His massive frame and forceful
push in the middle of the offensive line tortured
quarterbacks and running backs alike last fall.
Westover, traditionally a dud on the gridiron, had
its best record ever – 9-3. The Patriots also got
to the playoffs for a second year in a row under
the direction of coach Octavia Jones.
“Thompson looks the part, and he is put
together like a college defensive lineman —
not one in high school,” Scout.com recruiting
analyst Chad Simmons said of Thompson. “He