Bryan County High School is not on most college football recruiter’s radar. And with good reason.
The school’s lack of success the last several years has kept recruiters at bay. The last two Bryan County football players to sign letters of intent were Terron Dixon and Tommy Mikell who signed to play at Division III LaGrange College in 2018.
Dixon later transferred to Georgia Southern after the school shut down football due to COVID. Dixon, who graduated recently, is a walk-on backup running back while Mikell is a reserve linebacker for the Panthers.
If the recruiters won’t come to you then, Redskins Coach Cherard Freeman decided, you have to take your show to them.
And, that’s what he and his staff have done this winter as they have attended college recruiting fairs in Macon and at Camden County where high school coaches have an opportunity to meet with college coaches to make them aware of potential scholar-athletes.
It’s an ideal setup for the college coaches, many of whom are at schools with limited recruiting budgets, as they get a chance to see tape on players from several schools at one location. Freeman said there were 15 college coaches at Macon and 22 at Camden County.
With several talented players returning from this year’s 6-5 team which was a state playoff qualifier the Redskins for the first time in recent memory will have several players who are deserving of a look.
And Freeman wants to make sure they get it.
“We went to the recruiting fairs trying to promote our players,” Freeman said. “We’re trying to get more college coaches to come and look at our players over the next few years.”
Freeman was also not only making recruiters aware of some of the talented players in his program but also emphasizing he had players who were outstanding students and good citizens.
“We put together a high light film together on them,” Freeman said. “We also take their transcripts and test scores. We’re in a room and the coaches walk around, look at the tape to see if there’s any kids they’re interested in and we go from there.
“The most important and exciting thing was when we turned those transcripts over,” Freeman said. “They saw a good football player but at the same time they saw a great student and great kids. Those are the things colleges want on their team: kids with high character, dependable, the true student-athlete.
“We’ve got a lot of kids with 3.7 to 3.9 GPAs with 1,100 or better on their SATS. We emphasize that to them, that they’ve got to first and foremost be good students. Go to class, get their work done and be good kids.”
Two players in particular who expect to draw the attention of recruiters are running back/linebacker Austin Clemons and safety Tanner Ennis. Both are fit the mold Freeman described.
While those two are the main attractions Freeman believes by their being looked at it will draw attention to other possible prospects such as cornerback Sean Kelly Hill, linemen Jet Lewis and John Good just to name a few. Freshmen Anndreas McKinny and Ger-bravion Collins and sophomore Chris Winfree have shown potential.
“We had some kids who opened some eyes,” Freeman said. “Some of the coaches said they would be stopping by the school. We’re just trying to get the program turned around and once you do that they’ll be coming around.
“Right now, though, we’ve got to do what we got to do to get coaches to come into the community. This (recruiting fair) is one of the ways to do that.”