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August 24, 2013
Not a FlaVarsity Premium subscriber? FlaVarsity costs just 27 cents a day and you get access to the entire Rivals.com network! To get a free seven-day trial, click here.. FlaVarsity Senior Analyst Doug Pugh breaks down the national matchup between Booker T. Washington (2) and Norcross (Ga.). Two nationally-ranked programs face off on ESPN at 7 PM
Breakdown: This matchup contains the heavyweight status of Tyson-Holyfield back in the day with both teams entering as champions of their respective weight classes and without many weaknesses. The Blue Devils will embark on their title defense needing to replace 88% of their total offensive production (5,296yds) due to graduation and nearly 300 tackles on defense; and that's just from four guys. Their starting QB is A.J. Bush, a transfer from a playoff team (Milton, GA) last season, and their starting RB (Boyd) was South Gwinnett's leading rusher. On defense they've got studs everywhere led by Lorenzo Carter, the #13 player in the Rivals 250 - and the No.1 player in Georgia; an elite corps of LB's and size in the secondary.
Booker T. is no slouch when it comes to talent, with FSU-bound Treon Harris starting his third season under center, and will target third-year starter WR Lamar Parker. The Tornados are ranked 2nd in Florida behind rival Miami Central for a reason - they are simply that good. Washington will have a few holes on defense to fill (Matthew Thomas and Denver Kirkland) but powerhouses don't rebuild - they reload.
If Demetrius Jackson and Chad Thomas can collapse the pocket and force Bush to make quick decisions, their speedy and instinctive playmakers in the 2nd and 3rd levels beyond the line of scrimmage have caused many a sleepless night for OC's and HC's here in Florida, so why not spread the love north into the Peach State too as far as they're concerned. If they can get their diverse attack on the ground with Harris, Krondis Larry, D'Von Ballard and sophomore stud Mark Walton going early and often, they can neutralize what's sure to be a raucous crowd and be off to a shining start for the boys from the Sunshine State.