Calhoun County’s Johnson signs with Georgia State
By C.R. Cumbee
St. Matthews—Every football player dreams of playing at the next level. For Calhoun County wide receiver Camryn Johnson, that dream recently became a reality when the senior signed a scholarship with Georgia State University.
Johnson transferred to Calhoun County this season from Lake Marion and left his mark immediately. He helped the Saints to a 7-4 record and another playoff appearance.
“Cam came in this year and definitely made an impact on the program. He was not only an outstanding receiver, but a great person to coach. He had great leadership,” Calhoun County football coach Bill Kimrey said.
Johnson was one of the main weapons in a Calhoun County offense that averaged nearly 30 points per game. He ended the campaign with 46 receptions for 728 yards (15.8 yards per catch) and seven touchdowns.
“One thing that he did that most high school receivers don’t do is he blocked extremely well. If he catches 10 balls in a ballgame, there’s 40 other plays where he was doing something else. He always did well at those little things, and I think that’s the difference why he’s going to the next level,” Kimrey said.
Johnson, who stands at 6’4 and 205 pounds, already has the physical tools to compete for playing time in college. Once he learns the playbook and gets some experience, he could turn out to be a steal for the Panthers.
“As far as his future goes, I think it’s real bright. I think he’s just now starting to reach what his capabilities will be. Coach Elliott and those guys down there (at Georgia State) will do a good job with him,” Kimrey said.
Kimrey also hopes another one of his players will sign scholarship papers in the near future as well. All-state quarterback Terrence Brunson is the most prolific passer in school history, but is waiting on test scores before deciding his next move.
Orangeburg-Wilkinson trio to play college football
By C.R. Cumbee
Orangeburg—Orangeburg-Wilkinson has a storied tradition of football players going to college and having an impact. Jadar Johnson graduated from the school four years ago and played a huge role in helping Clemson win its second national championship a month ago.
Head coach Tommy Brown has been around the program for decades and is thrilled to be able to help kids achieve their dreams of playing at the next level.
“First of all, we’re a blessed group. We start to preach being a student-athlete first,” Brown said. “When I go talk to the kids in the middle school, I don’t talk about football. I talk about academics. I talk about being a complete student-athlete. The thing that has helped us is having a legacy of kids going on to the next level and doing well. It’s easy to sell when you’ve got the product already there.”
The Bruins had three more players join their predecessors on that esteemed list when they signed their national letters of intent.
Offensive lineman D’Andra Thompson (6’5, 260) signed with Charleston Southern, and Brown thinks he will redshirt as the Buccaneers add more weight to his frame. The North-South all-star graded out at 90 percent this season with 12 pancake blocks.
“He’s a quiet, low-key kid. He’s going to a small setting that has a great program, academically and athletically. His mom and I both thought that would be a good fit for him because of the athlete he is. He’s not a rah-rah guy. He just does his job and quietly says what he needs to say. I’m so thankful that he got an opportunity to go there,” Brown said.
Another athlete to pledge a commitment was Chris Simmons. The 5’10, 180-pound defensive back will head to South Carolina State next fall, but will try to make the most of the time he has left at Orangeburg-Wilkinson.
“He’s going to do well because he’s the type of kid that works hard. He probably could have had an even better year, but he played two sports and that kept him out of the weight room. Now that he knows he’s going to play college football, he’s going to commit to it more. He’s a good athlete that has a lot of skills and size. I think he’ll do well at South Carolina State,” Brown said.
The final signee for the Bruins was wide receiver Bryce Rivers (6’3, 185), who chose Shorter College in Georgia. Rivers had a breakout season with 29 receptions for 436 yards and four touchdowns, and he has the physical tools needed to challenge for immediate playing time.
“Bryce came out of nowhere. In the offseason last year, he worked extremely hard. He’s 6’3 and you can’t coach size. He can run and has great hands. He had a great year for us. He’ll end up being a great receiver for them,” Brown said.
The door isn’t closed for the rest of the team yet, as Brown hopes a few more players have an opportunity to sign in the near future. Regardless, expect these three to continue the success of Orangeburg-Wilkinson at the next level.