County players to watch for this fall

East Lawrence's Levi Barnes hands off during spring practice

We’re now into the month of July which means that we’re about a month away from the start of fall practice.

This year will showcase several players in the county that fans will need to look out for. 

We’re going to take a look at a few from each school. 

Gage Saint, Hatton: 

The Hornet’s hulking tackle will be the county’s top prospect for this season. 

The class of 2020 prospect has already committed to Troy, so recruitment will probably not be a big story to follow. 

Saint holds several FBS offers for a reason and it is very likely the Hornets will be following his blocking this fall. 

Juan Lopez, East Lawrence: 

Lopez is a familar name who will have a new set of colors. 

Lopez starred last year for Hatton, but this year he’ll be an Eagle. He was arguably the best defensive player for the Hornets last year and don’t be surprised if it’s the same story again this year. 

Montae Orr, R.A. Hubbard: 

Montae Orr, or Montravious Orr, joins a long list of talented lineman that Mac Hampton has brought up for the R.A. Hubbard Chiefs. 

Orr started last year as a freshman, but this season could be his breakout year. He recently camped at the University of Alabama, and at 300 pounds, he is going to be tough to handle in the trenches this fall. 

Brody Franks, Lawrence County: 

Another lineman receiving college interest, Franks is entering his senior year and his third year as a starter for the Red Devils. 

He will spend more of his time on offense, in an attempt to keep him fresh, but it’ll be on defense where he will make the flashy plays. A top notch pass rusher, Franks could make a living this season living in opposing team’s backfields as he racks up sacks for the Red Devils defense. 

Ridge Harrison, Hatton: 

The Hornets received a boost when one of the top athletes in the school decided to play football this year. 

Ridge Harrison has already been dominating on the court in basketball and now he’s taking his talents to the gridiron. 

Arguably the top male athlete in the school, Harrison already showed a glimpse of what he could do in the spring. Harrison made big plays on both sides of the field during the team’s spring game, securing some big catches on offense and coming up with tough tackles on defense. 

Levi Barnes, East Lawrence: 

Barnes won the quarterback job last year and then got injured in the jamboree, missing the entire season. Now he’s back, but must win the job again. 

It’s rare that someone who wins the job one year has to win it again next year. Barnes might win the job again, he might not. Nevertheless, he’s one of the top athletes the Eagles have so he will be making an imapct somewhere on the field. 

Ca’Ni McCoy, R.A. Hubbard: 

The 2018 Moulton Advertiser offensive player of the year Austin Blankenship has graduated. However, Ca’Ni McCoy, the defensive player of the year, is back for another round. 

Hubbard’s defensive front is nasty enough to take on anybody and it all starts with McCoy on the defensive line. He was the only county player last year to make first team All-State. The sky is the limit for this player and he could be in-store for another special season. 

Tayi and Malik Strickland, Lawrence County: 

Most teams would give anything to have a 6’2, 6’3 receiver with elite track speed, athleticism and an ability to go up and get the ball. 

Lawrence County has two twin brothers, Tayi and Malik. The duo spent time on both sides of the field last year, Tayi at receiver and safety, Malik at running back, receiver and safety. 

This year they will be on offense full time and at receiver full time. 

Last year, both showed the ability to make big time plays. This year there will be high expectations for the duo. 

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