HAMILTON, Ga. -- Near the end of the line of friends and family taking pictures with Harris County quarterback Detavis Buggs after his signing Tuesday with Highland (Kan.) Community College was teammate LaMichael Fanning.
The former Harris County defensive lineman and recent Alabama signee sat next to Buggs at the table, pulled out a crimson Alabama cap and got a hearty laugh from Buggs as the crowd snapped photos.
It was that kind of one-upmanship Buggs faced at practice against a Harris County defense that included two of the nation’s top high school linemen in Fanning and undecided junior defensive end Jordan Jenkins, and that camaraderie and competition, at least in part, fueled Buggs to reach the college level, he said.
“I felt like with Freak (Jenkins) and LaMichael being there and just putting a little pressure on me, it made me better as they got better,” Buggs said. “They had to run after me, and I had to run and get away from them. At the same time, we were benefiting, all three of us getting better at the same time.”
And just as often as they caught Buggs running the triple-option offense, he went by -- or through -- them.
“Most of the time, he’ll try and juke you out, and he will sometimes,” Jenkins said. “But he’s also one of those guys who isn’t afraid to get hit. When you come at him, he’s going to put his shoulder down and give you a lickin’ or take a lickin’ and then get right back up after the play.”
Buggs played wide receiver and defensive back as a freshman and took over starting duties for the next three seasons, starting all 43 games Harris County played during his time there.
Buggs was a 2010 Ledger-Enquirer Dandy Dozen and second-team All-Bi-City selection, and he finished his senior season with 700 yards rushing, 400 yards passing and five touchdowns.
“He has just been a great athlete for us,” Harris County coach Tommy Parks said. “Even as a middle school player, he was a phenomenal player. He was able to step right in and start at wide receiver and play a little defensive back as a freshman and, of course, started at quarterback as a sophomore. He was able to do a lot of things for us.”
That experience will carry over to college .Buggs said he expects to play mostly wide receiver and defensive back at Highland, where he will join other local 2011 signees in Smiths Station running back Lorenzo Betties and LaGrange quarterback Braxton Smith.
“I kind of want to be on the defensive side, and I kind of want to be on the offensive side,” Buggs said. “I just want to be used.
“I want to play quarterback a little bit, wide receiver, I want to catch the ball, I want to run the ball. I just want to help the team out so we can come out and just have a good team and good outcome for the season.”
Buggs and Smith are getting experience together as they practice with the Georgia team in Sunday’s Georgia vs. Alabama Indoor Football Classic at the Columbus Civic Center. Buggs expects to play on special teams, at wide receiver and at free safety Sunday.