High School Sports

Class of 2017: Five Bi-City football players to watch

ROBIN TRIMARCHI rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com 
 Central High defensive lineman Deandre Ivey (96) and linebacker Markail Benton (8) hit Prattville running back Kingston Davis in first half action at Garrett-Harrison Friday. 09.18.15
ROBIN TRIMARCHI rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com Central High defensive lineman Deandre Ivey (96) and linebacker Markail Benton (8) hit Prattville running back Kingston Davis in first half action at Garrett-Harrison Friday. 09.18.15 rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com

The 2016 signing class for college football players out of the Bi-City was a strong one. Almost 60 players signed, including a number to major Division I programs.

We saw two to Southeastern Conference schools, a pair to the Atlantic Coast Conference and more. And while there won't be quite as many big names next year, much of the same should still be expected in 2017.

A lot of players will sign and we'll have a handful that will be playing at big-name universities in two college football seasons.

Here's a look at some of the big names to watch in recruiting over the next year:

Markail Benton, LB, Central

Benton will be the biggest name signing next February. He's already become one of Alabama's consensus top players and arguably its No. 1 linebacker. He's consistently ranked among the top five linebackers in the country for the Class of 2017.

Benton has been successful in high school, yes, but his most attractive quality is his size and potential. At 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, he has a rare combination of size and athletic ability that colleges like Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and others all covet.

He was a first-team All-Bi-City selection this past season and will enter the 2016 high school season as one of the front-runners for defensive player of the year.

Auburn is leading the chase for the rising senior as of now, but Alabama is certainly in the picture.

Karon Delince, DB, Central

While Benton will be center stage for the Red Devils, the best athlete on the time arguably resides in the defensive backfield.

Delince has been on SEC and ACC radars since his sophomore year, having picked up offers from Kentucky and Mississippi State and some attention from Florida State. He's on the smaller side from a size standpoint (5-foot-9 and 155 pounds), but has elite speed and athleticism.

He runs a 4.32 40-yard dash and can change direction on a dime, making him an ideal return man candidate.

As a coverage corner, he has been a fantastic No. 2 to John Broussard the past two years, intercepting seven passes as both a sophomore and junior.

Jaxton Carson, RB, Central

Yes, a third Central player among the players to watch next season. It should come as no surprise, though, as 12 signed scholarships at their ceremony this year.

While Carson hasn't been heralded as one of the elite prospects in Alabama, he has quietly become an incredibly intriguing player.

He had a strong junior season in 2015, rushing for over 1,000 yards en route to a first-team All-Bi-City selection. He has five offers, according to 247sports, from Arkansas State, Cincinnati, North Carolina, Purdue and Troy.

At 5-foot-9 and 200 pounds, he doesn't have elite size or elite speed, but his combined skill set makes him an incredibly effective back.

The growth he showed as a junior can only be expected to continue in 2016.

Giovannia Moore, LB, Carver

Moore is an outside linebacker for Carver who is listed as a three-star recruit on 247sports. At 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds, his size is prototypical for a linebacker at the Division I level.

He already has five offers from Colorado, Indiana, N.C. State, North Carolina and Tennessee, but has also been looked at by elite programs like Alabama and Ohio State.

His name hasn't been mentioned a lot yet around the Bi-City, but he is another player with elite potential as a senior in 2016 and in college.

Romello Kimbrough, QB, Jordan

Kimbrough's Twitter profile says it all: "I have no offers, no stars, but I have the fight inside me."

That's a perfect representation of the Jordan quarterback, who puts up numbers and shows an elite ability on the field, but just hasn't attracted much attention from programs at the next level.

As a senior, if Kimbrough continues his development, he will undoubtedly get the attention of a program somewhere.

Until then, he just needs to keep fighting.

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