Address: 360 Jenkins Road
City: Tyrone, GA
Web site: http://www.sandycreekhighschool.com/
|Name||Rating||Ht./Wt.||High School||Position||Colleges Considering|
|Brandon Putnam||B+||6'3"/225||Sandy Creek High School||Defensive end||Duke|
|Braxton Lane||B+||5'11"/185||Sandy Creek High School||Wide receiver||Oregon|
|Isaiah Johnson||No Rating||6'1"/183||Sandy Creek High School||Defensive back||Georgia Tech|
|James Hervey||No Rating||6'2"/260||Sandy Creek High School||Defensive tackle||Western Kentucky|
|Rajion Neal||No Rating||5'10"/210||Sandy Creek High School||Running back||Tennessee|
|Rio Johnson||B||6'3"/195||Sandy Creek High School||Quarterback||East Carolina|
Sandy Creek quarterback Rio Johnson was an early commitment to East Carolina, long before he began having a breakout senior season. And Johnson, who is considered by some scouts to be the state’s No. 1 senior quarterback, said he’s sticking by his commitment to the Pirates, no matter which other colleges approach him. “We had some colleges come in here and try to talk to Rio, but he’s very firm with East Carolina,” Sandy Creek coach Chip Walker said. “East Carolina told Rio from the beginning that he was the No. 1 guy they wanted, and offered him on spot on his visit to campus last summer. That went a long ways with Rio, and that’s why he doesn’t really have any interest in other schools. “East Carolina stuck by him before everybody else knew about him, and Rio is sticking by them because they believed in him before anyone else did. It worked out good for both parties.”
Sandy Creek defensive end Brandon Putnam’s commitment to Duke remains intact, though Georgia Tech continues to pursue him. “Who’s still recruiting me? Just Georgia Tech,” the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Putnam said when asked about the subject. Putnam, an AJC’s The Georgia Top 150 selection who committed to the Blue Devils in July, cautioned against reading too much into his decision to attend Tech’s season opener against Jacksonville State last month. “And I’ll probably go to some other games in the area,” he said. “I just love football.” Putnam witnessed Duke’s 41-31 victory over Navy in Durham, N.C. on Saturday. “It’s nice there, with everything going on,” he said. “There’s a lot of new tradition up there. Duke is definitely moving forward and not backwards.” Putnam said he tentatively plans to be at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Oct. 4 when the Jackets host the Blue Devils.
Sandy Creek has six seniors with college offers, and it may have more before the season is over. The high-profile prospects are quarterback Rio Johnson (committed to East Carolina) and defensive end Brandon Putnam (Duke). Others offers include defensive lineman James Hervey from East Carolina and Ohio University, safety Russell Bonner from Buffalo, linebacker Matt Solomon from Eastern Michigan and linebacker Alex Green from Charleston Southern. “We’ve got a long list of colleges that have requested film as the season progresses,” Sandy Creek coach Chip Walker said.
Just hours after tossing a 36-yard winning touchdown pass Friday night on the final play of Sandy Creek’s 17-16 upset victory over Shaw, quarterback Rio Johnson hit the highway for the seven-hour drive to Greenville, N.C. Johnson, who committed to East Carolina this summer, wound up witnessing arguably the biggest win in the school’s history after the Pirates slammed No. 8 West Virginia 24-3. “It was just great,” said Johnson, a member of the AJC’s The Georgia Top 150. “The game was sold out and the atmosphere was crazy. “They got the recruits out of there and off the sidelines with about 50 seconds left because they didn’t know what the fans would do.” It was the second trip to East Carolina for Johnson, who attended a camp there earlier this year. Johnson, who also has scholarship offers from Memphis, Ohio and UAB, said he’s set with East Carolina, even if an ACC or SEC program make a late run at him. “I’m 100 percent with East Carolina,” he said. “They liked me from the beginning. Other schools are just now noticing me. “And that game [on Saturday] made me smile a little more about my decision.”
Sandy Creek quarterback Rio Johnson, who committed to East Carolina, will be very busy over the next days. On top of football-related activities with Sandy Creek, Johnson will be attending Georgia Tech’s game on Thursday night with his teammate, defensive end Brandon Putnam, who has committed to Duke but is still being recruited by the Yellow Jackets. On Saturday, Johnson will be at Georgia’s game as a guest of Oconee County quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who has committed to the Bulldogs. The two quarterbacks became good friends after attending camps together over the years. “Yes, he’s a good friend,” Mettenberger said.