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PREP OPENERS: Smoke leads RRS Players to Watch list for 2017


Wetumpka’s Kavosiey Smoke is the do-it-all guy for Coach Tim Perry and the Indians. He leads the RRS "Players to Watch" list for 2017. (Photo byLori Sullivan)

By Graham Dunn
RRS Editor

(August 22, 2017)


Top 10 players from AHSAA teams in River Region. (Listed in alphabetical order.)

RB Tony Amerson
(5-10/210, Jr.)
St. James

Broke the 1,000-yard barrier last season with 8 TDs. Recruiters are beginning to take notice.

LB/DL Isaiah "Ike" Forte
(6-3/285, Sr.)
G.W. Carver

Easily identified due to his glasses behind the facemask. Forte is the leader of the Wolverines on and off the field. Has a dozen offers including SEC schools.

QB James Foster
(6-3/210, Sr.)
Sidney Lanier

The most acclaimed player out of Lanier since Keldrick Williams (RB, 2000). Strong arm with quick throw. Can make plays with his legs. Committed to Missouri.

LB La’Dedric Jackson

(6-2/210, Sr.)
Sidney Lanier

Another Poet that has committed to Mizzou.
Had 172 tackles last year including 11 sacks. Is considered one of the top defenders in the state.

OL Tank Jenkins
(6-3/325, Sr.)
Park Crossing

Considered by 247Sports to be the top offensive lineman in the state. Three-year starter for the T’Birds.

ATH Kevontae’ Ruggs
(6-4/190, Sr.)
R.E. Lee

Brother of departed Henry Ruggs (Alabama), following a similar path since he took up the sport late. Became an instant star and can play multiple positions (including QB).

DE Charlie Ryan
(6-4/245, Sr.)
Montgomery Catholic

Has continued improvement and expected to lead the Knights to another playoff spot. Committed to Tulane.

ATH Kavosiey Smoke
(6-0,/210, Sr.)

"Mr. Everything" who primarily plays running back but will be instrumental in how far the Indians go in the playoffs. Offers from SEC schools continue to pile up.

DE Kelvin “KJ” Stokes
(6-2/205, Sr.)
Stanhope Elmore

Possibly one of the more underrated players in the class, a hard hitter with speed off the corner. Committed to Purdue but is gaining attention from schools closer to home.

DE Alfred Thomas

(6-0/270, Sr.)
Sidney Lanier

Teams avoid his side of the field.
A 3-year starter has been on the radar of recruiters since ninth grade. Is still taking offers.

Best of the Rest: (listed alphabetically): LB Glen Adams, Lanier (Sr.); OL Jake Adams, Stanhope Elmore (Sr.); LB Jonathan Andrews, Prattville (Sr.); QB Casey Baynes, Tallassee (Sr.); QB Tyler Bell, PCA (Sr.); DE Rico Bozeman, Wetumpka (Jr.); DE Travarris Bozeman, Wetumpka (Sr.); SS Elijah Brown, Carver (Sr.); LB Derrick Davis, R.E. Lee (Sr.); OL Will Derico, R.E. Lee (Jr.); DB Colin Duncan, St. James (So.); OL C.J. Harris, Prattville (Sr.); OL Genesis Hartley, Jeff Davis (Sr.); DE Jordan Hayes, PCA (Sr.); OL Cam Hill, R.E. Lee (Sr.); WR Luke Hufham, Trinity (Sr.); RB Justin Lewis, Carver (Sr.);  Tajie Longmeier, Jeff Davis (Sr.); WR Greg McConico, Park Crossing (Sr.); RB Markevious Mathews, Tallassee (Jr.); WR Duron Mitchell, Park Crossing (Sr.); RB KJ Palmer, Marbury (Sr.); RB D.J. Patrick, Elmore Co (Sr.); RB CJ Paymon, Mgy Aca (So.); WR Tray Pettway, Prattville (Sr.); DB Demarquis Russell, Carver (Sr.); WR Brandon Sanders, Jeff Davis (Jr.); QB Reece Solar, ACA (Jr.); DL Romelo Tarver, Park Crossing (Sr.); S JuRon Wells, Lanier (Jr.)

WETUMPKA - To hear Tim Perry tell it, Kavosiey Smoke might be elected if he chose to run for office. That’s for any office.

Just be prepared for anything.

“He’s the most versatile athlete I’ve ever been around,” Perry said. “He can make things happen when you least expect it.”

Smoke will lead the Wetumpka Indians into one final season beginning this Friday when they face arch-rival Prattville.

He has been selected one of the Top 10 AHSAA players in the River Region for 2017.

If history is correct, Smoke will play a key role in how well the Indians do.

“I don’t like to lose,” Smoke said. “I do what I’m told to do. I love to block, maybe more than anything.”

There’s not much he can ‘t do. Smoke has played several positions in his four years but normally sees action at running back.

But don’t be surprised if he lines up under center or at linebacker or in the defensive backfield.

 “He is very athletic… good ball skills, good balance,” Perry said. “He has a high football IQ. You show him one time and he’s got it. (He is) incredibly competitive.

"It took me as while to understand it but you can tell when he’s angry but it’s controlled. And it’s because he has such high expectations.”

Smoke made his mark early when he was asked to play quarterback for the Indians. Perry quickly found out he could put him anywhere and he would make a difference.

“After his freshman season was over, we were in playoffs at Opelika, we put him at outside linebacker where he played most of the (second half),” Perry said. “(A college recruiter) was so impressed with him but didn’t know he was a freshman. He was shocked.”

Smoke has been used as quarterback numerous times. Perry has been tempted to keep him there.

 “He could start at quarterback for us right now,” Perry said. “I think we are in good shape about what to do with him. He keeps defenses honest because they don’t know where he will line up.”

At one point, Perry talked to him about becoming a better blocker and he became the team’s best blocker.

“It wasn’t intentional but he knocked out a  (opposing) player in a game,” Perry said. “He had 10 pancake blocks. He is unselfish. He finds as much enjoyment in watching his teammates succeed as he does himself. He has really emerged as a vocal leader.”

The senior has done it all in his last three years – everything except win a title.

“All that matters is the blue trophy,” Smoke said. “That’s our focus.”

Last season, Wetumpka played in unchartered waters, having to travel north for region games. It seemed to work since the Indians finished the regular season with an 8-2 record.

But a disappointing loss in the first round ended a run that barely started.

“We thought it was a good season, it ended too early,” stated Perry. “I think our players are using that as motivation this summer.”

Smoke was instrumental in most of the eight wins. He finished the season with more than 1,000 all-purpose yards. But it was his versatility that sets him apart from most players.

Smokes lead our list of “RRS Players to Watch” in the River Region. The list was compiled by coaches and contributors to the Website. It all leads up to opening week of prep football for the majority of teams in the region.


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