Clemson commitments Jae'lon Oglesby, J.D. Davis, Judah Davis and Justin Falcinelli will be playing for state high school championships this weekend, while Chris Register, Korie Rogers, Milan Richard, Artavis Scott and Deshaun Watson will lead their teams into semifinal contests.
Falcinelli, an offensive lineman, will lead his unbeaten Middletown Knights (13-0) against also-unbeaten Patuxent (13-0) for the Maryland AA championship. The game will be played on Saturday in Baltimore.
Middletown, which also features Florida State defensive end commitment Rick Leonard, has breezed through the first three rounds of its playoffs, beating Poolesville 45-6, South Carroll 42-14 and Kent Island 31-7.
Also on Saturday, Oglesby and the Davis twins will lead unbeaten Daniel (14-0) against Myrtle Beach for the South Carolina AAA title at Columbia. Oglesby rushed for 330 yards on 30 carries last week, as Daniel edged Chapman 29-27 for a spot in the state championship game.
The remaining Clemson commitments will play in state semifinal games tonight.
Watson will lead Gainesville (12-1) against unbeaten, top-ranked Tucker (13-0) in the Georgia 5-A playoffs. Gainesville's only loss this season came against Buford, the state's top-ranked 3-A team.
“They have great athletes on both sides and they’re very well coached,” Watson told AccessNorthGa.com. "This is just something you have to do to get to a state championship. You have to beat the best to be the best. They’re kind of similar (to Buford), but, hey, you’ve just got to go in there and play.
“We’re better than we were back then (when Gainesville played Buford). It was our second week; we were still learning a lot about each other. We’ve been getting better every week. And now we know everything about each other, so we’ve just got to get better and go out there and not make any mistakes.”
In last week's 42-28 quarterfinal victory over Mundy's Mill, Watson completed 24 of 30 passes for 344 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for two scores.
For the season, Watson has 3,560 yards passing, 1,016 yards rushing and 61 total touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Rogers will lead unbeaten Buford (13-0) against Callaway (12-1) in the Georgia 3-A semifinals. Buford is coming of a 36-6 quarterfinal victory over Carver-Columbus.
Also in Georgia, Richard will lead Calvary Day of Savannah (10-2) against unbeaten Eagles Landing Christian of McDonough in the Class A private school semifinals. Richard had four catches for 93 yards and a touchdown last week in his team's 33-14 win over Prince Avenue Christian.
In one of North Carolina's most highly-anticipated playoff games, Dudley-Greensboro's stingy defense, led by Clemson linebacker commitment Register, will go against high-scoring Charlotte Catholic, which is led by UNC running back commitment Elijah Hood.
“Coach told us we have a chance to make history,” Register told the Greensboro Record. "That's what we’re trying to do...If we all get to the ball as a group, swarm like bees to the ball, we’ll get (Hood). It should be no problem. I’m not saying he’s not a good player and it’s not going to be tough, but I think we’ve got him.”
Hood comes into the semifinal averaging 10.9 yards per carry and 250 yards per game.
In Florida's Class 7-A semifinals, Scott will lead East Lake High of Tarpon Springs (13-0) against also-unbeaten Dwyer High of Palm Beach Gardens (13-0). Scott returned a punt for a touchdown in last week's 49-15 win over Port Charlotte. East Lake opened the playoffs with wins over Palmetto (13-12) and Pinellas Park (45-0).