Junior Bowl More than a Game for South Georgia Players

On the last day of 2012, the top high school juniors in the state closed out the football season with one last talent showcase.

The 'Rising Seniors' Junior Bowl featuring 100 of Georgia's finest practiced and played against each other in preparation of what's coming ahead- the recruiting season.

"You're getting noticed now," Monroe head coach Charles Truitt said. "You've got another year to prove yourself and you've got college recruiters coming to your door and really beginning to evaluate you more than they would as a sophomore, or a senior."

Many players in the game walked on to Atlanta's Grady Field with the likes of Bulldogs, Gators and Volunteers already knocking on the door.

Though, this week was more than football- think of it as a training camp of inspiration and education.

"Some NFL players spoke to us saying "football is not everything." When you get your education, you can become something after football," Monroe quarterback and West team participant Charles Stafford said.

Monroe's Stafford, Albany High's Juwon Young along with Colquitt County linemen Gabe Mobley and Jamiyus Pittman were all part of a 10-7 West victory. Though, the outcome not as important as the competitive lessons learned.

"They're going to learnâ|as good as they are, they're not near as good as they think they are. This helps them to prepare better for what's going to happen a year and a half from now," Colquitt County head coach Rush Propst said.

"I knew they were fast. I knew they were better than the people we play on our scheduleâ|it was a tough thing. I learned my lesson now. I learned everybody's not the same," Stafford said.

With motivation to improve at the top of the list, the Junior Bowl provided the blue print for what this talent can accomplish.

"I can use it as a booster. I can always look back and say "I played in the Junior Bowl"â|it helped me a lot," Albany linebacker Juwon Young said.

Albany's Young is already preparing for some offers to come his way after a strong week of practice in Atlanta. The Indians linebacker was named a captain and was a West starter in the New Year's Eve game.