Anthony Johnson, Buffalo - Northern Illinois edged Buffalo 30-29 in the MAC championship game, but Johnson, the former South Pointe standout, had an otherwise great week. He caught seven passes for 124 yards and two first half touchdowns against Northern Illinois, and on Monday was invited to the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Alabama.
The week-long event in late January pits top draft-eligible seniors against each other in several days of practices, culminating with an all-star game in Mobile. Players and their agents also talk to NFL teams throughout the week. Rock Hill High’s Jaleel Scott and Northwestern’s Mason Rudolph were Senior Bowl participants last season.
Rogan Wells, Valdosta State - the Blazers continued their warpath through Division II football, pounding Lenoir-Rhyne 66-21 in the third round of the NCAA D2 playoffs. Wells, the former Fort Mill QB, completed 19-of-27 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns, and also ran for 46 yards and another touchdown in a pretty breezy outing. Wells and company were ahead 27-0 before Lenoir-Rhyne scored late in the first half. The Blazers (12-0) face Notre Dame College (Ohio) in this coming weekend’s semifinal.
Wells continues to pile up personal recognition for his fantastic sophomore season. He was named the Division II All-Super Region Two offensive player of the year last week. He’s also a finalist for the Harlan Hill Trophy, given to the best player in NCAA Division II football. Wells has led the Blazers offense to a 54-point per game average.
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Trae’von Hinton, Eastern Arizona Community College - Hinton’s team lost to Jones Community College 27-7 in the Mississippi Bowl, but the former Northwestern Trojan stood out, making seven tackles, with four for a loss. Hinton was named Eastern Arizona’s defensive MVP for the game.
Nick McCloud, North Carolina State - South Pointe’s McCloud made four tackles and picked off a pass as the Wolfpack smoked East Carolina 58-3 to close the regular season 9-3. N.C. State will play Texas A&M in the Gator Bowl Dec. 31. McCloud is fourth on the team with 49 tackles, is tops with eight pass break-ups and also has two interceptions during his junior season.
Russell Hubbs, The Citadel - Hubbs, the former Northwestern High linebacker, wrapped up his college career with a 43-14 win over rival Charleston Southern. Hubbs notched four tackles, including 1.5 for a loss and a half-sack, and also broke up a pass in the win.
B.T. Potter, Clemson - Potter kicked off seven times against Pitt in the ACC Championship game, with three going for touchbacks. The Tigers’ 42-10 win clinched an undefeated regular season for the school, and also means that Potter and his fellow former South Pointe standout and Clemson true freshman, Derion Kendrick, haven’t lost a football game since 2016 when the Stallions were beaten by St. Frances Academy in Maryland.
Other locals’ performances
Logan Rudolph, Clemson - sophomore defender from Northwestern made a season-high three tackles during the Tigers’ ACC Championship game blowout of Pitt.
Corey Seargent, East Carolina - Seargent’s college career concluded with a one-tackle performance during the Pirates’ 58-3 loss to N.C. State.
Caliph Brice, Hutchinson Community College - the Blue Dragons beat Navarro to win the Salt City Bowl, and Brice, the former Northwestern Trojan, recorded five tackles, with two for a loss, in his final junior college football game.
Gage Moloney, James Madison - former Northwestern Trojan QB threw two incompletions as the Dukes lost to Colgate in the FCS playoffs on a field goal as time expired. JMU’s coach, Mike Houston, then left the program to take the head job at East Carolina. South Pointe’s Jamari Currence is also a JMU player.
Quentin Sanders, Lackawanna College - Lewisville’s Sanders made a tackle as the Falcons finished the 2018 junior college season undefeated thanks to a 17-10 win over Arizona Westerrn in the Toro Bowl.
Josh Belk, South Carolina - true freshman from Lewisville, made a tackle, broke up a pass and recorded a QB hit during the Gamecocks’ 28-3 win over Akron. South Carolina will face Virginia in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte on Dec. 29.
Local NFL players
Cordarrelle Patterson, New England - Northwestern grad showed the versatility that New England seems to be taking full advantage of during a 24-10 win over Minnesota. Patterson caught two passes for 53 yards, ran the ball once for a six-yard gain and returned two kickoffs for 55 total yards.
Stephon Gilmore, New England - former South Pointe Stallion made three tackles as the Patriots improved to 9-3 with a win over the Vikings. Gilmore had a solid afternoon shadowing Vikings standout pass-catcher Stefon Diggs, who finished with five catches for 53 yards, but did little damage to New England.
Johnathan Joseph, Houston - Houston beat Cleveland 29-13 and Joseph, the former Northwestern Trojan, made a tackle and defended a pass, but left the game in the first half with a neck injury.
Jadeveon Clowney, Houston - the Texans won their ninth game in a row and Clowney, the former No. 1 pick from South Pointe, notched a single tackle.