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April 11, 2017
When it comes to power rankings of the pound for pound best youth football teams around the country, the Atlanta Ducks Elite 12u lead by Head Coach Brandon Morton & Staff is arguably in strong consideration as the 1# ranked team in the Nation. It’s hard to argue or deny this Georgia powerhouse youth football program, after all this team hasn’t lost a regular season game in over 5 years. When you have a team with elite athletes at every position and scoring over 40 points a game with a lethal ground & aerial assault, it’s very little opponents can do to stop what’s coming their way. Don’t think for one second that the Ducks defense isn’t every bit as dominate as its offense. So, there’s no confusion the Ducks are defending GenNexXt UYRS 11u National Champions with one of the toughest schedules, the Ducks showed no c**** in their armor winning the National Championship in dominating fashion 53-6 over the undefeated Miami Gardens Ravens. 2017 is here and I will be introducing the Ducks Fab 5 which consist of 5 kids ranked top 5 at their positions in the nation all from the same team. Pull up a chair and take a glimpse at what makes these young student athletes special and this team so dominate & unbeatable.
Team: Atlanta Ducks Elite 12u
The key to a explosive offense is an elite signal caller, look no further than Atlanta Ducks Elite field general Terrance Love who boasts a 4.0 gpa with a unique skill set. Love is a very good athlete who has the speed and escapability to gain big chunks of yardage as a runner. He has really nimble feet in the pocket as well. When Love is throwing in rhythm to his first read, the football looks great coming out of his hand. He is accurate and has nice zip on the ball. Love throws a really nice deep ball and has above average arm strength. One thing that really stood out to me is that he did a great job of squaring up his shoulders and being balanced before throwing when scrambling to his left. It just showed a discipline in his mechanics that is not always consistent with young quarterbacks on the youth level. Love is a good runner that can do well on designed runs and by moving the chains when scrambling. He even has enough speed to make some big plays with his feet if the opportunity presents itself. Like most players who can move like he does, he has a knack for making something out of nothing keeping his head up while scrambling throwing darts downfield for big plays rather than taking sacks. It’s a fine line, but, Love likes to stay within himself. Terrance Love is a proven winner with a frame that suggest he will have the frame to play the quarterback position on the next level, I’m going out on the limb and saying Love is in the conversation as the number 1# Quarterback in his class.
Team: Atlanta Ducks Elite
Former NBA player Chauncey Billups was known as Mr. Big Shot for being a clutch shooter, in that case call Lawrence “Deuce” Jordan Mr. Make it happen which is what he did in every big game the Ducks Elite were in. Deuce has good feet and balance, but his speed is elite. He has great size, and runs bigger than you would expect. Deuce has the kind of speed that can eliminate pursuit angles. He has an extra gear where he can run away from defenders and take it to the house. He’s a better inside runner and a stronger runner which his size would indicate. Can break arm tackles and does a great job of fighting for extra yards on contact. He’s more powerful than elusive. He reads his blocks well and explodes when he sees a crease. Shows the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield with decent hands. Incredibly tough for linebackers to cover on wheel routes because of his speed. Deuce has the skills to also be an important contributor as kick returner. National Championship Deuce did what he does in all the Ducks Elite big games and that is set tone with two electrifying touchdown runs. One thing that sticks out like a sore thumb is Deuce ability to get stronger with each carry wearing defenses down to the point the game begins to look a little too easy for this Elite class of 2022 prospect. If you’ve never seen this kid play you are missing a real treat Lawrence “Deuce” Jordan is defiantly a must see & worth the price of admission.
Team: Atlanta Ducks Elite
When the Atlanta Ducks Elite needs a big play in the passing or to slowdown the opposing teams top receiver, they turn to the versatile playmaker Travis Booker Jr. The immediate thing that stands out about Booker is his quickness and his fluidity as an athlete. He can be sudden when he moves, but it looks effortless because he’s so coordinated. He has very good long speed as well. I love Booker skills as a cornerback. He’s smooth when flipping his hips and can turn and run with anybody. Really does a great job in zone of breaking on the football and despite his smaller size, he’s a willing tackler. If you consider how he’s used on offense as well, it’s no surprise he has outstanding ball skills. Booker shows the ability to play both press or off-man extremely well. On offense he catches the ball well and flashes dynamic ability to make people miss as a receiver and in the return game. His speed makes him a threat for long gains whenever he touches the ball. On offense Booker can play slot receiver or on the outside he capitalizes on short routes or he can take you up top, get Booker in space against defenders and on jet sweep type running plays and this kid will make something happen. Blessed as a natural athlete Travis Booker Jr. can affect the game in so many different ways because that’s what playmakers do.
Team: Atlanta Ducks Elite
Lockett ranks among the most disruptive defenders to emerge at the youth level in recent years. He has an impact on every play, even if it's just how an offense reacts to his presence. At the point of attack, Lockett is aggressive and tactful. He consistently splits double-team blocking schemes with sheer power and elite quickness, while churning his feet and maintaining proper pad level. His tackling technique is predominately polished, particularly when it comes to wrapping up. Lockett uses an exceptional wingspan to corral his target and finishes violently, frequently jarring the ball loose. His angle of pursuit to the quarterback is impressive for a kid his age on the youth level. He is relentless when giving chase in the open field. Even when he's too late to rack up a quarterback sack, he finds a way to disturb the timing of a play. This kid has a frame to be an elite pass rusher and all the makings of a kid being ranked in the top 10 in the country in his class remember this kid name he is no doubt a star on the rise.
Team: Atlanta Ducks Elite
The son of former University of Georgia great Linebacker Odell Thurman ( Former Cincinnati Bengal) and not to be left out his mom former WNBA star Kara Braxton, one thing Jelani isn’t lacking in talent with those genes. Sometimes you see a player on film and it becomes undeniable: this kid is going to be a star Thurman jumps off of my laptop screen when I watch him. I look at him and I can’t help but think, “I’m going to be watching this kid in High school in the not too distant future.” I could make this section longer than a typical Larry Blustein mailbag response. Thurman athletic ability is off the charts for a player his size. He explodes off the ball and has no problem delivering a blow when he arrives to the ball carrier. Love the way he gets off the ball even from a standup position, where he plays frequently. It’s clear he has been taught to attack rather than read and it shows in his technique most of the time. He’s so physically dominant off the ball that he doesn’t have to use his hands to disengage like a lot of other players. I don’t doubt that when he learns to use his hands more and develops his pass rush technique it will turn into something really special. The sky is the limit for this Class of 2023 edge rusher who is no doubt the premier defensive lineman in his class just pop on the film, and you will see why this kid will be following in his father’s footsteps as a dominate defensive player.