With college football’s National Signing Day arriving in less than a month, it will soon be time for the Class of 2021 recruits to stand up and shine. Fortunately for the schools in the Opelika-Auburn area, there is no shortage of talent to watch.
The area’s top rising seniors are following the trends of the classes that came before them, and several of those players are already hearing from college coaches. Here are six local players to pay attention to as the recruiting world gets ready to do a deep dive into next year’s batch of recruits.
Joseph McKay, running back, Central-Phenix City: McKay earned playing time at Central as a freshman, and it didn’t take long for those watching him to understand why.
The 6-foot, 216-pound McKay hits top speed like few other backs in the state, and he showed that off again and again this fall in a season in which he took 186 carries for 1,333 yards and 20 touchdowns.
McKay has seven FBS scholarship offers — Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Tennessee, UAB and West Virginia. He is a three-star recruit per 247 Sports’ composite ratings and is rated as the 28th-best recruit in Alabama’s Class of 2021.
Jackson Meeks, wide receiver, Central-Phenix City: Central has had a rich history recently of fantastic wide receivers in Clemson receivers Justyn Ross and E.J. Williams, and Meeks is determined to be the next man in that run of success.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Meeks’ role in a loaded Red Devil receiving corps was limited this fall, but he did his part to contribute with 10 receptions for 82 yards and one touchdown.
Meeks received an offer from West Virginia last January. He is a three-star recruit and is rated as the 41st-best recruit in Alabama’s Class of 2021.
Jordan Jones, safety, Smiths Station: The Panthers’ football program has been working toward becoming a contender in Class 7A, and Jones’ play has meant wonders for the team to make it happen.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Jones was all over the field at linebacker for the Panthers this fall and recorded 98 total tackles, 28 tackles for loss and two sacks.
Jones picked up scholarship offers from Troy and UAB last summer. He has not been rated as a recruit.
Cort Bradley, offensive lineman, Auburn High: Bradley played a crucial role on the Tigers’ offensive line that opened up holes for Coastal Carolina signee Aaron Diggs in 2019. Now, it’s Bradley’s turn to receive some recruiting buzz.
The 6-foot-4, 305-pound Bradley was a key player up front for Auburn in his junior season, as he graded out at over 85 percent for the season for the nine-win Tigers.
Bradley has an FBS offer from South Alabama and has visited Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Auburn. He has also participated in the 2020 National Combine at the All-American Bowl in San Antonio and has received an invite to the Hall of Fame World Bowl National Combine in Orlando at the end of January.
Bradley has not been rated as a recruit.
Trey Miles, quarterback, Central-Phenix City: Miles was a game-changer at times for the Red Devils this fall. Now, he’ll get the chance to run the show and demonstrate just how good he is.
The 5-foot-11, 150-pound Miles came up big several times as the backup to Bowling Green signee Tucker Melton in 2019, and the junior ended the season 64-of-91 passing — including a perfect 9-of-9 in the state championship game — for 861 yards and nine touchdowns.
Miles has no offers but has attended several camps, including one at Wake Forest. He will also be participating in camps this spring, including the Rivals Camp Series in Atlanta on March 22.
Miles has not been rated as a recruit.
Kye Robichaux, running back, Glenwood: Robichaux arrived at Glenwood via Pacelli in Columbus, Georgia, and wasted little time in making a name for himself in Alabama.
Robichaux was outstanding as the Gators’ lead running back in 2019 and helped the team reach the AISA Class AAA state title game by taking 189 carries for 1,335 yards and 15 touchdowns this season.
Robichaux has no offers but has visited several schools, including Clemson, Georgia Tech and Troy. He has attended several camps, including Nike’s The Opening in Atlanta last March when he graded out in the 97th percentile of athletes tested.
Robichaux has not been rated as a recruit.
In addition to these six soon-to-be seniors, there are several rising juniors who are already getting considerable looks from colleges. LaFayette defensive lineman Antavious Woody, Opelika running back/safety Jarell Stinson and Beauregard defensive lineman Eston Harris are at the forefront of the area’s 2022 class.