AUBURN, Ala. — On Friday, football officially returned.
While Auburn doesn’t play until Sept. 3, several of the 14 members in the 2017 class began their high school senior campaigns last weekend. Some of the commits’ schedules start in a week or two. Running back Octavius Matthews will play a junior college slate.
The commits who spoke with SEC Country after their openers agreed on one thing: They were glad to be back in live-game settings.
Chandler Wooten, 3-star OLB: “It was the longest offseason I’ve ever had in my life. It felt like forever, slow motion. But we just sit back and enjoy it with all our teammates because it’s the last season we have together.”
Alaric Williams, 4-star ATH: “Actually this offseason kinda flew by, but it’s always good to get back out on the field.”
Jordyn Peters, 3-star safety: “It felt amazing. We’ve been waiting on it all summer, just waiting to get back and actually play and use some of the skills that I’ve learned over the summer.”
Alaric Williams, TD machine
The 6-foot, 190-pound athlete dominated in the first outing of his senior year.
Williams plays on both sides of the ball for Southside High School (Gadsden, Ala.). He expects to play running back for Auburn.
Williams nearly was unstoppable in Southside’s 48-33 victory against Etowah.
“I had a pretty good game, a pretty good game,” Williams humbly told SEC Country after his opener.
The senior tailback caught a few passes for 65 yards and a touchdown. Williams rushed 16 times for 194 yards and 5 touchdowns. Yes, 5 touchdowns. Those scoring plays included runs of 24, 20 and 56 yards.
“Our offensive line did what they had to do,” Williams said. “It’s always good to set the tone first game.”
Here’s a look at Williams’ first touchdown of the 2016 season:
— Jarrod Simmons (@jrodsimmons) August 20, 2016
Tray Bishop showcases great arm and feet
Bishop, a two-way star for Terrell County (Dawson, Ga.), proved the Tigers have a standout quarterback in their 2017 class.
Bishop, a 4-star athlete, and Terrell County lost Friday’s game 35-21 to Taylor County. Bishop, who said he played “all right,” was the most talented player on the field.
A dual-threat quarterback, Bishop extended plays by avoiding pressure. He showed that with a 70-yard touchdown run.
He throws the ball all over the field, too, and that’s where he excelled on Friday. Bishop had TD passes of 30 yards and 20 yards.
The Auburn QB commit — he also plays safety — treasured getting back on the gridiron.
“Oh, yeah, most definitely,” Bishop said.
Malcolm Askew back playing QB
Askew, a 4-star athlete, is going to play in the defensive backfield for Auburn.
In high school, he’s tasked with a do-it-all job for McAdory (McCalla, Ala.). After playing quarterback growing up, Askew moved to wide receiver and defensive back at the start of his varsity career. With the graduation of McAdory’s quarterback, Askew has returned to quarterback. He doesn’t play much on defense now.
He got in for one defensive series during his team’s season-opening loss to Pinson Valley (Ala.). Replacing an injured safety, Askew picked off a pass. He followed up one big play with another, tossing an 83-yard TD on the ensuing snap for the team’s only scoring drive.
Askew also rushed for a 2-point conversion after a bobbled snap.
“That was our only big plays of the game,” Askew said.
Other notable performances
- Chandler Wooten, 3-star OLB — 10 tackles, 1 sack and 1 pass breakup
- Tadarian Moultry, 4-star ILB — 6 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass breakup
- Jordyn Peters, 3-star safety — First-career punt block
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.