HIghland Springs (Photo: Joe Barnes/recruit804)
Malcolm Greene, David Laney, and Ali Jennings lead the Springers during visit to the University of Maryland
by Brandon Mitchell, recruit804
The 2017-2018 Class 5 state champions Highland Springs continue to remain one of the most active programs in the Central Region over the offseason. As if three-consecutive state titles aren’t already weakening the strength on its mantel piece, the Springers are now gearing up to defend their championship for the third-consecutive season.
Once again Coach Loren Johnson, his coaching staff and the Springers are proving that championships aren’t earned in the middle of December. They’re earned gritting through the trenches which rear themselves starting in the spring. Two weekends ago, Highland Springs took a large group of prospects to Howard University headlined by team captain Christian White (JR LB 5-11 185) and Keeron Henderson (JR/DE 6-2 198). This past Saturday the Springers took a similar group up to the University of Maryland this time highlighted by Malcolm Greene (SO DB 5-10 172), David Laney (SO DB 6-0 155), and Ali Jennings (JR WR 6-2 183).
“For about an hour or two we watched an intense offense versus defense scrimmage. Coach Keylon Mayo and all of our players talked with Coach (Chris) Beatty and Coach (Bryan) Stinespring. ,” Greene stated.
Greene continued: “After that, a recruiting coach for the Terps took us on a tour of their beautiful new indoor football facility and through the football team building. We were given more great knowledge on not being just a great student athlete, but also using your opportunities in college to carry you to have a great life after football.”
Greene, Laney, and Jennings were also joined by: Deejay Goodwyn (SO LB 5-9 188), Evan Robinson (SO OL), Jordan Poindexter (JR OL 5-7 233), Kelvin Gilliam (FR DE 6-1 217), Jordan Jackson (FR ATH 5-9 175), Payton Jackson (FR DT) and Jason Wright (SO DT 6-0). Their visit up to Maryland led to huge takeaways for both the soon-to-be junior/senior leadership and those following in their footsteps.
“College football is a business. To be a starter and a great player you must have be available and dominant. Availability is needed because you have to be available to play. You must keep great grades and make sure your body is always in condition to be a factor for the team. Dominance is needed because you have to be a dominant player for your team,” Greene said.
Last season, Billy Kemp and Tremayne Talbert was the budding tandem that made it most difficult for opposing quarterbacks to accurately spot wide receivers. Malcolm Greene was often overlooked by opposing offenses which lead him to accumulating 78 tackles (four for loss), three interceptions and three pass break ups. With Tremayne Talbert returning back to form, there’s no reason to put money against the Highland Springs secondary.
“With loosing Kemp we have to put something together to replace that. Now that David Laney and I are becoming more experienced with the game, we are doubling the power of a defense that will be even better in the 2018. With the return of Tremayne Talbert our defense as a whole will remain dominant,” Greene stated.
The Springers have fielded one of the best defensive programs in the state since Coach Loren Johnson and his coaching staff has taken over with the last three years being their most dominant. Highland Springs has held opponents to 13 points or less over the last three seasons and has given up 20 points of more on 15 occasions. Of those 15 contests, seven of them have come in postseason play with four during the 2016 postseason alone. It all starts with the off-season.
Greene has remained aggressive in the offseason by training with the Springers as a team, but also training with GOAL Performance on his own. Next up for the Highland Springs product will be Virginia Tech.
– Brandon Mitchell