Week 6 of the college football season featured a number of former Baltimore-area high school football standouts who made strong cases for this week's Next Level Player of the Week award. But, like the movie Highlander, there can be only one.
Utah wide receiver Shaky Smithson (Douglass) shimmied his way to 261 all-purpose yards in the Utes' 68-27 victory over Iowa State. Smithson tossed a 32-yard touchdown pass at the start of the second quarter, caught a career-long 61-yard touchdown reception three possessions later and his 78-yard punt return in the first quarter stands as the sixth-longest in school history. Smithson's edge-of-your-seat offensive performance nets him Next Level Player of the Week honors for Week 6.
• Temple sophomore running back Matt Brown made a valiant attempt for becoming this season's first repeat Player of the Week at The Next Level, rushing for 93 yards and one touchdown in the Owls' 31-17 loss at Northern Illinois. Brown, a Baltimore native who attended the Peddie School (N.J.), averaged 7.2 yards per carry on 13 touches. He finished with 147 all-purpose yards after bursting for a 55-yard kick return in the second quarter and catching a 3-yard pass from quarterback Chester Stewart (DeMatha) in the third.Stewart – a Hanover native – completed 13 of 27 passes for 148 yards while throwing one touchdown pass and one interception. Senior defensive back Kwame Johnson (Parkville) made one tackle and linebacker Gary Onuekwusi (Dunbar) and offensive lineman Pat Boyle (Calvert Hall) both received playing time, but did not record any statistics for the Owls.
• Wake Forest wide receiver Michael Campanaro (River Hill) had a career night despite the Demon Deacons' 28-27 loss to Navy. The redshirt freshman returned five kicks for a career-high 165 yards, while his 53-yard return to open the game was a career best. The redshirt freshman also finished with a career-high four receptions for 44 yards in the loss. Redshirt sophomore linebacker Joey Ehrmann (Gilman) registered six tackles and freshman cornerback Kevin Johnson (River Hill) participated, but did not record any statistics. Senior linebacker Jerry Hauburger (Eastern Tech) had one tackle for the Midshipmen.
• West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin (Dunbar) had three receptions for 52 yards in the Mountaineers' 49-10 win over UNLV. Austin's 41-yard reception on the second play of the game helped set up West Virginia's first touchdown moments later when quarterback Geno Smith found wide receiver Brad Starks in the end zone for the score. Austin punctuated the effort with two carries for 19 yards.
Running back Ryan Clarke (Glen Burnie native, DeMatha graduate) picked up five yards on his only carry of the day. Safety Terence Garvin (Loyola) was credited with an interception after recovering a fumble by Keith Tandy, who picked off Rebels quarterback Omar Clayton and was stripped of the ball. Right tackle Jeff Braun (Winters Mill) was flagged for a false start in the second quarter and offensive lineman John Bassler (Francis Scott Key) played, but did not record any statistics.
• Connecticut redshirt sophomore safety Jerome Junior (Archbishop Curley) made two solo tackles in a 27-24 loss at Rutgers on Thursday. Freshman athlete Leon Kinnard (Loyola) and redshirt sophomore wide receiver Gerrard Sheppard (McDonogh) both received playing time for the Huskies, but did not impact the box score.
• Virginia senior Raynard Horne (Overlea) returned four kicks for 86 yards in the Cavaliers' 33-21 loss at Georgia Tech. Junior defensive tackle Nick Jenkins (Westminster native, Good Counsel graduate) finished with four tackles, one solo.
• North Carolina junior linebacker Zach Brown (Wilde Lake) led the Tar Heels with 14 tackles, including 10 solo stops in a 21-16 win over
loss to Clemson.
• Freshman cornerback Kyle Fuller (Mount St. Joseph) registered one tackle in Virginia Tech's 45-21 victory over Central Michigan.
• Syracuse sophomore wide receiver Alec Lemon (Arundel) recorded one 6-yard reception in a 13-9 victory over South Florida.
• East Carolina freshman defensive end Derrel Johnson (Cardinal Gibbons) finished with six tackles in the Pirates' 44-43 win over Southern Mississippi.
• Arkansas State junior defensive back Darron Edwards (Dunbar) made three tackles and was flagged for pass interference during the fourth quarter of the Red Wolves' 24-19 victory over North Texas.
• Senior kicker Devin Barclay (McDonogh) connected on a 36-yard field goal and all five extra point attempts in Ohio State's 38-10 win over Indiana.
• San Jose State junior cornerback Brandon Driver (Parkville) returned three kicks for 53 yards in the Spartans' 35-13 loss at Nevada. Driver also registered three tackles, including two solo stops.
• New Mexico sophomore defensive back Emmanuel McPhearson (Columbia native, DeMatha graduate) assisted with one tackle in a 16-14 loss at New Mexico State.
• Remember, this list only focuses on natives of Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County and Howard County who appear on NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision rosters. Feel free to post updates in the comment section below on any other player the state of Maryland.
Mike Miller is an intern at The Baltimore Sun. He will be providing updates each Monday for Recruiting Report on former local high school football standouts who now play for FBS schools. Mike can be reached at email@example.com.
AP photo of Shaky Smithson by Charlie Neibergall / Oct. 9, 2010
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