Very Hot
H 95° L 71°
  • cloudy-day
    Current Conditions
    Very Hot. H 95° L 71°
  • very-hot
    Very Hot. H 95° L 71°
  • very-hot
    Very Hot. H 96° L 71°

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00


Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00


Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Elite 2021 target Jayden Thomas: Big catches, bigger options and … The Beatles?

Elite 2021 target Jayden Thomas: Big catches, bigger options and … The Beatles?

Elite 2021 target Jayden Thomas: Big catches, bigger options and … The Beatles?

Elite 2021 target Jayden Thomas: Big catches, bigger options and … The Beatles?

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That's what the Intel brings. The play sheet today calls for a chance to get to know Jayden Thomas. He's an elite recruit in the Class of 2021.

Pace Academy has another top prospect in the 2021 class. That would be 4-star WR Jayden Thomas. It is simple enough to play it cool with a few eye-catching elements to his game.

When it comes to Thomas .

  • The Pace Academy staff feels he's as coachable and as easy to develop as any player they've had. (Hat tips: Andrew Thomas, Jamaree Salyer and Trey Blount.)
  • Thomas is a receiver prospect, but he commanded attention when he played man-to-man defense from the cornerback spot on former 5-star WR Jadon Hasewlood last fall. He did his job, too.
  • The junior WR has the tools to be seen as a college baseball or a pro baseball prospect, too.
  • The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder is a do-everything marvel right now for his team. The Knights don't have a very deep team and ask a lot from him. He responds with duties ranging from defensive end, quarterback, returning kicks and safety. It adds up to 100-plus plays per game at this time.
  • With all of that, the coaches at Pace have marveled at the way he takes care of his body. He's acting like "a professional" and making sure he gets treatment and cold tub soaks after practices.
  • He will leave his home in Paulding County by 6:15 every morning and fight Atlanta traffic for 50 minutes to be early to attend Pace Academy every day. He's a disciplined dude, too.
  • Thomas rates as a 4-star recruit, the nation's No. 29 WR and No. 145 overall prospect for the 2021 cycle on the 247Sports Composite ratings.
  • Georgia and Ohio State have been hard on Thomas for the longest time. Those two schools are really in it, but Alabama is making a big charge, too. Thomas was at the UGA cookout event over the summer and had himself quite the time, too.
  • The 2019 team captain caught 42 passes for 696 yards for Pace last fall. Those totals meant an average gain of 16.6 yards per catch. Those 42 catches included five touchdowns.

That's a lot to break down, but all of that went Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da in my noggin once he told me about what he likes to listen to before games.

John, Paul, George and Ringo are on his hype playlist. No cap.

"I play this one song by The Beatles called Hey Jude,'" he said. "I just checked out The Beatles like recently. I was like Oh jump' with. I knew they were hype and all but let me find out. I checked them out."

Then he added to the intrigue. It is doubtful that any receivers said anything like what he offered up in 1969 about that song in 1969. That was a year after that song came out.

Fifty years later? Man, get out of here with this stuff.

"It is the melody," he said. "It is just so smooth how they get in and out of all their tones. It reminds me of getting in and out of a route or something. In football. It just helps to put me in a relaxed state."

Let's not go crazy on all this. He still likes all the modern stuff from Future, Gunna, Lil Baby, NBA Youngboy and Young Thug, among others. But he's got a Beatles channel to his playlists, too.

"For sure," he said. "I just like their music."


Elite 2021 target Jayden Thomas: Big catches, bigger options and … The Beatles?

There are a lot of things to like about Jayden Thomas

Let's eyeball that early junior film first. He's a Saturday receiver. That's what he wants to do. Even though he looks like he could be a Sunday safety the way he smacks guys around.

The term "football player" clearly applies.

Thomas can play anything. He can hit. Very physical. Explosive. The Thomas resume is just a couple of state track championship level events from being the prototype player for Kirby Smart and Georgia.

But that's the thing. It already is.

The need is the same for Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Virginia Tech, too.

"JT is a lot like Jamaree," Pace Academy coach Chris Slade said. "Probably that best player' type on the team but also the easiest to coach. When your best player allows you to coach him, then he makes your job all that much easier. He's that guy. He's that best player for us and he's respectful. Shows up on time. Works hard. He's a leader in our group. Very humble. He comes here to Pace from Dallas Georgia every day."

"Just that in itself shows how dedicated that kid is. It is a hike from Dallas to get here through Atlanta traffic every day and he never complains."

Slade feels the most positive thing he's seen from Thomas is that he is "just so reliable" when doing what his team needs.

"He's so reliable," Slade said. "Of course, he's so good. But we are a different team without him. When he's not around and not playing he is just the most reliable kid. He doesn't think about taking plays off. I know what I am getting every single day with him. He's one of the best football players and the best kids to coach in America."

Thomas got the "go cover that dude" assignment with Haselwood last year. He did. He was assigned a similar taks with 6-foot-4 WR (and UGA commit) Justin Robinson this year.

Reminder: He rarely takes practice reps at cornerback, if at all.

"We just throw him in there in the game and he's a natural," Slade said. "You don't stick many kids at a position to guard a kid that's going to Georgia and he does not practice that position a lot. You don't do that. That's dangerous. That's not natural. That's like you don't want your job as his coach. But we feel confident we can just stick JT' in there and he can just go cover that guy."


Elite 2021 target Jayden Thomas: Big catches, bigger options and … The Beatles?

Jayden Thomas: His thoughts on Georgia

Thomas is trained by former Georgia all-time great WR Terrence Edwards. Edwards is on the staff at Pace Academy. He works with the offense and the wide receivers. Thomas is one of his guys.

The Knights program has produced quality Saturday players like Deon Jackson (Duke) and Realus George (Miami) over the last few years, too. Just to name a few.

How is Thomas like those guys?

"His work ethic," Slade said. "Andrew [Thomas] was a slow starter for us. He really didn't start busting his tail for us here until his junior year. But when he did, he did. Jamaree was a self-starter. But Deon and JT' are very similar in practice habits. The way they prepare and they get after it. The way every rep matters to them and how competitive they are. He's very similar to Deon, too. Very dynamic. Very explosive."

Thomas is an outside receiver. He doesn't have that blinding speed, but he is gifted with long strides. It is deceptive and it allows him to get on top of an elite DB very quickly.

But he still tested well at during the Atlanta Opening regional this year.

  • 40-yard dash: 4.63 (Laser)
  • Vertical jump: 33.6 inches
  • Powerball toss: 44.5 feet
  • Pro agilityshuttle: 4.21 seconds

The Bulldogs have now cranked up the "love" for Thomas. When the mail game was on, it was on.

"Georgia was with the mail," Thomas said. "Georgia sent me about 50 letters just by themselves in one day."

His DMs have been flooded. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh even reached out.

What does Georgia value in him?

"They like me as a person that I am good and on the field, my playmaking ability is what they want," Thomas said.

Kirby Smart has even brought up a "Pace Pipeline" of sorts, too.


Elite 2021 target Jayden Thomas: Big catches, bigger options and … The Beatles?

"He tells me I will fit in very well just like Jamaree and Trey and Andrew have fit in," Thomas said. "Coach Smart said they need kids like us coming from this prestigious high school."

How does Thomas feel about Georgia?

"They are definitely up there," Thomas said. "They are the hometown team. The home team. All my friends are pretty much Georgia. I've been growing up Georgia and being in Athens is really home."

Georgia receivers coach Cortez Hankton was part of his answer about what he liked best about the program.

"Family person," Thomas said. "He values you as a person first instead of on the field first. That's what I really value about him and the potential of playing for him there at Georgia as a coach."

Hankton has told him he likes the way he blocks, flashes sure hands and how he makes plays smoothly getting in and out of his breaks.

Salyer's recruiting story also made an impression on him.

"I've always been watching Jamaree and his recruiting," Thomas said. "Watching him go to Georgia and the recruiting process for him. When he chose Georgia, it really stuck out to me. Because he had all the schools like Bama and Clemson and Ohio State. That really just turned my mind on to Georgia. I could see myself there since he went there."


Elite 2021 target Jayden Thomas: Big catches, bigger options and … The Beatles?

The schools "in there" right now for Jayden Thomas

There are schools like Auburn, Michigan, North Carolina and Virginia to make note of here. There are things that Thomas really likes about all those schools.

But then it sounds like there is even more rarefied air for a few more schools. That listing will now include Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State and Virginia Tech. His trip to Blacksburg ranks among his best visits.

Alabama has surged over the last two weeks. Thomas was at the opener for the Tide at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. He then double-dipped with a Tuscaloosa trip for the New Mexico State game the following week.

"I really like Bama," he told DawgNation. "They are definitely at the top. The staff is telling me that they will need receivers because of how they will graduate some in the next 2 years and I will get the chance to play early. [Nick] Saban was talking to me about getting to play early and that they need guys like me."

That's an "at the top" quote. It means Alabama is within his top group. Thomas has not set leaders and might never choose to do so. It just sounds like they will be in a fight with a grouping of other elite programs he holds in the highest regard.

He feels Clemson has had the best edits for him so far. He also admits he did grow up a "bandwagon Bama" fan back before he began to understand what it meant to be a recruit.

He doesn't have a set timetable.

"I don't think I do," Thomas said about any timelines. "I'd like to do it sometime before or right at the start of my senior season. Maybe probably right on my birthday. That's October 18."

He will be 18 then. Going on 25.

The team captain just drips maturity and responsibility and sterling character traits. Those vibes roll off him like practice sweat. If it wasn't for his wild hairstyle, he'd really seem senatorial. That "mushroom top" he sports keeps him looking like a kid, though.

Even though "Hey Jude" on his playlist suggests otherwise. That's 51 years after that song came out.

Check out the full highlight reel from his junior season.

The post Elite 2021 target Jayden Thomas: Big catches, bigger options and The Beatles? appeared first on DawgNation.

Read More


  • A Texas man is accused of being naked and assaulting a 58-year-old woman with her wheelchair outside her apartment Friday. >> Read more trending news  According to court documents, Williard Lee Houston, 39, assaulted the woman, KXAN reported. He was arrested and booked into the Travis County Jail on a count of injury to a disabled individual, KEYE reported. He was being held in lieu of a $75,000 bond, according to arrest records. Police said they found the woman found the woman lying in a stairwell, bleeding from her mouth, KXAN reported. Police said the woman told them 'the naked man beat her,' according to court documents. The woman was taken to an area hospital, where she was treated for a fractured wrist and possible fractures to her nose and ribs, KEYE reported. According to court documents, Houston told police he hit the woman with her wheelchair about 10 times, KXAN reported. Police said Houston started screaming expletives and said, ”That was my first time hitting an old lady… I show mad respect for a woman.” The woman told police she did not recall what led to the assault, the television station reported.
  • Following an article posted by The New York Times this weekend, several Democratic presidential candidates are calling for the impeachment of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on allegations of sexual misconduct from his time as a student at Yale University. On Sunday, the Times reported that Kavanaugh faced a separate allegation of sexual assault from his undergraduate days and that the FBI did not investigate the claim. However, the story has come under some scrutiny. The Times tweeted a promotion for the story, which they later deleted and apologized for, then added an editor's note to the online story explaining that the female student mentioned in the new claim declined to be interviewed about the allegations and that friends say she does not recall the incident. The Times' article was an excerpt from a book about Kavanaugh that is to come out in a couple of weeks. Kavanaugh fought sexual assault allegations prior to his confirmation by the Senate last October, facing many in Congress who said he was unfit for the position. Amid the renewed call from Democratic candidates and others in Congress, many are asking if and how a Supreme Court justice, who is appointed to the position for life, can be removed from the bench. Here's a look at the impeachment process for sitting federal judges and others. >> Read more trending news  Can a Supreme Court justice be impeached? Yes, a Supreme Court justice can be impeached. Article II Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution gives the House of Representatives the power to impeach federal judges and gives to the U.S. Senate the right to vote to remove judges who have been impeached. The section reads: 'The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.' Judges are considered part of the 'all civil Officers of the United States' portion of the section. What can a Supreme Court justice be impeached for? The Constitution lays out two specific actions and one vague description of something that could lead to impeachment and removal of a justice from the bench. The Constitution says a person may be removed from office for convictions of 'Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.' While treason and bribery are spelled out, high crimes and misdemeanors are a little vaguer. High crimes and misdemeanors are generally seen as a violation of the public's trust. Sexual assault would fall under that category. How does impeachment work? Impeachment for justices works the same way as impeachment for a president or vice president would work. Here are the steps in the process for impeaching a federal justice: In the House First, an impeachment resolution must be introduced by a member of the House of Representatives. The speaker of the House must then direct the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary (or a special committee) to hold a hearing on the resolution to decide whether to put the measure to a vote by the full chamber and when to hold such a vote. A simple majority of the Judiciary Committee must approve the resolution. If the Judiciary Committee approves the resolution, it moves to a full vote on the House floor. If a simple majority of the those present and voting in the House approve an article of impeachment, then the justice is impeached. In the Senate The procedure then moves to the Senate where a 'trial' is held to determine if the justice committed a crime. There is no set procedure for the trial. Details outlining how the trial is conducted would be set by the Senate leadership. Members of the House serve as 'managers' in the Senate trial. Managers serve a similar role as prosecutors do in a criminal trial, they present evidence during the procedure. The justice can have counsel to represent him during the Senate process. Unlike in the trials of an impeached president or vice president, the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court would not preside over the trial of a justice. In an impeachment trial of a Supreme Court justice, the vice president would oversee the proceedings. Senators listen to the evidence presented, including closing arguments from each side and retire to deliberate. Senators then reconvene and vote on whether the justice is guilty or not guilty of the actions he is accused of. It takes a two-thirds vote of the Senate to convict. If the justice is found guilty, he is removed from office immediately. The result of the hearing in the Senate, along with a charge in the House that a justice has committed a crime is not a legal one. No penalty, other than removal from office, is brought against a justice in an impeachment hearing. Has any Supreme Court justice been impeached? Samuel Chase, who was appointed by President George Washington, was impeached in 1804 for 'arbitrary, oppressive, and unjust' decisions on the court. The Senate declined to remove Chase from office on the House's recommendation of impeachment, saying a justice should not be removed from the court because his or her decisions are not popular.
  • Two men have been issued summons after National Park Service officials said they walked up to the edge of Old Faithful. The men, whose names have not been released, stepped off the boardwalk that keeps tourists a safe distance from the geyser and looked directly into the hole in the Earth, NBC News reported. >> Read more trending news  One man used his cellphone to take a close-up photo of the spout on Tuesday, ABC News reported. The men now face a summons for thermal trespassing and are scheduled to appear in court in December, according to NBC News. 'Thermal area safety is an extremely important part of any trip to Yellowstone,' officials said in a statement, NBC News reported.  Water shoots into the air at Old Faithful at 200 degrees, ABC News reported. But steam can reach higher than 350 degrees. Several people have been cited for walking onto the geyser over the years, The Associated Press reported. Others were burned when they fell or stepped on the thermal features of Yellowstone.
  • An elementary school student in Kansas has died after getting injured in a horseback riding accident. Local news outlet NewsCow reported that the family of 7-year-old Max Henderson died at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas, Monday. Max was hurt when a horse flipped over on him Sunday, the family said. >> Read more trending news  Max was rushed to William Newton Hospital in Winfield, Kansas and stabilized. He then transported Wesley Medical Center where he had surgery. He died shortly after, his family said in a Facebook post, according to NewsCow. KAKE reported that Max and his family were involved in rodeo activities in the Cowley County area and across Kansas. He was a student at Country View Elementary School, which also issued a statement on his death and said there would be professional support for students, parents and staff. 'Max had the most amazing 7 years possible. He said many times that he wanted to be 7 forever. I think deep down he knew he wasn't here for a long time. We are honored to have been his parents and grateful for every second,' Max's parents, Shane Henderson and Missi Henderson, said in a statement, according to KAKE. 'We will honor his life by living out the rest of our earthly days with happiness and fun. We will miss him. Oh my, we will miss him,' the statement continued. 'We will have sad days, but we will not live sad lives. Please raise us up in prayer to help us to live as Max would wish. Without fear & full of happy times and fun. I would say fly high, but he's already there.
  • What do you do when you cross paths with a 400-pound feral hog on a golf course?  >> Read more trending news  It's a good idea to let the pig through. And it's an even better idea to call wildlife officials.Especially in southern Texas, where feral hogs are considered a nuisance. Trappers in southern Texas caught the giant porker on the course last week near San Antonio in Bexar County, WOAI reported. Wyatt Walton, of Lone Star Trapping, a trapping service in San Antonio, said the hog was captured by dogs, the television station reported. Walton said more than 3,200 feral hogs have been trapped and removed from neighborhoods in Bexar County, WOAI reported.
  • A longtime assistant Los Angeles city attorney killed himself last week after gunning down his wife and 19-year-old son, police officials said. Authorities were alerted to the killings when Eric Lertzman’s daughter, 25, fled to a neighbor’s house after escaping through a bathroom window, according to an LAPD news release. The dead include Lertzman, 60; his wife, Sandra Lertzman, also 60; and their 19-year-old son Michael Lertzman. The daughter’s identity was not revealed by police, but Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer identified her as Rachel Lertzman. Sandy Lertzman's sister, Cindy Stern, wrote on Facebook of the shock of the tragedy. “You never think this is going to happen to your immediate family,” Stern wrote. “Still in shock, but completely heartbroken about losing my dear sister Sandy, nephew Michael and brother-in-law Eric to gun violence today. Grateful beyond words that Rachel survived.” A GoFundMe page set up to help Rachel Lertzman in the wake of her family’s deaths had raised more than $122,000 as of Monday morning. >> Read more trending news According to police, dispatchers received a call around 9 a.m. Wednesday for shots fired and an assault with a deadly weapon at the Lertzman home in Northridge. Greg Demos, the neighbor from whom Rachel Lertzman sought help, told KTLA she ran over in her pajamas and said her father had tried to shoot her. She was “upset, confused distraught, somewhat in shock,” as she recounted what happened, Demos told the news station. “‘I don’t know what to tell you, Greg, but this is what just happened in my house, and I don’t know what to do,’” Demos recalled her telling him. “She said, ‘My dad took a shot at me, and my mom and my brother are still inside.’” Demos told ABC7 in Los Angeles that he and Rachel Lertzman ran back to the family’s home. “I went with her to the door and I knocked on the door, yelled. Nothing,” Demos told the news station. “We went to the back. She had locked the doors and left. She said my mom and my brother are still inside. We pummeled on the door, yelled for her dad, yelled her mother’s name and brother’s name. No answer. “And that's when we called the police.” Police officials said the investigation showed Eric Lertzman shot and killed his wife in their bedroom, then attempted to shoot his daughter in her bedroom across the hall. She locked herself in a bathroom for safety. Lertzman then went to his son, Michael, and killed him, authorities said. Watch ABC7's live coverage of the police response to the Lertzman home below. “During this time, (Rachel Lertzman) escaped through the bathroom window and ran to a neighbor’s residence,” the news release said. “Eric returned to the master bedroom, where he turned the weapon on himself, ending his own life.” According to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office, Eric Lertzman died of a gunshot wound to the head. Both Michael and Sandra Lertzman died of multiple gunshot wounds. Their deaths were classified as homicides, while Eric Lertzman's death was labeled a suicide. Two handguns were found in the home, according to police. Feuer said on Twitter that Eric Lertzman had been with the city attorney’s office since 2005. “This is a horrible tragedy,” Feuer said in a statement. “As we search for answers to how this could happen, we mourn the victims and envelop those left behind with our love during this time of unbearable loss. Of course, we will provide members of our city attorney family with needed counseling and support.” Police officials said detectives were still searching for a motive, but “investigators believe the recent loss of a loved one and ongoing health issues played a significant role.” Eric Lertzman’s mother, Phyllis Lertzman, died Aug. 26, according to her obituary. NBC Los Angeles reported that Eric Lertzman had taken leave from work after undergoing a recent colon surgery. The attorney's health had deteriorated over the past year or so, neighbors said. “Just terrible it came to this, that he couldn’t reach out to us or other family members for help,” longtime family friend Russ Beck told the news station. Beck described Eric Lertzman as a “kind soul” who enjoyed riding dirt bikes until his health no longer allowed it. Lertzman’s Facebook page, which had little activity, shows him standing next to a motorcycle and wearing riding gear. Eric and Sandy Lertzman had been married for 33 years, according to social media posts. A post on Sandy Lertzman's Facebook page indicated they celebrated their anniversary Aug. 24, less than three weeks before the homicides. In a 2016 Facebook post, Sandy Lertzman described her husband as a “supreme” husband and father. “I love you forever and can’t wait to share at least the next 30 years with you,” she wrote. In a 2017 anniversary post, which was accompanied by a wedding photo, she described Eric Lertzman as her best friend. Sandy Lertzman also heaped praise on her children on social media. On a birthday post about Rachel Lertzman, the proud mother described her as “amazing, beautiful, charismatic, dedicated, ever-environmental, fabulous, gorgeous, honest, intelligent, journey-driven, kind, loving, multitalented, nondiscriminatory, over-the-top, passionate, quick-witted.” When Michael Lertzman turned 18 in 2017, she wrote: “You are an awesome human being, and we are proud of you and love you! XO, Mom and Dad.” She expressed similar sentiments in October, when her son turned 19. 'From the day you were born, you've brightened our world, and we're very proud of you for the awesome person you are,' she wrote. Family and friends of the Lertzman family expressed shock and sorrow over the killings. Aviva Eagle, who described herself as a cousin, said Sandy Lertzman was “always full of love and always smiling.” Eagle described Michael Lertzman, a student at California State University Northridge, as smart with his whole future ahead of him. Alan Dreiman, president of the university’s chapter of Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi, wrote of the teen’s warmth. “Michael was a shining light in our lives, a wound that will never heal,” Dreiman wrote. “A huge thank you to everyone who has offered support. That is the only thing getting everyone through these terrible times. Our condolences are sent out to family, friends, and the community. May we all stay strong.” Chabad at CSUN, the university’s Jewish Student Center, also mourned him on social media. “We are beyond devastated by the horrific news of today,” a post on the group’s Facebook page read. “Chabad at CSUN stands with our AEPI (Alpha Epsilon Pi) brothers, as well as the Northridge community.” Camp Alonim, a program of the American Jewish University-Brandeis Bardin Campus in Simi Valley, said the teen was a longtime camper and staff member. “Mikey’s personal warmth, his gentle spirit, his wide smile and his infectious enthusiasm will never be forgotten,” the group’s Facebook page read. “He will always be a beloved member of our Camp Alonim family. We send our deepest condolences to his sister, Rachel (CIT '10), and the many people whose lives Mikey touched.” A woman named Erica Hartman responded that she had seen Michael Lertzman the Friday before he was killed. “He ALWAYS had a smile on his face and greeted everyone with nothing short of genuine happiness,” Hartman wrote. “We are devastated by this horrible news,” Julie Hertel wrote. “I know there are many current and former campers, my daughter included, that are heartbroken, shocked and numb to hear this news. “Campers should look to their camp family to help them through this difficult time. It helps to be with or talk with others that knew and loved Mikey. Share your stories and memories about him, this will bring comfort to you and your friends. My heart goes out to everyone impacted by this awful situation.”