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Miami Central vs. Grayson is a mini Florida-Georgia game


And, unlike the other Georgia-Florida game, Friday’s Miami Central-Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) will feature highly ranked teams.

Miami Central is No. 1 in the USA TODAY Sports Super 25 while host Grayson is No. 6. The game, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (ET) will be shown tape-delayed at 11:30 p.m. ESPNU.

“We’re obviously excited about playing a great opponent like Miami Central,” Grayson coach Mickey Conn said. “We do feel like we have our state to represent.”

The teams have enough Division I talent to nearly stock their own college roster.

Grayson has the consensus top recruit of the 2013 class in running back/defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, who has said he will sign with Clemson. The Rams have four others who have committed to schools in leagues with automatic BCS berths: linebacker/running back Wayne Gallman and defensive back David Kamara, both Clemson; Tennessee recruit Zach Barnes, a linebacker; and Arizona-bound defensive end Jack Banda. That doesn’t include the Rams with Division I offers who haven’t committed, such as safety Kasey Gaines, center Richard Pryor Jr. or safety Ryan Carter.

Led by running back Joseph Yearby, a Florida State recruit, the Rockets have six players who have said they will sign with BCS AQ schools: Syracuse-bound linebacker Marquez Hodge, offensive lineman Trevor Darling (Miami, Fla.); defensive back Ahmad Thomas (Oklahoma); defensive back Da’Wan Hunte (N.C. State); and running back Dalvin Cook (Clemson).

“With the speed of their backs and receivers and the fact they can keep them fresh, I don’t think you can rest on any one offensive play,” Conn said. “If you do, you’ll get exposed real quick.”

It’s the first meeting of these schools. Grayson has a 16-game winning streak after beating McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) 31-12 last week in its opener. The Rockets, who lost in the state championship game last season, defeated Dwyer (West Palm Beach, Fla.) 15-7 in an exhibition last week.

“This is the fun part of it, the not knowing, the buildup to the game,” Conn said. “Facing off with a team like this lets you know where you stand.”

Turning the tide: There are plenty of big Super 25 games this weekend, but none has the tradition of Jenks vs. No. 14 Union (Tulsa) at 8 p.m. ET Friday at the University of Tulsa’s Chapman Field. The schools have combined for the last 16 Oklahoma 6A titles, but Union has had the upper hand of late.

Union defeated Jenks 30-29 in last year’s state semifinals en route to the Redskins’ fourth consecutive state title.

“They are the No. 1 team,” said Jenks coach Allan Trimble. “They have tremendous talent back again. … When we were on a roll and had won six championships in a row, that tradition of each senior class wanting to pass that baton on becomes almost like an extra player. The mental duration you get from that kind of success is really hard to overcome. If we just expect Union to lose, we’re going to wait for a while. We have to go out and beat them.”

Worth seeing: No. 2 Manatee (Bradenton, Fla.), the defending state 7A champion, hosts Miramar, the state 8A runner-up last season, on Sunday (ESPN2, 2 p.m. ET). The game benefits the Wounded Warrior Project. It’s the season opener for both.

Game delayed: No. 7 John Curtis (River Ridge, La.) postponed its scheduled opener Friday at Franklinton, La., because of Hurricane Isaac. Franklinton coach Shane Smith said he was hoping to reschedule the game for Saturday or Sunday.

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