During a better-than-average year for prospects in the state of Tennessee, Ridgeway High in Memphis could be one of the state's most prolific producers of Division I-A talent in the class of 2007.
Defensive end Dasmine Cathey is sure to remind some of five-star defensive end Ricky Sapp, who signed with Clemson in this year's class. Cathey is 6-foot-4, 215-pounds and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds and has been timed as low as 51 seconds in the 400-meter run.
Cathey tallied 17 sacks last season, earning All-Shelby County honors. Like Sapp, he could grow into a defensive end or play a "bandit" linebacker position at the next level.
"(Cathey) is an outstanding football prospect," Ridgeway head coach John Cooley said. "Illinois was in here a couple of weeks ago and was very impressed with him on film."
In addition to the Illini, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Memphis and Tennessee have been some early schools to show interest.
During Ridgeway's 12-1-1 season, Cathey matched up with pre-evaluation Rivals100 offensive tackle Lee Ziemba during a game with Rogers (Ark.).
"They had some good battles," Cooley said. "(Ziemba) is a big, big boy, but Dasmine was so much quicker than he was."
Running back Aaron Crawford rushed for 2,242 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2005. Like Cathey, he has emerged as a legitimate Division I-A prospect.
"He has real good breakaway speed," Cooley said. "He can make long gains and break tackles. He's the best running back I've ever coached."
Kicker Josh Jasper hit 53-of-55 extra points and 17-of-21 field goals in 2005. Memphis, Ole Miss and Mississippi State are among the early teams that have given Jasper a look.
"My kicker will be highly-recruited," Cooley said.
Offensive guard Demardre Dean is a massive 6-foot-3, 330-pound offensive guard with good feet. Cooley believes that Dean has a shot to get to the next level.
"He's only going to get better," Cooley said. "He has a chance to be outstanding."
Defensive end Lagrone Shields lined up opposite Cathey on Ridgeway's defense this past season. While not as athletic as Cathey, the 6-foot-3, 260-pound Shields is very active and could be a Division I-A recruit before all is said and done.
"He's getting looks," Cooley said. "Once he adds strength and goes to a few more camps, I think he will be good."