Pick 6: Six players to watch at CNB Kickoff, all season

Grand Strand football fans have all season to catch some of the top teams and players, but Friday night’s CNB Kickoff Classic is the only time and place you will see them all on one field.

The 6 p.m. preseason showcase will give us our first glimpse of some of the most talented players in the area. Here’s a list of six shooting stars to watch out for Friday, and all season long:

* Bryan Edwards, Conway, Wide Receiver: Local fans won’t be the only ones with their eyes on No. 4 for the Tigers. The talented 6-foot-3, 201-pound sophomore had a surprising freshman campaign, but the secret s out.

Edwards made a living on leaping catches over smaller defensive backs in 2012, and his maturity and ability has only improved entering this season. College scouts are drooling over his size, speed and soft hands.

For the first time in four years, Conway won’t have Mykal Moody to sling the ball around. But if his replacement can get the ball in the air anywhere in the vicinity of Edwards, he can go get it.

* Delonzo Williams, North Myrtle Beach, Running Back: Williams was well on his way to a 2,000-yard season when an injury sidelined him for two games and severely limited his big-play ability.

But the rising senior is healthy and ready to lead the Chiefs’ attack in 2013. After snapping a 24-game losing streak last year and going 4-6, the Chiefs have their eyes on the playoffs this time.

Expect Williams to be the key cog in North Myrtle Beach’s turnaround season. If he can carry the load and avoid injury, he and the Chiefs may be off and running in the postseason.

* Hunter Renfrow, Socastee, Quarterback: You’ve seen him run the Braves’ triple-option to the tune of  2,000 total yards last year, but the senior may have even more tricks up his sleeve this season.

First-year coach Doug Illing brings a pro-set spread attack from North Carolina, and he’s been keeping Socastee’s offense attack a bit of a secret all preseason. But he did drop a few vague hints.

In addition to running a combo-type offense, look for Renfrow to line up at running back, wide receiver and a few other surprise spots as Illing tries to incorporate his philosophy and disguise his best player.

* Keyonte Sessions, Myrtle Beach, Wide Receiver/Defensive Back: The Seahawks lost a ton of senior talent last year, including their entire defensive secondary and all but one wide receiver that saw extensive playing time.

But reinforcements are on the way, and this freshman could find himself in a starring role for Myrtle Beach by season’s ends. He may be the Seahawks’ QB someday, but for now he will be used to fill the holes at both positions.

Sessions is only listed at 5-foot-9, 150 pounds, but he has incredible quickness and athleticism. He may be used as a bit of a wild-card in the Seahawks offense. Also look out for him on the basketball court this winter.

* Tyrell Dukes, St. James, Wide Receiver: The Sharks didn’t throw the ball around a lot last season, instead opting to pitch it around out of a traditional option set that didn’t carry them to the playoffs.

But with leading rusher Austin Adams gone and quarterback Tony Roper having another season under his belt, look for the Sharks to pass the ball in the general vicinity of the athletic and speedy Dukes.

Also playing in the defensive secondary, Dukes has the ability to go to the ball and then make things happen once its in his hands. If the Sharks go to the air (oh no, not Sharknado), Dukes is a threat.

* Will Brunson, Carolina Forest, Quarterback: Brunson broke into the starting lineup and lit up the scoreboard for the pass-happy Panthers, who put up some points but couldn’t stop other teams from scoring.

But with an improved defense, the loss of leading rusher Harold Atkinson and the return of tight end Hunter Yurachek and receiver Zavier Jones, look for Brunson to really fly the friendly skies in 2013.

At 6-foot-4 and 185 pounds, college scouts are starting to lick their chops over the prototypical college QB with a rocket arm. Expect to see a lot more guys carrying clipboards at Carolina Forest games this year.

Photo by Chuck Silvey

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