At 5-foot-9, Veterans wide receiver Jeremy Horton wasn’t the biggest player at RisingSeniors Georgia Junior Bowl practice this week. Despite the size factor, Horton could leave the game as the talk of the day.
Horton is set to suit up for Team Dedication in Friday’s all-star game at 6 p.m. at Mercer. The exhibition offers a valuable stage for Horton, who makes up for his lack of size with his consistent playmaking ability.
“It means a lot,” Horton said of playing in the game. “Only a select few get picked to come out here and compete. For me to be one of those, it means a lot. It means I’m doing something right and people are noticing.”
Horton is fresh off an up and down year for Veterans. The Warhawks made the playoffs, but lost in the first round to end the season with a 5-6 record.
Horton said he improved several areas of his game during his junior year, including his route running and creating separation from the defense. He admits he has room to improve, specifically becoming more physical.
Horton’s growth will have to continue and carry over next season, as his expectations from the team are sure to increase.
“I’m becoming more experienced, and I’ve got to become a bigger leader next year,” Horton said. “We were young on offense. Defensively, we’re losing almost everybody. We’re going to be real young on defense. Next year, it should be exciting.”
Horton could jumpstart his recruitment with a solid showing on Friday. His lone scholarship offer is from Jacksonville State, but he has heard from Mercer, Georgia Tech, Ball State, Georgia State and Georgia Southern. That could all change if he stands out among the top rising seniors.
Horton understands what Friday can mean for his future, but that hasn’t caused him to lose sight of the big picture. The days leading up to the game have included numerous seminars meant to educate the players. The week’s events have also allowed the young men to surround themselves with unfamiliar people with new ideas which can prove helpful on and off the field.
“I want to become a better person, a better man, and a better football player while I’m here,” Horton said. “I want to learn from these coaches and compete with some of the best.”
Horton appears to be up to the challenge. He explained the process of learning the playbook with new teammates has been tough, but the players have bonded in their limited time together.
Ultimately, those interactions have Horton hopeful about what Friday’s game holds in store for him and Team Dedication.
“All football players are here for one purpose: to come together and get this win,” Horton said. “It’s been fun.”
Christian Armstrong, T, Warner Robins (Team Commitment)
Mitchell Fineran, PK, Peach County (Team Commitment)
Jeremy Horton, WR, Veterans (Team Dedication)
Kearis Jackson, WR, Peach County (Team Dedication)
Christian Meadows, G, Macon County (Team Dedication)
Gunnar Watson, QB, Taylor County (Team Commitment)
Xavier Wesley, OT, Central (Team Dedication)