Channel 9 announces 'Big 22' players to watch class of 2017

WSOC-TV Channel 9 and High School Football Extra's Big 22, brought to you by Bojangles' Famous Chicken'n Biscuits, announced the 22 high school football players who have been determined as the top pre-season standouts from area high school teams for the 2017 season.

They will be featured throughout the season on Channel 9's weekly "High School Football Extra" show, along with in-depth coverage on

Coaches from public and private high schools located in the WSOC-TV, Channel 9 DMA viewing area in North Carolina and South Carolina were asked to nominate three players from their team and two players from other schools to be considered for the “Big 22.”

The final 22 were selected by the WSOC-TV sports department after reviewing the coaches’ nominations and using a set of judging criteria.

“Recognizing the 'Big 22' players is a great way to showcase these young athletes and demonstrates Channel 9’s ongoing commitment to our community,” said Joe Pomilla, WSOC-TV vice president and general manager.

For the 2017 High School Football season, the “Big 22” are (in alphabetical order by last name):

  • Josh Belk – Senior DT for Lewisville High School in Richburg, S.C.
  • Deangelo Blair-Young – Senior RB/LB for South Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, N.C.
  • Elijah Bowick – Junior WR for Myers Park High School in Charlotte, N.C.
  • British Brooks – Senior RB for Ashbrook High School in Gastonia, N.C.
  • Dyami Brown – Senior WR/DB for West Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, N.C.
  • Elijah Brown – Senior DT for Providence Day School in Charlotte, N.C.
  • Quavaris Crouch – Junior RB for Harding University High School in Charlotte, N.C.
  • Caleb Deveaux – Senior RB for Marvin Ridge High School in Waxhaw, N.C.
  • Jarett Garner – Senior WR for Hickory Ridge High School in Harrisburg, N.C.
  • Dax Hollifield – Senior LB for Shelby High School in Shelby, N.C.
  • Khamal Howard – Senior RB for East Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, N.C.
  • Sam Howell – Junior QB for Sun Valley High School in Monroe, N.C.
  • Cole Jackson – Senior RB for Lake Norman High School in Mooresville, N.C.
  • Derion Kendrick – Senior QB for South Pointe High School in Rock Hill, S.C.
  • Gerald Nathan Jr. – Senior LB for Vance High School in Charlotte, N.C.
  • Nijere Peoples – Senior RB for Butler High School in Matthews, N.C.
  • Brady Pope – Senior QB for South Iredell High School in Statesville, N.C.
  • Porter Rooks – Sophomore WR for Providence Day School in Charlotte, N.C.
  • Rick Sandidge Jr. – Senior DL for Concord High School in Concord, N.C.
  • Markees Watts – Senior DE for Lancaster High School in Lancaster, S.C.
  • Shamari Wingard – Senior CB for Ardrey Kell High School in Charlotte, N.C.
  • Justus Woods – Senior RB for Charlotte Christian School in Charlotte, N.C.

The “Big 22” players will also be featured on “High School Football Extra Kickoff,” a LIVE prime-time special airing Wednesday, Aug. 16, at 7 p.m. on WSOC-TV Channel 9.

“High School Football Extra” will air Fridays on Channel 9 at 11:35 p.m. starting August 18.