It’s never a huge surprise to see the spawn of a famous athlete in a top high school football program. It might not even be surprising to see a pair of players with different famous sporting fathers.
But having the sons of four former notable stars? That’s a bit different. That’s also what Marietta (Ga.) Walton High boasts as part of its football program, which is prepping for a state-final showdown on Friday.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Walton has seven players whose fathers have notable connections to major college athletics or the professional ranks. Zack and Daron Blaylock are the sons of former Atlanta Hawks guard Mookie Blaylock, who played his college basketball at Oklahoma (Zack is pictured carrying the ball above while Daron’s highlights are shown below, and both have committed to play at Kentucky). Tyren Jones — the team’s leading rusher and one of the top scorers in the state of Georgia — is the son of former Atlanta Force Arena League wide receiver Tyrone Jones.
Harrison Davis, a possible All-State selection, is the son of legendary former Georgia Tech offensive lineman John “The Refrigerator Mover” Davis, who later played in a Super Bowl for the Bills. While The Refrigerator Mover ended up on the wrong end of a Super Bowl scoreline, another father of one of his son’s teammates — Tyrone Poole — won two Super Bowls with the Patriots. Poole’s son, Nakai Poole, is the punter at Walton.
And, while the final two “celebrity” sons don’t have fathers who starred on the sidelines, both of their Dads deal with major college athletics decisions every day. Grant Radakovich is the starting center at Walton and the son of Georgia Tech athletics director Dan Radakovich. One of his fellow starting linemen is Michael Lord, whose father, Daniel Papp, is the president at Kennesaw State, which will have a football team for the first time in 2014. Papp is intimately involved in the development of the school’s future football program.
While all that star power could threaten to overshadow what’s happening on the field, that hasn’t ever seemed to be the case at Walton, where the Raiders have gelled together smoothly and find themselves on the verge of a prestigious trip to the Georgia Dome to play for a state title.
Rather, the fathers seem to be taking the big band of celebrity act in stride, enjoying watching their sons accomplishment what they once did themselves on the field.
“I enjoyed a very successful high school career in Ellijay, Georgia Tech and the NFL, but this kid is so much better than me at this stage of his career,” John Davis told the Journal-Constitution. “I haven’t had this much fun since my Super Bowl days in Buffalo.”