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Stillmore Standout: Curtis Fann Jr.

By Barry Every
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Sophomore defensive end Curtis Fann, Jr. may be the next Stillmore standout to grab the nation’s attention.

Located just five miles north of I-16 off of exit 98 is the small hamlet of Stillmore, Georgia -- population 526. That sure doesn’t sound like a bastion of football talent. But only nine years ago native son Washaun Ealey set the Georgia single season state rushing record with 2,982 yards.

Sophomore defensive end Curtis Fann, Jr. may be the next Stillmore standout to grab the nation’s attention. Stillmore is just one of several small villages that comprise Emanuel County Institute, a GHSA single-A school that has had much success on the gridiron over the last ten years. During this time span the Bulldogs have captured two State Titles while going an amazing (108-19).

The 6-foot-3, 246-pound defender recorded 65 tackles, 23 TFL’s, eight sacks and five FF’s as a sophomore. His efforts helped guide the Bulldogs to an (11-1) record and a Region Championship. His football prowess did not go unnoticed as he was selected to the prestigious Georgia Elite Sophomore Classic this past December.

Fann currently holds no offers, but is receiving serious interest from the home state Georgia Bulldogs.

“He has a ton of talent, but no firm offers yet,” Head Coach Chris Kearson said. “I suspect that will change soon; Curtis has tremendous upside and his weight room numbers have really taken off. His strengths are his reach, foot speed and ability to play with leverage.”

Though it is a tad early to get a true feel for where he stands academically, Fann claims an 89 average falling just one point from making the honor roll this past semester.

“We are on the block schedule and I am currently taking Lit, Spanish II and Geometry,” Fann said. “Last semester I passed Government, Biology and Spanish so I feel I’m in good shape for eventually being NCAA qualified.”

Fann has not made any unofficial visits this spring, but has been invited to several Junior Days including South Carolina State. So what does he have planned this spring?

“Last year I went to the Kirby Smart Football camp in Athens and I definitely plan to go back this year,” he said. “I’d also like to go down to the Jim McElwain camp in Gainesville, Florida this summer. I’d just really like to hear from Clemson, Florida, FSU, Georgia and South Carolina and see what they have to offer.”

There is no question that Fann would love to see his recruiting pickup with some solid FBS offers. But he is not losing focus on the 2017 football season. ECI came up one game short of making a trip to the Georgia Dome, falling to eventual state champion Macon County in the semifinals.

“We need to work hard in the weight room and stay focused throughout practice, that means every rep,” Fann said. “We lost somewhere between 15 and 17 seniors, but we have a great corps of skilled players coming back that can help us make a serious run.”

Who’s to say what is in Fann’s immediate future. But one thing is for sure the ECI Bulldogs will most likely claim another Region Title. They haven’t lost a Region contest since October, 25 2013. As far as recruiting goes the spring evaluation period will numerous college coaches traipsing through Emanuel County Institute.

Let’s face it jumbo athletes don’t grow on trees. Well maybe, in small town called Stillmore.