MOULTRIE — When asked about his thoughts on Colquitt County’s 2020 football season, senior wide receiver Lemeke Brockington could have talked about reaching 100 career catches, impressing the coaches at the University of Minnesota or moving up on the Packers all-time touchdown receptions list.
Instead, Brockington said his focus in a year that is increasingly being defined by the coronavirus pandemic is on being a leader.
“We have got a bunch of young guys,” he said this week.
The Packers have to replace a good portion of an offensive unit that helped lead the team to nine victories in 2019.
But the effects of the coronavirus curtailed spring and summer work and created the late start to Brockington’s final high school season.
But putting his focus on helping the team rather than padding his already impressive statistics does not surprise Packers second-year head coach Justin Rogers.
“People get to see what a great athlete he is,” Rogers said. “But they don’t get to see the humility and meekness that he maintains.
“In our society, people don’t understand the importance of staying humble and meek. But he gets it. I really admire him.”
It would be difficult for many athletes to maintain their humility with the accolades that Brockington already has accrued.
He became a starter as a sophomore in 2018 and caught 30 passes, including six for touchdowns, while helping Colquitt County reach the state championship game.
Last year he caught 53 more passes for 923 yards and 13 scores.
He is ranked No. 13 on the Packers all-time receivers list with 83 and his 19 career touchdown catches rank No. 4.
Last month, Brockington was included on the watch list for Sports Illustrated’s 2020 high school All-American Football team.
He has already agreed to taking his talents to the University of Minnesota and says that he is “100-percent” committed to playing for the Gophers, noting “They throw the ball a lot.”
Helping make his decision to attend Minnesota was former Tift County receiver Rashod Bateman, who was a second-team All-American there last year before announcing he would forgo his final college eligibility to prepare for the NFL draft.
“We talked and he explained about the program and coaches,” Brockington said.
Rogers says that while Minnesota is getting “a heck of a player,” the school also is getting “a great locker room guy.”
The opportunity to play college football awaits, but Brockington knows he has a challenging season ahead of him.
The Packers have lost running back Daijun Edwards, who is now playing at Georgia, and quarterback Jaycee Harden, who threw 62 touchdown passes in his career.
Neither of the two potential quarterback starters this year — Zane Touchton nor Xavier Williams — has much varsity experience.
And Tyler Walker and Tajh Sanders are gone from last year’s outstanding receiving corps. But Baby D Wheeler and Orion Bonner should help keep opposing defenses from keying on Brockington.
And Brockington is impressed with young Quay McCoy, who possesses great speed and is working on improving his footwork and body control.
Brockington and the other receivers are having the opportunity to learn the intracacies of playing receiver from Packers coach David Hill Jr., a former high school All-American and Auburn and Troy University star.
Brockington is quick to credit Hill with his development, both on and off the field.
“He is preparing me for the next level,” Brockington said.
Lemeke and cousin Zy Brockington, a senior defensive lineman also destined for a college career, are two of the team’s top student/athletes.
“Their family got to be extremely proud of them,” Rogers said. “You can tell they’ve been raised right.”
Both will be key players as the Packers navigate a season like no other. But as a senior, Lemeke has reduced what lies ahead in 2020 to this: “You’ve just got to give it all you’ve got.”