A pair of former Southwest DeKalb teammates are slated to start in the BCS National Championship game in Pasadena’s Rose Bowl as Auburn takes on Florida State on January 6.
Jonathon Mincey, a 2010 graduate of Southwest, is a starting cornerback for Auburn which just clinched a birth in the championship game with a victory over Missouri in the Southeastern Conference Championship game in Atlanta last Saturday.
Across the field will be former teammate and 2011 graduate of Southwest, redshirt sophomore Terrence Smith, who starts at strong side linebacker for Florida State.
Mincey picked off eight passes in three years at Southwest DeKalb and totaled 140 tackles in his prep career. He is currently sixth on the Auburn team with 54 tackles including 1 interception, 1 tackle for a loss and 12 passes broken up. The two-year starter has career totals of 140 tackles, 5 tackles for a loss, 1 sack and 20 pass breakups.
Smith (6-4, 215) finished his career at Southwest with 250 tackles (111 as a junior), 23 sacks, and 27 tackles for a loss. As a starter on No. 1 ranked Florida State’s defense this year he is third on the team with 55 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, 1 interception, 3 passes broken up and 1 quarterback hurry.
The pair is not the lone DeKalb County standouts in the game as Stone Mountain’s Ukeme Eliqwe (2012) shares time at linebacker with Smith for the Seminoles and Tucker’s Justin Garrett (2011) plays linebacker for the Tigers.
Eliqwe (6-2, 240), a redshirt freshman, has contributed 27 tackles (13th on team), 3 tackles for a loss and 2 sacks in duty behind Smith at linebacker. Eliqwe finished his career at Stone Mountain with 246 tackles (121 as a junior), 8 sacks, 32 tackles for a loss, 6 fumbles caused and 6 fumbles recovered.
Garrett (6-1, 218), a junior, has one start in three seasons and saw limited action this season appearing in just two games. He was named the A-Game Defensive MVP after returning a fumble for a touchdown on the opening play. He collected 19 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and 1 forced fumble.
The Tucker grad finished his prep career with 97 tackles (60 as a junior), 4 sacks, 8 tackles for a loss, 1 fumble caused and 1 fumble recovery.