Buford puts six players on AAAA preseason all-state team

Buford, the school that claims six state championships over the past seven seasons, is moving up to Class AAAA this season, but it’s more than obvious from GHSF Daily’s preseason all-state team that the Wolves will not be unarmed in the higher classification.

Six Buford players made the list, and none would be called a sleeper. DL Quay Picou (Tennessee), OL Nick Polino (North Carolina), LB Austin Smith (Tennessee) and PK Matt Bonadies (UAB) have committed to Division I schools. LB/RB Joshua Thomas, perhaps the team’s best all-around player last season, a 1,000-yard rusher who made all-state as a linebacker, is the No. 62 consensus prospect in Georgia. TE/DL Isaac Nauta is the No. 3 consensus recruit among juniors.

Then consider some of the Buford players who didn’t make our list – DB David Curry is committed to Virginia. RB/DB Evyn Cooper has 13 offers, including those from Georgia and Georgia Tech. And Blake Ferguson, committed to LSU, is rated the No. 1 long snapper in the state.

Don’t expect Griffin, the reigning champion, to concede, however. The Bears have three preseason all-state players. So does perennial contender Sandy Creek. Marist, North Oconee and Woodward Academy have two each.

The team is led by Westover DT Trenton Thompson, the consensus No. 1 recruit in Georgia.


QB – Caleb Shiflett, Northwest Whitfield, Sr.

RB – Shannon Brooks, Pickens, Sr.

RB – Kawon Bryant, North Oconee, Sr.

RB – Eric Swinney, Sandy Creek, Sr.

WR – Keyston Fuller, Griffin, Sr.

WR – Christian Owens, Griffin, Sr.

TE – Isaac Nauta, Buford, Jr.

OL – Ben Cleveland, Stephens County, Jr.

OL – Sage Hardin, Marist, Sr.

OL – Mitch Mathes, Troup, Sr.

OL – Nick Polino, Buford, Sr.

OL – Chandler Tuitt, Sandy Creek, Jr.

PK – Matthew Bonadies, Buford, Sr.


DL – Kenneth Brinson, Marist, Sr.

DL – Austin Bryant, Thomas County Central, Sr.

DL – Quay Picou, Buford, Sr.

DL – Trenton Thompson, Westover, Sr.

LB – J.L. Banks, North Oconee, Sr.

LB – Jordan Colbert, Griffin, Sr.

LB – Austin Smith, Buford, Sr.

LB – Joshua Thomas, Buford, Sr.

DB – Rashaad Bolton, Veterans, Sr.

DB – Arrington Farrar, Woodward Academy, Sr.

DB – Richard LeCounte, Liberty County, So.

DB – Brian Miller, Sandy Creek, Sr.

P – William Collings, Woodward Academy, Sr.

Coming Thursday: Class AAA preseason all-state team.

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