*Best player: Five rising seniors earned multiple first-team all-state recognition in the highest class last season. They are Matthew Hill of Brookwood, Warren Ericson of North Gwinnett, Thurman Geathers of North Cobb and Robert Cooper and Justin Mascoll of South Gwinnett and. Hill was the best all-around as a high school player. The now-senior wide receiver had 41 catches for 849 yards and nine touchdowns, 98 rushes for 625 yards and eight touchdowns and 19 kick returns for 512 yards. He also had 24 tackles, broke up three passes and returned a fumble for a touchdown.
*Best position: Wide receiver. Making this list are Hill, Woodstock’s Louis Hall (two straight seasons with more than 1,000 yards receiving) and Marietta’s Ramel Keyton (1,347 yards receiving in 10 games). Snubbed were Walton’s Dominick Blaylock (No. 2 WR prospect nationally among juniors) and Mountain View’s Malachi Carter (1,012 with 11 touchdowns), among others.
*Highly recruited: Colquitt County LB J.J. Peterson, a reported Alabama lean, is the consensus No. 7 prospect among Georgia seniors, according to 247Sports’ Composite Ratings. Cooper (No. 10, committed to Florida State), Mascoll (No. 16, Clemson) and Hill (No. 18) are right there along with Lassiter CB/S Derrik Allen (No. 9, Notre Dame), Westlake CB Myles Sims (No. 14, Michigan) and Central Gwinnett QB Jarren Williams (No. 22, Kentucky). But the most coveted player is a junior, Grayson LB/DE Owen Pappoe, rated No. 6 nationally in his class.
*Lowly recruited: Parkview’s Tommy Rogers was first-team all-county in Gwinnett last season per the TD Club there, the only junior linebacker to make it. Undersized at 5 feet, 8 inches and 185 pounds, Rogers has no offers but is a tackling machine. He had 85 solos last season. He’ll play a hybrid LB/S position this season.
*What else is new? Max Guggemos of Lakeside (Atlanta) has only one offer, from Pikeville, an NAIA school in Kentucky’s coal country. But the 5-foot-9 senior is the leading returning rusher in the highest class. He put up 1,334 yards and 16 touchdowns in just eight games last year. Lakeside has not had a first-team all-state player since TE Michael Lindsey in 1997.
QB – Jarren Williams, Central Gwinnett, Sr.
RB – Max Guggemos, Lakeside (Atlanta), Sr.
RB – Travis Tisdale, Lowndes, Jr.
WR – Louis Hall, Woodstock, Sr.
WR – Matthew Hill, Brookwood, Sr.
WR – Ramel Keyton, Marietta, Jr.
TE – Chigoziem Okonkwo, Hillgrove, Sr.
OL – Warren Ericson, North Gwinnett, Sr.
OL – Jalen Goss, Lowndes, Sr.
OL – John Harris, Mill Creek, Sr.
OL – Casey Holman, Brookwood, Sr.
OL – Ches Jackson, Tift County, Sr.
ATH – Michael Barrett, Lowndes, Sr.
PK – Will VanPamelen, Grayson, Sr.
DL – Robert Cooper, South Gwinnett, Sr.
DL – Thurman Geathers, North Cobb, Sr.
DL – Darnell Jefferies, Newton, Sr.
DL – Azeez Ojulari, Marietta, Sr.
LB/DE – Justin Mascoll, South Gwinnett, Sr.
LB – Owen Pappoe, Grayson, Jr.
LB – J.J. Peterson, Colquitt County, Sr.
LB/DB – Tommy Rogers, Parkview, Sr.
DB – Derrik Allen Lassiter, Sr.
DB – Kenneth Dicks III, Lambert, Sr.
DB – Myles Sims, Westlake, Sr.
DB – Malik Washington, Parkview, Jr.
P – Jake Camarda, Norcross, Sr.
Coming Wednesday: Class AAAAAA
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