*Best player: Not much can be said of Cartersville QB Trevor Lawrence that hasn’t been. With 2,477 yards passing and 40 TD passes, he will break Deshaun Watson’s state records. And while it is not easy to confirm, we are pretty certain that his 40-1 record as a starting QB is bearing down on a record, too. Let’s also give a shout out to Jefferson RB/DB Colby Wood. He could join Lawrence as a rare three-time first-team all-state player.
*Best position: Running back. Jalyn Shelton, Steele Chambers and Colby Wood each rushed for more than 1,400 yards last season. And perhaps the classification’s best RB – Rico Frye – was held off the preseason list on the excuse that injuries limited him to six games last season while at Creekside. The transfer to Cartersville has 4,886 yards rushing and 55 touchdowns in his career.
*Highly recruited: Lawrence, who is committed to Clemson, is the consensus No. 1 prospect nationally. The only other consensus four-star senior recruit in AAAA is Thomson’s Christian Tutt, who is uncommitted. He’s a cornerback who had 85 tackles and five return touchdowns last season for the state runner-up. This classification is rich with juniors, though. J.D. Bertrand (committed to Georgia), Chambers, King Mwikuta and Travon Walker are four-star prospects.
*Lowly recruited: There aren’t any sure-fire major-college prospects among AAAA’s offensive linemen save for Eastside’s Lamarius Benson, who is committed to South Carolina. But all were first-team all-region last year (most two-time). Of special note is Cartersville’s Nick Root, who has started on two state-championship teams, now gunning for three.
*What else is new? Blessed Trinity has three players on the preseason all-state team. Defending champ Cartersville has four, but it’s interesting that all three of BT’s picks are juniors – Bertrand, Chambers and Ryan Davis. All three are two-way players.
QB – Trevor Lawrence, Cartersville, Sr.
RB – Jalyn Shelton, Ridgeland, Sr.
RB – Steele Chambers, Blessed Trinity, Jr.
RB – Colby Wood, Jefferson, Sr.
TE – J.D. Bertrand, Blessed Trinity, Jr.
WR – Ryan Carter, Heritage (Ringgold), Sr.
WR – Ryan Davis, Blessed Trinity, Jr.
OL – Sam Barczak, Sandy Creek, Sr.
OL – Lamarius Benson, Eastside, Sr.
OL – Malcolm Mercer, Americus-Sumter, Sr.
OL – Nick Root, Cartersville, Sr.
OL – Josh Taylor, West Hall, Sr.
ATH/QB – Luke Shiflett, Northwest Whitfield, Sr.
PK – Jonathan Cruz, Cartersville, Sr.
DL – John FitzPatrick, Marist, Sr.
DL – Luke Johns, Southeast Whitfield, Sr.
DL – Darian Poellnitz, Cartersville, Sr.
DL/LB – King Mwikuta, Troup, Jr.
LB/DL – Travon Walker, Upson-Lee, Jr.
LB – Artest Banks, Thomson, Sr.
LB – Caleb Johnson, Northside (Columbus), Sr.
LB – K.J. Phillips, Woodward Academy, Sr.
DB – Je’Cory Burks, Perry, Sr.
DB – Dan Land, Westover, Sr.
DB – Markeith Montgomery, Ridgeland, Sr.
DB – Christian Tutt, Thomson, Sr.
P – Steven Martinez, Chestatee, Sr.
Coming Monday: Class AAA
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