Justin Fields’ big opening day – 228 yards passing and 153 rushing with a hand in six touchdowns – propelled him to the top of the GHSF Daily Player of the Year Watch.
All eyes will be on Fields this week in Rome, where his second-ranked Harrison Hoyas will face No. 1-ranked Rome of AAAAA. Rome DE Adam Anderson is No. 4 on the POY Watch list.
There are two new players on the Watch. They are Taylor County RB Lyn-J Dixon and Rabun County QB Bailey Fisher.
The POY Watch is designed to be a fun look at some of the best players. Players naturally will drift in and out, and that should not be taken as a critique of their season. It is an honor to appear in the POW Watch even for a single week.
1. QB Justin Fields, Harrison: Fields was 11-of-20 passing for 228 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 153 yards and two scores on 12 carries in a 44-14 victory over East Paulding. In 2016, he was 158-of-231 passing (68.4 percent) for 2,278 yards and 19 touchdowns with only five interceptions. He rushed for 851 yards and 13 touchdowns. Fields on Tuesday moved up to No. 1 on the 247Sports Composite national prospect rankings ahead of Cartersville’s Trevor Lawrence.
2. QB Trevor Lawrence, Cartersville: Lawrence, a Clemson commit, was 12-of-19 passing for 230 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a 35-14 victory over Allatoona. He is the reigning all-class POY and the consensus No. 2 recruit nationally. Lawrence needs 2,247 yards and 38 touchdown passes to break the Georgia career records of 13,077 and 159 held by Deshaun Watson.
3. QB Michael Barrett, Lowndes: Barrett rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown and was 8-of-15 passing for 86 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-0 victory over defending Class AAAAAA champion Valdosta. In 2016, Barrett passed for 2,753 yards and rushed for 1,170. Barrett has offers from Georgia Tech, LSU, Michigan and Tennessee, among others. Lowndes is ranked No. 3 in AAAAAAA.
4. DL Adam Anderson, Rome: Rome, ranked No. 1 in Class AAAAA, opens its season Friday against No. 2 Harrison of AAAAAA. Anderson is the best player on a defending state-championship team. He had some 30 tackles for losses last season and is the consensus No. 2 OLB prospect nationally.
5. DL Brenton Cox, Stockbridge: Stockbridge, ranked No. 3 in Class AAAAA, opens its season Saturday against No. 5 Mays of AAAAAA. Cox, the Region 4-AAAAA defensive player of the year and first-team all-state last season, is committed to Ohio State. In 2016, he had 18 sacks and another eight tackles for losses on a team that went 13-1. He’s rated the consensus No. 2 strongside DE prospect nationally.
6. WR Josh Vann, Tucker: Vann had seven catches for 159 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-27 victory over Kell. Vann had 63 receptions for 1,286 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. Vann committed to South Carolina on Saturday. Tucker is ranked No. 1 in Class AAAAAA.
7. RB/LB Anthony Grant, Buford: Grant rushed for 90 yards on nine carries and scored on a 59-yard run in a 48-17 victory over Hillgrove. Grant also had three solo tackles, one for a loss. In 2016, Grant rushed for 1,484 yards and 24 touchdowns, caught 21 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns and had 47 tackles, three sacks and eight QB pressures. Rated the consensus No. 21 RB prospect nationally, Grant is committed to Tennessee.
8. QB Harrison Bailey, Marietta: Bailey was 22-of-31 passing for 332 yards and five touchdowns in a 52-0 victory over Wheeler. Bailey broke Lawrence’s freshman state record for passing yards (2,812) in just 10 games last season. Bailey is a potential five-star recruit in the class of 2020.
9. Bailey Fisher, Rabun County: Fisher’s team, ranked No. 5 in Class AA, opens Friday against Mount Pisgah Christian, the No. 9 team in the Class A private division. Fisher passed for 2,671 yards and rushed for 1,001 last season. In two seasons as a starter, he has thrown for 5,607 yards, rushed for 1,574 yards and had a hand in 96 touchdowns – 65 passing, 29 rushing. He has two Division II offers.
10. Lyn-J Dixon, Taylor County: Dixon rushed for 130 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries and returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown in a 39-0 victory over Terrell County. Dixon has rushed for 4,666 yards and scored 78 touchdowns in his career. Taylor County is ranked No. 5 in the Class A public division. Taylor, a top-300 national recruit, is committed to Tennessee.
Produced by Georgia High School Football Daily, a free e-mail newsletter. To join the mailing list, click here.