POY Watch: West, Black, Futral run their way into top 10

Running backs Uriah West of Douglas County, Dante Black of Brookwood and Josiah Futral of Kell entered the POY Watch this week after big games Friday.

None is heavily recruited, although West and Black have mid-major offers. Futral has been getting less attention, but a series of big games against top-ranked opposition might change that.

Futral has 830 total yards rushing and receiving, which is in the top five statewide. He has done it against a schedule that includes No. 1 Tucker of AAAAAA, No. 1 Rome of AAAAA and 4-0 Lassiter of AAAAAAA.

“Been trying to tell folks, he doesn’t need all the stars to do what he has against who we have played,” Kell assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator Steve Gates posted on Twitter this week. “He can do it all, just watch.”

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 Trevor Lawrence, Cartersville: Lawrence’s team was off last week. For the season, the Clemson commit is 60-of-85 passing for 1,211 yards and 12 touchdowns with one interception. He is the reigning all-class POY. Lawrence needs 1,266 yards and 28 touchdown passes to break the Georgia career records of 13,077 and 159 held by Deshaun Watson. Cartersville is ranked No. 1 in Class AAAA.

2. QB Michael Barrett, Lowndes: Barrett rushed for 158 yards and four touchdowns on 13 carries and was 5-of-7 passing for 114 yards and a touchdown in a 57-0 victory over Newton. For the season, Barrett is 23-of-35 passing for 413 yards and five touchdowns without an interception. He has rushed for 367 yards and seven touchdowns. He has limited playing time in the second half because of running clocks. 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. 2 in AAAAAAA.

3. DL Adam Anderson, Rome: Anderson’s team was off last week. For the season, Anderson has 18 tackles, seven tackles for losses, five sacks, eight assists, two batted-down balls and one forced fumble. He is the consensus No. 2 OLB prospect nationally. Rome is ranked No. 1 in Class AAAAA.

4. QB Justin Fields, Harrison: Fields was 12-for-19 passing for 275 yards and three touchdowns in a 49-0 victory over River Ridge. On the season, Fields is 51-of-81 passing for 821 yards, 10 touchdowns and one interception. He has rushed for 476 yards and eight touchdowns on 57 carries. Fields is the consensus No. 1 recruit in the country.

5. QB Bailey Fisher, Rabun County: Fisher’s team was off last week. For the season, Fisher is 37-of-54 passing for 730 yards and seven touchdowns. He has rushed for 267 yards and seven touchdowns. He passed for 2,671 yards and rushed for 1,001 last season. Fisher has Division II offers. Rabun County is ranked No. 4 in Class AA.

6. RB Dameon Pierce, Bainbridge: Pierce rushed for 104 yards and four touchdowns on 16 carries in a 43-0 victory over Early County. Pierce has rushed for 800 yards and 14 touchdowns on 92 carries (8.7 ypc) this season. Pierce has rushed for 5,456 yards and scored 80 touchdowns in his career. A top-200 national recruit, Pierce is committed to Florida.

7. RB Josiah Futral, Kell: Futral had 305 yards from scrimmage – 182 rushing, 123 receiving – and four touchdowns in a 58-46 victory over Paulding County. On the season, Futral has 614 yards rushing, 216 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns. Futral has been lightly recruited so far. Kell is ranked No. 9 in AAAAA.

8. WR Rashod Bateman, Tift County: Bateman had six receptions for 248 yards and three touchdowns in a 50-37 victory over Parkview. For the season, Bateman has 28 catches for 642 yards and nine touchdowns in Tift’s 5-0 start. Bateman is committed to Minnesota. Tift, at No. 10 in Class AAAAAAA, is ranked for the first time since 2007.

9. RB Uriah West, Douglas County: West rushed for 238 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries in a 49-0 victory over South Paulding. For the season, West has rushed for 829 yards and eight touchdowns on 76 carries (10.9 ypc). West has 10 offers from mid-major Division I schools. Douglas County is 4-0 and ranked No. 8 in Class AAAAAA.

10. RB Dante Black, Brookwood: Black rushed for 267 yards and five touchdowns on 33 carries in a 42-25 victory over Colquitt County. For the season, Black has rushed for 550 yards and 10 touchdowns on 92 carries. Black has 10 offers from mid-major Division I schools. Brookwood re-entered the Class AAAAAAA rankings this week and is 2-2 against a schedule that has included three top-10 opponents.

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