POY Watch: McMichael, Reese, Williams move into top 10

BRANDEN CAMP/SPECIAL

Kyler McMichael, an AJC Super 11 pick who is averaging 11.5 yards per carry as a running back, is the newest member of the Player of the Year Watch. The Greater Atlanta Christian senior is scoring a touchdown every 5.2 rushing attempts. And his best position, the one that got him recruited to Clemson, is cornerback.

Returning to the POY Watch this week are Otis Reese of Lee County and Jarren Williams of Central Gwinnett ahead of big games for their teams. No. 2 Lee County faces No. 5 Northside (Warner Robins) in a Region 1-AAAAAA game. Central plays No. 7 Brookwood in 7-AAAAAAA. Reese is committed to Michigan, Williams to Kentucky.

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 was 14-of-16 passing for 235 yards and six touchdowns – all in the first half – of a 56-0 victory over LaGrange. For the season, the Clemson commit is 103-of-142 passing for 2,065 yards and 26 touchdowns with one interception. He needs 401 yards and 10 touchdowns 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 was 10-of-14 passing for 204 yards and rushed for 42 yards on four carries in a 68-7 victory over Mount Zion of Jonesboro. For the season, Barrett is 53-of-81 passing for 947 yards and nine touchdowns with only one interception. He has rushed for 530 yards and nine touchdowns on 62 carries (8.5 ypc). Barrett has offers from Georgia Tech, LSU, Michigan and Tennessee, among others. Lowndes (7-0) is averaging a state-best 54.6 points per game and is ranked No. 2 in AAAAAAA.

3. QB Justin Fields, Harrison: Fields was 16-of-20 passing for 263 yards and five touchdowns in a 63-41 victory over Sprayberry. He also rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries. On the season, Fields is 74-of-116 passing for 1,237 yards and 17 touchdowns with two interceptions. He has rushed for 710 yards and 12 touchdowns on 84 carries (8.5 ypc). Fields is the consensus No. 1 recruit in the country. Harrison is 4-2 and ranked No. 4 in Class AAAAAA.

4. DL Adam Anderson, Rome: Anderson had two solo tackles, one sack and two tackles for losses in a 42-13 victory over Hiram. For the season, Anderson has 35 tackles, 15 for losses, nine sacks, two forced fumbles and two pass breakups. He is the consensus No. 2 OLB prospect nationally. Rome is ranked No. 1 in Class AAAAA.

5. QB Bailey Fisher, Rabun County: Fisher was 10-of-16 passing for 204 yards and three touchdownsin a 59-0 victory over Putnam County. Fisher rushed for 48 yards and a touchdown on six carries. Fisher has thrown for at least two touchdowns and rushed for at least one in every game. For the season, Fisher is 84-of-124 (.677) for 1,423 yards and 15 touchdowns and only one interception. He has rushed for 446 yards and 13 touchdowns on 76 carries. Undersized at 5-11, 195, Fisher has Division II offers. Rabun County is 6-0 and ranked No. 4 in Class AA.

6. WR Rashod Bateman, Tift County: Bateman’s team did not play last week. For the season, Bateman has 38 catches for a state-leading 898 yards (23.6 ypc) and 12 touchdowns in Tift’s 7-0 start. Bateman has at least one TD reception in every game. Bateman is committed to Minnesota. Tift is ranked No. 9 in Class AAAAAAA.

7. QB Montez Crowe, Troup: Crowe’s team did not play last week. For the season, Crowe is 102-of-152 (.671) for 2,205 yards and 24 touchdowns with eight interceptions. He threw for 525 yards and eight touchdowns in a game against Sandy Creek. Crowe has one offer, from Morgan State. Troup is 6-0 and ranked No. 8 in Class AAAA. That’s Troup’s highest ranking since 2005.

8. RB/CB Kyler McMichael, Greater Atlanta Christian: McMichael rushed for 167 yards and three touchdowns on just seven carries in a 59-0 victory over East Hall. He had two tackles. On the season, McMichael has rushed for 715 yards and 12 touchdowns on 62 carries (11.5 ypc). He has 10 tackles as a cornerback. McMichael, an AJC Super 11 pick and a top-25 national recruit, is committed to Clemson. GAC is 6-1 and ranked No. 3 in Class AA.

9. DB/LB Otis Reese, Lee County: Reese’s team did not play last week. For the season, Reese has 55 tackles, nine tackles for losses, three sacks, five pass breakups and three forced fumbles. Reese is the consensus No. 7 OLB prospect nationally and committed to Michigan. Lee County is 7-0 and ranked No. 2 in Class AAAAAA.

10. QB Jarren Williams, Central Gwinnett: Williams was 14-of-19 passing for 174 yards and three touchdowns in a 59-0 victory over Berkmar. He also rushed for a season-high 121 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries. On the season, Williams leads Class AAAAAAA in passing yards with 1,879. He has completed 138 of 228 passes for 17 touchdowns. He has rushed for 363 yards and six touchdowns. Williams, the consensus No. 8 dual-threat QB prospect in the country, is committed to Kentucky. Central Gwinnett is 5-2.

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