Best player in school history: Region 8-AAAAAA teams

Gainesville’s DeShaun Watson passed for 4,024 yards and 50 touchdowns and rushed for 1,441 yards and 24 touchdowns for a state-championship team in his junior season. (Jason Getz/AJC)

About the only thing that Deshaun Watson didn’t accomplish in high school was win the AJC’s all-classification player of the year award.

It wasn’t Watson’s fault by any stretch.

As a junior at Gainesville, Watson passed for 4,024 yards and 50 touchdowns. He rushed for 1,441 yards and 24 touchdowns. His team won a state title. Watson was the Georgia Sports Writers Association’s state player of the year.

The AJC and Gatorade saw it differently, though. They went with seniors. The AJC’s pick was Alvin Kamara of Norcross. Gatorade picked Taylor Lamb of Calhoun. Kamara, now a rookie in the NFL, led Norcross to a 15-0 finish in the highest classification while Gainesville had lost a couple of games. Lamb had led Calhoun to a 29-1 record as a two-year starter with a state title in 2011.

Surely, Watson would win it the next year, as a senior. He did, but only with Gatorade. The AJC and the GSWA went with Jaquez Parks of Griffin on the wave of his record-setting performance in the state finals against Carrollton. Parks led the Bears to their first championship since 1978.

Watson left Georgia as its all-time leading passer, and the rest is history. He won a national championship at Clemson, was drafted 12th overall in the NFL Draft and is a rookie-of-the-year candidate with the Houston Texans.

Here are GHSF Daily’s choices as the best players in the history of current 8-AAAAAA schools.

*Apalachee: Chaun Gresham (2008)

*Dacula: Terry Harvey (1990)

*Gainesville: Deshaun Watson (2013)

*Habersham Central: Tavarres King (2007)

*Lanier: Derrick Brown (2015)

*Winder-Barrow: Hiawatha Berry (1985)

Best player in school history series

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