Best player in school history: Region 6-AAAAAAA teams

2014 Inductee George Rogers (center) talks with guests Bill Knox (left) and Frank Boyd before the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame 10th Anniversary induction ceremony at Buckhead Theater in Atlanta on Friday, February 7, 2014. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

When George Rogers came to Duluth in the mid-1970s, Gwinnett County was the country. Its population was one-seventh of what it is today, and Duluth was beyond the sticks. The county had never produced a state-championship football team.

Schools such as North Gwinnett and Central Gwinnett were so small that they were in the same region as Commerce and Rabun County. Dacula and Duluth played in an even smaller classification. Only Berkmar played in the highest class, and there was no such thing as Brookwood and Parkview, much less Grayson and Peachtree Ridge.

It was in that context that Duluth High School was playing for the title – Class B – in Lyons. It didn’t turn out well, as Lyons won 20-12. It was considered an upset. But Rogers’s 2,286 rushing yards for the season were second all-time to Runt Moon’s 2,501 at Commerce two years before, and that wouldn’t go unnoticed.

Duluth would move up to Class A the next season and finish 8-1-1, short of the playoffs. Rogers was named his classification’s back of the year for the second consecutive time.

Heavily recruited, Rogers would sign with South Carolina and become the first former Georgia high school player to win the Heisman Trophy, in 1980.

Here are GHSF Daily’s choices as the best players in the history of the current Region 6-AAAAAAA.

*Collins Hill: Tyler Heinicke (2010)

*Duluth: George Rogers (1976)

*Mill Creek: Tyler Fannin (2016)

*Mountain View: Jonathan Stewart (2016)

*North Gwinnett: Jared Cook (2004)

*Peachtree Ridge: Cameron Heyward (2006)

Note: Discovery, in only its second season of varsity football, is not included.

Best player in school history series

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