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Tuesday, 15 August 2017 17:28

Top rated football players in Gwinnett County

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With the 2017 GHSA football season upon us, preseason projections are flooding the airwaves and the internet. Several Preseason All-Region, All-State, and National team picks as well as team rankings have been released in the last couple of weeks.

One of the top sources in the state, Georgia High School Football Daily, recently released their Best Players by Position, and Gwinnett County is home to 13 players that made the list. The players represent 11 county schools.

Gwinnett County is represented well on the GHSFD list, with every position having a county player named among the best in the state. Below are the players as chosen by GHSFD as among the best in Georgia.

QB - Jarren Williams, Central Gwinnett: Williams was 188-of-314 for 2,618 yards and 26 touchdowns with only four interceptions last season. He rushed for 396 yards and nine touchdowns. He led Central to the Class 7A quarterfinals. Williams is committed to Kentucky.

RB - Anthony Grant, Buford (5-11, 195):  Grant rushed for 1,484 yards and 24 touchdowns and caught 21 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns last season for the Class AAAAA runner-up. Grant is also one of the top linebackers in the county after totaling 47 tackles, three sacks and eight QB pressures last season. Rated the consensus No. 21 RB prospect nationally, Grant is committed to Tennessee.


WR - Malachi Carter, Mountain View (6-3, 180): Carter caught 58 passes for 1,012 yards last season for an 8-3 team that was the first in school history with a winning record (8-3) or playoff berth. He was second-team GSWA all-state. Georgia Tech is among the leading schools chasing Carter.

WR - Matthew Hill, Brookwood (6-2, 185): Hill may be the best all-around player in the county, and he has the numbers to support that idea. The Brookwood standout totaled 41 receptions for 849 yards (20.7 per catch) and nine touchdowns as a receiver and added 98 carries for 625 yards (6.4 ypc) and eight touchdowns as a running back. He returned 19 kickoffs for 512 yards (26.9). On defense, he had 24 tackles and returned a fumble for a touchdown. Hill, a top-175 recruit nationally, is expected to choose among Alabama, Auburn and South Carolina this month.

OL -Warren Ericson, North Gwinnett (6-4, 290): Ericson made first-team all-state last season, the only junior offensive lineman to do it in AAAAAAA. Committed to Georgia, Ericson is the consensus No. 15 guard nationally.

OL - John Harris, Mill Creek (6-4, 260): Harris, now the best all-around player at state contender Mill Creek, was all-Gwinnett County and second-team AP all-state last season in the highest class. He is committed to Virginia Tech.

OL - Casey Holman, Brookwood (6-4, 285): Holman made first-team all-county from the Gwinnett TD Club, one of two juniors. Ericson was the other. Holman also was first-team all-Region 7-AAAAAA. He's rated among the top 50 tackles nationally and is committed to Duke.

DL - Robert Cooper, South Gwinnett (6-2, 375): Cooper, the consensus No. 5 defensive tackle nationally, is committed to Florida State after completing a first-team all-state season in 2016. Georgia has probably never seen a player so good for his size. He had 62 tackles, 17 stops for losses and six sacks last season and helped 8-4 South Gwinnett to its first winning season in four years.

DL - Justin Mascoll, South Gwinnett (6-4, 235): Mascoll made first-team all-state along with teammate Cooper last season. He had 68 tackles with eight sacks, nine others for losses, and 14 QB pressures. Rated the consensus No. 7 weakside DE prospect nationally, Mascoll has committed to Clemson.

LB - Owen Pappoe, Grayson (6-0, 207): Pappoe is the consensus No. 1 prospect in the state among juniors. He was the second-leading tackler as a sophomore on perhaps the state's best defense as Grayson won the highest classification. Pappoe's leaders reportedly are Clemson and Florida State.

Multiple Position Players

Kyler McMichael, Greater Atlanta Christian (6-1, 195): McMichael, who is committed to Clemson, is rated the No. 10 cornerback prospect nationally by 247Sports, and he got his preseason all-state recognition at that position, but he's more conspicuous on Friday nights in GAC's offensive backfield. He rushed for 1,493 yards and 16 touchdowns last season for the Class AAA runner-up team.

Malik Washington, Parkview (5-9, 180): The Panthers' best all-around player is Washington, a junior who had 41 receptions for 649 yards and 61 carries for 369 yards while scoring nine touchdowns. He was 11-for-13 passing, three for touchdowns. On defense, he had five interceptions. He has offers from Auburn and Tennessee.

P/PK Jake Camarda, Norcross (6-2, 175): Camarda was Georgia's most impressive kicker in offseason combines and emerged as the No. 1 punter and No. 4 place-kicker nationally, according to Kohl's. Camarda had a 41.0-yard punting average and put eight of 35 inside the 5-yard line. He put 98 percent of his kickoffs into the end zone. He made field goals of 37, 42 and 48 yards. He has committed to Georgia.

Stats provided by GHSFD and Max Preps.

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