We are right on the heels of the 2017 Georgia high school football season, so we are rolling out our preseason All-State teams for every classification in the state of Georgia this week. Underneath the All-State selections we wrote about each player selected, our thoughts, and various stats. Also, be sure to checkout additional Preseason All-State selections by clicking HERE.
QB – Justin Fields, Harrison
RB – Armis Stokes, Mays
RB – Emeka Nwanza, Centennial
RB – Zion Custis, Lovejoy
WR – Steven Peterson, Harrison
WR – Josh Vann, Tucker
WR – Milton Jackson, Coffee
WR – Sam James, Richmond Hills
TE – Zach Williams, Johns Creek
OL – Jalil Irvin, Stephenson
OL – Dylan Wonnum, Tucker
OL – Trey Hill, Houston Co.
OL – Junior Uzebu, Alpharetta
OL – Collin Foster, Lanier
OL – Warren McClendon, Brunswick
K – Ivan Mora, Dalton
ATH – Jayce Rogers, Valdosta
DL – Nick Markus, Alpharetta
DL – Terrell Paxton, Tucker
DL – Derick Newton, Coffee
DL – Kurott Garland, Heritage
DL – Antonio Showers, Tucker
LB – Jameon Gaskin, Coffee
LB – Zackoby McClain, Valdosta
LB – Keith Harris, Gainesville
LB – Michael Harris, Tucker
CB – Nasir Love-Porter, Dalton
CB – Jaycee Horn, Alpharetta
CB – Jarquavious Jefferson, Coffee
S – Otis Reese, Lee Co.
S – Justin Birdsong, Stephenson
S – Aaron Casey, Alexander
P – Diego Huerta, Douglas Co.
RET – Taurean Taylor, Tucker
Class 6-A was a contentious pairing of competitive Georgia teams last year and once again it looks like they are loaded with talent. Last season Valdosta and Tucker played in the state championship where the Wildcats won 17-7, giving their program their first championship since 1998 and state best 24th overall.
Jumping right into the offensive side of the ball, which is headlined by prolific Harrison quarterback Justin Fields. The amazing dual-threat set the state on fire last year throwing for 2770 yards and 23 touchdowns; while also rushing for 1176 yards and 15 scores. He compiled an equally impressive offer sheet, and after excelling at offseason camps many consider him the #1 recruit in the entire country.
Staying in the backfield but sliding over to running back is Armis Stokes, a speedy senior from Mays. The 2018 back had 1514 total yards and 22 touchdowns last season in Mays high-powered spread offense. He has gained 20 pounds of muscle this offseason and pushing 200 heading into the season. Emeka Nwanza is an elite back that will be lining up in the Centennial backfield this year. He does a great job of setting up his blocks and wearing down a defense. Over the last two seasons he has totaled just over 2000 yards but could come close to doubling that number this fall. The last two seasons he has rushed for over 1000 yards and should thrive in Centennial’s offensive scheme. Zion Custis out of Lovejoy is the last back to make the preseason squad. He rushed for 1487 (123.9 ypg) last season and an average 8 yards per touch. He put together the best performance last year against Tucker (the most talented defense in 6-A) where he rushed for 254 yards (11.5 ypc) and 2 touchdowns with a long of 72 yards.
Steven Peterson the favorite target of Justin Fields was the leading receiver last year in Class 6-A with 1362 yards. In one of his most memorable plays from last year he went up and high-pointed the football, fell on top of the defender, then got up and ran 20 yards for a score – truly an amazing play! He also hauled in 81 receptions and 16 touchdowns as well. Josh Vann from Tucker was right on the heels of Peterson with 1286 yards and 13 scores. He is a big play threat (20.4 ypc) with elite speed once he is out in space. Milton Jackson led the classification last year with 86 receptions and finished 3rd with 1039 yards. The lightening quick junior from Coffee can shake a defender inside of a telephone booth. Sam “Superman” James had 917 yards (21.8 ypc) last season and 8 touchdown in 10 games last season. He is an elite athlete who ran a 4.3 this offseason and is currently committed to West Virginia. Johns Creek tight end Zach Williams led the state at his position with 979 yards, 43 receptions and 9 touchdowns. He shows a special knack at going up for the pass and high-pointing the ball over the defensive back.
Stephenson offensive lineman Jalil Irvin absolutely obliterates defenders out of the play. The Auburn commit shows elite quickness getting out of his stance and down field to make key blocks in Stephenson’s run-heavy offense. Dylan Wonnum is a fantastic athlete at Tucker who uses his 6’5″ 280-pound frame to demolish his opponent right when the ball is snapped. Several of the top colleges in the country are after Dylan, but no decision has been made. Trey Hill from Houston County is a wide-bodied lineman with tree-trunks for legs. He plays with a rock-solid base that stalwarts any chance of a defender making it pass him. Junior Uzebu from Alpharetta is a dominating raw talent that has made major strides this offseason. At 6’6″, and 315 pounds the 16-year old is physically imposing to say the least. Lanier center Collin Foster was 2nd Team All-Gwinnett county. He is a fundamentally sound center who quickly plants the defender into the ground. Warren McClendon is an absolute bear out there on the field. The junior from Brunswick has really light feet and does an exceptional job of using his hands.
Dynamic do-it-all athlete Jayce Rogers played a pivotal role last year for Valdosta’s state championship team on both sides of the ball. He locked the team’s best receiver and is one of the most dangerous athletes with the ball in his hands in Georgia. He just recently committed to West Virginia. Taurean Taylor returned one kickoff and two punts for touchdowns. The speedy athlete has been clocked running a sub-4.4 forty-time. He totaled about 1500 yards of offense and was an All-Metro pick by the AJC.
Ivan Mora for Dalton knocked in 12 of 17 field goals last year with a long of 48 yards. He is only a junior, but making a return from all-state after last year’s selection. Douglas County’s Diego Huerta averaged 39.3 yards per punt last year as a freshman. He won All-Region honors last year.
Alpharetta defensive lineman Nick Markus totaled 14.5 sacks and 24 tackles for loss last year. He is the 2nd highest at both categories, and this fall should be another great season for the physically tough lineman. Terrell Paxton anchored the middle last year for Tucker and is one of the best two-way lineman in Class 6-A. He has really aggressive hands, and shows a ton of urgency in the way he plays the game. Coffee’s Derick Newton, was from a statistical stand point, the best defender in the state of Georgia last year. He destroyed opponents’ offensive lines last year collecting 107 tackles, and led the state of Georgia with 36 tackles for loss and 23 sacks. The 6’1″ 270-pound senior has offers from Virginia, Kansas State, Georgia State and Georgia Southern. Heritage senior Kurott Garland had an impressive 126 tackles (72 solo), 22 tackles for loss and 12 sacks last season. The star defender has a high motor and is the returning tackle leader on the defensive line in Class 6-A. Antonio Showers from Tucker rounds out the defensive line. The senior is a turnover magnet, and last year forced 4 fumbles, recovered 2 fumbles, and picked off a pass that he returned for a touchdown. He also had 68 tackles, 17 for a loss, and 11.5 sacks.
Jameon Gaskins is a linebacker from Coffee who made 166 tackles (12.8 per game) and 11 tackles for loss. The senior is a secure tackler with immense strength, tearing the ball carrier to the ground like a rag doll. He has improved his speed and now runs a 4.68 forty-time. Zakoby McClain from Valdosta is nearly unblockable, and single-handily shut down Tucker’s offense in the state championship game where he made 14 tackles and 4 tackles for a loss. Last season he was a classification leader with 123 tackles and 20 tackles for loss. Keith Harris is the returning tackle leader in Class 6-A after his 175 total performance last year. The Gainesville senior is built like a brick-house at 6′ 235-pounds and is a weight room legend. Michael Harris is the 6th and final Tucker player to make our preseason all-state team. He just recently committed to Auburn, and is the #1 rated inside linebacker in our database.
Nasir Love-Porter from Dalton was a classification leader last year with 6 interceptions. The lockdown cornerback has quick hips and a very aggressive play style. The third and final player from Alpharetta is Jaycee Horn. Last season he totaled 7 interceptions and had a jaw-dropping 25 pass breakups. Horn blew up in the offseason receiving over 40 offers in the course of a few months. Needless to say he is a coveted corner. Coffee corner Jarquavius Jefferson led Class 6-A with 8 interceptions and also had 16 pass deflections. The lightening-quick senior also amassed 68 tackles, 58 of which were solo. Otis Reese from Lee County is the biggest hitting defensive back in Georgia. He glides across the field and cuts down the ball carrier way earlier than most safeties. Stephenson’s Justin Birdsong collected 81 tackles last year and 2 interceptions. The App State commit has an elite combination of speed and field awareness, which makes him look like a blur moving across the field on pass breakups. Aaron Casey is another powerful hitting safety who collected 84 tackles last season, 4 interceptions and forced two fumbles. The Alexander senior is planning on enrolling at Indiana at the next level.
All stats are from MaxPreps or the Recruit Georgia database.