Lassiter quarterback Hutson Mason and Calhoun wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers have won Georgia's most prestigious Player of the Year awards.
Mason was the pick of the Associated Press, which comes from a vote of the Georgia Sports Writers Association. Rogers was the Player of the Year for the state's largest newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The AP and the AJC do not pick all-classification all-state teams. Here's a stab at it on behalf of the Georgia High School Football Daily:
QB Mason Hutson, Lassiter: Mason (committed to Georgia) set the Georgia record for passing yards (4,560) and passing touchdowns (54) in a season. He was largely ignored by major colleges until recently, when Georgia made an offer that he quickly accepted. Lassiter finished 12-1 in Class AAAAA and won its first region title in school history.
RB Storm Johnson, Loganville: Johnson (committed to Miami) rushed for 1,937 yards and 31 touchdowns in 11 games. His yards-per-game average was the best in Georgia. Johnson’s team was only 6-5, but Johnson played against four ''elite eight'' teams in Class AAAA and averaged 181 yards rushing against them.
RB Isaiah Crowell, Carver (Columbus): Crowell, whom some consider Georgia’s top-rated junior prospect, rushed for 1,907 and 22 touchdowns and averaged over 10 yards per carry. Carver won its region and advanced to the AAA quarterfinals.
WR Tai-ler Jones, Gainesville: Jones (committed to Notre Dame) had 75 receptions for 1,394 yards and 18 touchdowns for AAA runner-up Gainesville.
WR Da’Rick Rogers, Calhoun: Rogers (committed to Georgia) set the state record for receiving yards in a season with 1,641. He had 84 receptions, 22 for touchdowns.
TE Jrametries Kirksay, Washington County: Kirksay, a junior, was his team’s leading receiver and best blocker (averaged five pancakes a game, according to coaches). He also was a force on defense. He made nine sacks, including three against eventual state champion Peach County in the Class AAA second round.
OL David Beasley, Carver (Columbus): Beasley (committed to Auburn) is the top lineman on a team that rushed for 3,507 yards and passed for 1,687 during an 11-2 campaign. He had 70 pancake blocks.
OL Ed Christian, Lowndes: Christian (committed to Auburn) is a three-year starter for a nationally prominent program that was 10-2 this season, with both losses coming to the state finalists in Class AAAAA. He was a preseason statewide Super 11 player.
OL Kolton Houston, Buford: Houston (committed to Georgia) is a two-way starter on a three-time state champion. He had 93 tackles on defense and graded 92 percent on offense with 33 pancakes
OL Ja’Wuan James, North Gwinnett: James (committed to Tennessee) is a two-year starter that didn’t give up a sack and had 74 pancake blocks this season for a team that went 12-1.
OL Austin Shepherd, North Gwinnett: Shephard (committed to Alabama) is a three-year starter for a team that went 12-1 in 2008. He allowed one sack in his career in a spread offense and had 104 pancake blocks as a senior.
PK Joe Mansour, LaGrange: Mansour (committed to Kentucky) made field goals of 52 and 56 yards and sent 84 percent of his kickoffs into the end zone.
DL Michael Thornton, Stephenson: Thornton, the top uncommitted prospect in Georgia, was his region’s Defensive Player of the Year from a defense that might’ve been the state’s best. He had 78 tackles, 13 for losses.
DL T.J. Stripling, Southwest DeKalb: Stripling was the AJC’s Defensive Player of the Year in Class AAAA. He had 22 sacks and another 21 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. His team was 10-2.
DL Corey Crawford, Carver (Columbus): Crawford (committed to Clemson) was the AJC’s Defensive Player of the Year in Class AAA. Crawford had nine sacks and 14 other tackles for losses for a AAA quarterfinalist.
DL Shawn Green, Grayson: Green (committed to Georgia Tech) was the Gwinnett Daily Post’s County Player of the Year on defense. He had 20 tackles behind the line of scrimmage for a team ranked No. 1 most of the season in AAAAA. Grayson lost in the quarterfinals and finished 12-1.
LB Tyrone Cornelius, Stephenson: Cornelius (committed to Miami) had over 100 tackles for a defense loaded with Division I-A prospects. Stephenson finished 11-1 and was upset 22-21 in the second round by Colquitt County.
LB Jessel Curry, Buford: Curry (committed to Auburn) was the AJC’s and the AP’s Defensive Player of the Year in Class AA and the prototype fullback/linebacker two-way player. He had 118 tackles and five interceptions on defense and 993 total yards and 24 touchdowns on offense.
LB Telvin Smith, Lowndes: Smith (committed to Florida State) was the best defender on a defense that allowed 9.75 points per game. Smith had 121 tackles, and average of 10 a game, and made three interceptions. Lowndes finished 10-2.
DB Isaiah Johnson, Sandy Creek: Johnson (committed to Georgia Tech) was the AP’s Defensive Player of the Year in AAAA and led his school to its first state championship. Johnson had over 100 tackles and six interceptions. He returned two for touchdowns, including a 97-yarder in a semfinal upset of No. 1-ranked Griffin.
DB Alec Ogletree, Newnan: Ogletree (committed to Georgia) was the AJC’s and the AP’s Defensive Player of the Year in AAAAA. He made 85 tackles at safety for a 13-1 team that led the state in scoring defense. Ogletree also had 40 receptions on offense.
DB Brian Randolph, Kell: A junior, Randolph will be one of Georgia’s big names in 2010. In 2009, this Under Armor All-American had over 10 tackles a game as a safety. He also rushed for 1,303 yards in 11 games at running back. He has several major Division I-A offers.
DB Brison Williams, Northside: Williams (committed to South Carolina) was the Defensive Player of the Year in 1-AAAAA, Georgia’s region, and was the best player on the runner-up team in the highest classification. He had 88 tackles, 10 for losses, and three interceptions.
P Richie Leone, Roswell: Leone (committed to Houston) averaged 44.1 yards per kick with 4.3-second hang time on non-pooch punts. Leone also was his team’s place kicker and hit 39 touchbacks in 52 kickoffs, 16 that went 70 yards.
ATH Ean Days, Camden County: Days was the top player on Georgia’s top team, the two-time Class AAAAA champions. He rushed for 1,421 yards and 25 touchdowns. He started on defense at linebacker through the second half of the season and made 38 tackles. He returned three kicks for touchdowns, one to open the state championship game.
Todd Holcomb is the editor of Georgia High School Football Daily.