Zeb McKinzey, a tackle from Parkview in Lilburn, Ga., who in 2002 became the only lineman ever to be named Georgia’s all-classification player of the year, had an uneventful career at the University of Georgia that was ended by injuries. Jeff Francoeur, McKinzey’s teammate during Parkview’s state-record 46-game winning streak of the early 2000s, didn’t play college football. He became a major leaguer with the Braves and Mets.
Georgia’s all-decade team contains them all. The choices were difficult, especially when weighing high school success with how the players performed at the next levels. Calvin Johnson was an all-state wide receiver at Sandy Creek before becoming an All-American at Georgia Tech and eventually the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft. While he had an outstanding high school career, he failed to make this team against receivers who had more catches and yards as seniors as Johnson did in his final two high school seasons combined.
Exclusively for MaxPreps, this is the Georgia High School Football Daily’s all-classification all-decade team:
QB – Hutson Mason, Lassiter (2009)
2009 Georgia Sports Writers Association all-class player of the year; 2009 Georgia Gatorade player of the year; threw for state records in passing yards (4,560) and touchdowns (54) in a season and led school to its first region championship in 28-year history; committed to Georgia.
RB – Jonathan Dwyer, Kell (2006)
2006 Parade All-American; 2006 Georgia Athletic Coaches Association offensive player of year in Class AAAAA; Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super 11; rushed for 1,863 yards as senior, 1,802 as junior; 5,565 for his career; led school to its only region championship; 2008 ACC player of the year at Georgia Tech.
RB – Washaun Ealey, ECI (2008)
2008 Parade All-American; 2008 AJC Super 11; 2007 unanimous all-classification player of the year; set Georgia single-season record with 58 touchdowns in 2007; set career touchdown record of 133 touchdowns; rushed for 8,108 yards in his career; led school to its only state title in 2007; leading rusher for Georgia as a true freshman in 2009.
WR – Tavarres King, Habersham Central (2007)
AJC Super 11; caught 207 passes for 3,726 yards, 37 touchdowns in his career; set single-season state records for receptions (99), yardage (1,634) in 2007; current starting wide receiver at Georgia.
WR – Da'Rick Rogers, Calhoun (2009)
2009 AJC all-class player of year; 2009 MaxPreps first-team All-American; AJC Super 11 selection; state-record 1,647 yards receiving, breaking Tavarres King's record; led team to consecutive state finals in Class AA; committed to Georgia.
TE – Leonard Pope, Americus (2001)
Two-time first-team all-state for school that won back-to-back Class AA championship; over 50 receptions over junior/senior seasons; all-SEC tight end at Georgia; 33 starts in his four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.
OL – Marcus McNeill, Cedar Grove (2001)
2001 SuperPrep All-American; four-year starter in high school; two-time All-American at Auburn; named to Sporting News' all-decade team for college football 2000-09; starter the past four seasons at tackle for the San Diego Chargers.
OL – Zeb McKinzey, Parkview (2002)
2002 AJC all-class player of year, the only offensive lineman ever to win that award; AJC Super 11; led team to three straight 15-0 seasons in the highest classification and a state-record 46-game winning streak (since broken); injury-shortened career at Georgia.
OL – Sergio Render, Newnan (2004)
Two-year starter who led team to 12-2 finish as junior; credited with more than 100 pancake blocks his final two seasons; 2004 AJC all-state, though largely underrated as a high school player; four-year starter at Virginia Tech and all-ACC performer; one of the top guard prospects for 2010 NFL Draft.
OL – Duke Robinson, Washington (2004)
Three-year starter credited with 87 pancake blocks as a senior for school that in 2004 experienced its best finish (11-2) in the state playoffs since integration; All-American at Oklahoma; currently a guard for the Carolina Panthers.
OL – Chris Scott, Lovejoy (2004)
2004 Parade All-American; second-team USA Today All-American; U.S. Army All-American; AJC Super 11; allowed no sacks as a high school senior; three-year starter at Tennessee.
DL – Jasper Brinkley, Thomson (2002)
2002 first-team all-state on school's Class AAA championship team; three-year starter at linebacker for South Carolina; all-SEC; 2009 rookie with the Minnesota Vikings.
DL – Jermaine Cunningham, Stephenson (2005)
2004-05 all-state; made 25 sacks as a senior on team that reached Class AAAAA semifinals; three-year starter at Florida, member of 2008 national championship team; rated as one of top 10 defensive end prospects for 2010 NFL Draft.
DL – Abry Jones, Northside (2008)
2008 AJC and GSWA defensive player of year; 2008 AJC Super 11; 2008 MaxPreps second-team All-American; starter on school's 2007 Class AAAA champions; team was 54-3 in his four high school seasons; projected starter as 2010 true sophomore at Georgia.
DL – Charles Johnson, Hawkinsville (2003)
2003 AJC Super 11; 2003 AJC Class A defensive player of the year; 2003 GSWA Class A player of the year; credited with 16 sacks on school's 2003 Class A 15-0 championship team; all-SEC pick at Georgia; in third season with Carolina Panthers.
LB – Tray Blackmon, LaGrange
2004 unanimous Georgia all-class player of year; 2004 Parade All-American; 2003-04 GACA Class AAA player of the year; led team to AAA state titles as junior, senior; erratic college career at Auburn; played 2009 season with Calgary Stampeders of CFL.
LB – Rennie Curran, Brookwood (2006)
AJC Super 11; 2005-06 first-team all-state by AJC, GSWA; 2006 GACA defensive player of the year in Class AAAAA; three-year starter at Georgia, all-SEC; declared for the 2010 NFL Draft as a junior.
LB – Sam Olajubutu, LaGrange (2001)
2001 AJC defensive player of the year in Class AAA; made 170 tackles for 2001 Class AAA state championship team; All-SEC player at Arkansas; brief NFL career.
DB – Eric Berry, Creekside (2006)
2006 all-classification player of the year by AJC, GSWA; 2006 Parade All-American; two-way player in high school who rushed and passed for more than 1,000 yards; led team to 37-5 record as starting quarterback; two-time All-America safety at Tennessee; possible No. 1 overall pick in 2010 NFL Draft.
DB – Jeff Francoeur, Parkview (2001)
2001 all-class player of year; had 15 interceptions, 837 receiving yards, 14 touchdowns as a junior; over 1,000 yards receiving as a senior; top player on two 15-0 Class AAAAA championship teams; committed to Clemson to play tight end but signed with the Atlanta Braves.
DB – Alec Ogletree, Newnan (2009)
2009 AJC Super 11; 2009 USA Today All-American; 2009 AJC defensive player of the year in Class AAAAA; two-way star who led 13-1 team in receptions with over 40 catchers in 2009; school is 25-2 the past two seasons; committed to Georgia, rated as one of best five safety prospects in the nation.
DB – Greg Reid, Lowndes (2008)
2008 all-classifcation player of year; only three-time first-team all-state player in Georgia's highest class (AAAAA) for the decade; 2008 Parade All-American; MVP of 2008 Under Armour All-Star Game; two-way player who rushed for over 1,000 yards as junior and senior; won state title in 2007; freshman All-SEC in 2009 at Florida State.
PK – Joe Mansour, LaGrange (2009)
2009 AJC, GSWA first-team all-state; made field goals of 59, 56, 52 yards as senior; sent 84 percent of kickoffs into end zone; committed to Kentucky.
P – Shawn Powell, Darlington (2006)
2006 first-team AJC, GSWA all-state; averaged 51 yards per punt as senior; two-year starter at Florida State.