Marietta captured the Class AAAAAAA high school football championship in Georgia last year with a win over Lowndes (Valdosta). Heading into the 2020 season, however, it's Lowndes that looks like the championship team.
The 2019 runner-up has three players on the MaxPreps preseason Georgia All-State high school team — the most of any school in the state. Marietta, which graduated two of the state's top players last year in quarterback Harrison Bailey and tight end Arik Gilbert, did not have a player on the preseason squad.
Lowndes is ranked No. 12 in the MaxPreps Top 100 preseason rankings. Grayson, which is the highest-rated Georgia team at No. 9, has two players on the preseason squad, as does Westlake, North Gwinnett and Warner Robins.
QB — Gunner Stockton, Rabun County (Tiger) | 6-1 | 212 | Jr.
As a sophomore, Stockton was among the leaders in passing with 3,473 yards and 40 touchdowns and was a Class AA all-state selection by the Atlanta Journal Constitution. He led Rabun County to the third round of the playoffs.QB — Brock Vandagriff, Prince Avenue Christian (Athens) | 6-3 | 200 | Sr.
The Georgia-bound quarterback was a first team all-state Class A-Private pick after throwing for 2,471 yards and 31 touchdowns.RB — Cody Brown, Parkview (Lilburn, Ga.) | 6-0 | 215 | Sr.
Brown will play at Tennessee next year. He was Class AAAAAAA first team pick while rushing for a team that went 12-2 and reached the state semifinals.RB — Amaad Foston, John Milledge Academy (Milledgeville) | 6-0 | 200 | Sr.
Foston led his team to a 13-0 record and a GISA AAA state championship while leading the state in rushing with 2,772 yards and 46 touchdowns.WR — Deion Colzie, Athens Academy (Athens) | 6-4 | 193 | Sr.
The top-ranked wide receiver in the state by 247Sports, Colzie was a Class A-Private All-State selection at defensive back last year.WR — DaeDae Reynolds, Grayson (Loganville) | 6-3 | 200 | Sr.
An All-State player at Central Gwinnett, Reynolds has transferred to Grayson. The Florida recruit caught 88 passes for 1,534 yards and 14 touchdowns.TE — Miles Campbell, South Paulding (Douglasville) | 6-4 | 230 | Sr.
Campbell will play at Tennessee next season. He caught 54 passes for 620 yards and seven touchdowns and made the Class AAAAAA All-State team.OL — Micah Morris, Camden County (Kingsland) | 6-6 | 320 | Sr.
Morris ranks as one of the top 10 offensive tackles in the nation, according to 247Sports. He was a Class AAAAAAA first team All-State pick.OL — Amarius Mims, Bleckley County (Cochran) | 6-8 | 325 | Sr.
247Sports has Mims ranked as the No.1 player in the state and the No. 2 offensive tackle in the country. He is most likely headed to Georgia and he was a Class AA all-state first team pick.OL — Royce White, Troup County (LaGrange) | 6-4 | 240 | Sr.
A Class AAAA all-state first team pick as an offensive lineman, White is also a highly-regarded defensive end. He is committed to play at Memphis.OL — Terrance Ferguson, Peach County (Fort Valley) | 6-4 | 300 | Sr.
Ranked the No. 2 offensive guard in the nation by 247Sports, Ferguson was a Class AAA all-state first team selection.OL — Bryson Estes, Eagle's Landing Christian Academy (McDonough) | 6-3 | 291 | Sr.
Eagle's Landing Christian won the Class A-Private state championship last year thanks in part to the blocking of Estes, who was a Class A-Private all-state honorable mention pick.AP — Jacurri Brown, Lowndes (Valdosta) | 6-4 | 205 | Sr.
A first team Class AAAAAAA all-state first team pick as a sophomore Brown threw for 1,340 yards and 10 touchdowns and rushed for 1,561 yards and 20 touchdowns.K — Alex Bacchetta, Westminster (Atlanta) | 6-3 | 195 | Jr.
A MaxPreps Small Schools All-American in 2019, Bacchetta ranks as one the top kicker in the Class of 2021 and the nation's No. 2 punter.
First Team Defense
DL — Nathan Vickers, Richmond Hill (Richmond Hill) | 6-2 | 210 | Sr.
Vickers earned Class AAAAAA all-state honors after racking up 84 tackles and 25 tackles for loss. He also led his team with 14 sacks.DL — Jonathan Jefferson, Douglas County (Douglasville) | 6-4 | 255 | Sr.
Georgia landed Jefferson, who is ranked No. 13 in the nation at defensive end by 247Sports. He had 77 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 15 sacks.DL — Thomas Davis, Lowndes (Valdosta) | 6-2 | 225 | Sr.
Davis was a standout on defense for the 14-1 Vikings as he had 47 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks.DL — Mykel Williams, Hardaway (Columbus) | 6-5 | 245 | Jr.
A Class AAAA All-State first team selection as a sophomore, Williams had 57 tackles, 18 tackles for loss and 10 sacks.LB — Barrett Carter, North Gwinnett (Suwanee) | 6-1 | 210 | Sr.
The Clemson-bound All-State selection is ranked as the No. 4 linebacker in the nation by 247Sports and the No. 4 player in Georgia.LB — Chaz Chambliss, Carrollton (Carrollton) | 6-3 | 240 | Sr.
Georgia landed Chambliss, who had 87 tackles, 25.5 tackles for loss and 15 sacks while earning Class AAAAA All-State honors.LB — Smael Mondon, Paulding County (Dallas) | 6-3 | 220 | Sr.
Mondon rushed for just over 500 yards last year for a 2-8 Paulding County team, but 247Sports ranks him as the No. 3 player in Georgia and the No. 2 linebacker in the nation.DB — Kaleb Edwards, Dacula | 6-0 | 190 | Sr.
Georgia Tech will be the future home of Edwards, who was a Class AAAAAAA All-State selection for a 13-1 team.DB — Caleb McDowell, Lee County (Leesburg) | 5-8 | 170 | Sr.
Although he is being recruited as a running back (he's committed to South Carolina), McDowell was first team Class AAAAAA All-State as a defensive back last year.DB — Cole Bishop, Starr's Mill (Fayetteville) | 6-2 | 190 | Sr.
Bishop earned All-Metro and All-State honors as a junior. He has committed to Duke.DB — Jordan Hancock, North Gwinnett (Suwanee) | 6-1 | 170 | Sr.
Headed to Clemson, Hancock is ranked No. 6 in the nation at cornerback by 247Sports. He had two interceptions as a junior.AP — Zavier Carter, Hapeville Charter (Atlanta) | 6-4 | 193 | Sr.
Carter racked up 41 tackles as a junior and is ranked as the No. 13 linebacker in the nation by 247Sports. He is headed to play at LSU.P — Kriston Esnard, Decatur | 5-10 | 170 | Sr.
Esnard averaged 41.4 yards per kick last year and was a Class AAAAA All-State selection.
Second Team Offense
QB — Tyler Morehead, Clinch County (Homerville) | 5-11 | 185 | Sr.
A dual-threat at quarterback, Morehead was a Class A-Public All-State selection and rushed for over 1,500 yards on the season.QB — Jalen Addie, Warner Robins | 6-3 | 202 | Sr.
A Class AAAAA All-State pick, Addie was one of the leading passers in the state last year with 2,297 yards and 23 touchdowns.
to Grayson for his senior year after leading McEachern (Powder Springs,
Ga.) to a 12-1 record and a quarterfinal appearance in 2019. The 4-star
quarterback accounted for nearly 4,000 yards of total offense and 39
touchdowns over the last two seasons and looks to lead the Rams to their
first 7A state championship since 2016.
RB — Omari Arnold, Brooks County (Quitman) | 5-8 | 160 | Jr.
As a sophomore, Arnold helped lead Brooks County to the state AA championship game as he rushed for 1,796 yards and 24 touchdowns.RB — Justice Haynes, Blessed Trinity (Roswell) | 5-8 | 170 | So.
Haynes was a freshman All-American last year after rushing for 1,754 yards and 18 touchdowns. He is the son of former NFL player Verron Haynes.WR — Jairus Mack, Clarke Central (Athens) | 5-10 | 170 | Sr.
The Class AAAAA All-State pick was among the state's leading receivers with 87 catches, 1,250 yards and 18 touchdowns.WR — Dacari Collins, Westlake (Atlanta) | 6-3 | 200 | Sr.
A transfer from McEachern, Collins was an All-State pick by the coaches association and has committed to play at Clemson.TE — Cane Berrong, Hart County (Hartwell) | 6-4 | 225 | Sr.
The Notre Dame prospect is rated by 247Sports as the No. 6 tight end in the nation. He earned Class AAA All-State honors last year.OL — Dylan Fairchild, West Forsyth (Cumming) | 6-5 | 298 | Sr.
Georgia has received a commitment from Fairchild, who is ranked as the No. 9 offensive guard in the nation by 247Sports.OL — Steven Nahmias, Marist (Atlanta) | 6-3 | 275 | Jr.
Nahmias is one of the state's top offensive linemen in the Class of 2021.OL — Weston Franklin, Wayne County (Jesup) | 6-4 | 308 | Sr.
Georgia Tech is the most likely destination for Franklin, who is ranked as the No. 24 guard in the nation by 247Sports.OL — Cameron Ball, Tri-Cities (East Point) | 6-5 | 290 | Sr.
Look for Ball to join Weston Franklin at Georgia Tech. Ball ranks as the No. 47 tackle in the nation by 247Sports.OL — Hugh Laughlin, Athens Academy (Athens) | 6-6 | 285 | Sr.
One of the top small school linemen in the state, Laughlin has committed to Virginia.K — Daniel Gibbs, Veterans (Kathleen) | 5-8 | 140 | Sr.
Gibbs was one of the top kickers in the state last year with 17 field goals and a total of 77 kicking points.
Second Team Defense
DL — Jonathan Brown, Riverwood (Atlanta) | 6-3 | 210 | Sr.
Brown was one of the state leaders in sacks last year with 19. He also had 50 tackles and 19 tackles for loss,DL — Demarius Jackson, Cedar Grove (Ellenwood) | 6-0 | 300 | Sr.
Jackson was one of the key defensive players for Cedar Grove, which won the Class AAA state championship.DL — Khristian Zachary, Carrollton | 6-3 | 245 | Sr.
Zachary is ranked as the No. 26 weakside defensive end in the nation by 247Sports.DL — Victoine Brown, Grayson (Loganville) | 6-4 | 227 | Sr.
A Louisville commit, Brown was a starter at Grayson where he had six tackles for loss on the season.LB — Ahmad Walker, Warner Robins | 6-0 | 235 | Sr.
Walker earned Class AAAAA All-State honors while grabbing two interceptions and making four sacks on the season.LB — West Weeks, Oconee County (Watkinsville) | 6-2 | 195 | Sr.
The Class AAAA All-State pick was among the leading tacklers in the state with 114.LB — Michael Mincey, Ware County (Waycross) | 6-1 | 210 | Sr.
Mincey led Ware County to the second round of the playoffs and landed on the Class AAAAA All-State team.DB — Nyland Green, Newton (Covington) | 6-2 | 183 | Sr.
Ranked by 247Sports as the No. 8 cornerback in the nation, Green is likely headed to Clemson.DB — Nathaniel Wiggins, Westlake | 6-2 | 170 | Sr.
Wiggins is ranked as the No. 10 cornerback in the nation and the No. 11 overall player in the state by 247Sports.DB — Khari Gee, Woodward Academy (College Park) | 6-3 | 185 | Sr.
LSU has a commitment from Gee, had had 58 tackles for Woodward Academy last year.DB — Zamon Ross, Schley County (Ellaville, Ga.) | 6-1 | 200 | Sr.
Ranked as the No. 31 player in the state by 247Sports, Ross had an interception on defense and rushed for 885 yards on offense.AP — David Daniel, Woodstock | 6-1 | 180 | Sr.
Considered one of the top safeties in the nation, Daniel has committed to play at Georgia.P — Marshall Nichols, Holy Innocents Episcopal (Atlanta) | 5-11 | 184 | Sr.
Nichols was a Class A-Private All-State player after averaging 46.4 yards per punt.