Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Inside the Super 11

Stephenson defensive tackle Michael Thornton tells the AJC’s Chip Towers that he’s miffed at his snub from the GHSF Daily/Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Super 11 team. “It kind of ticks me off a little bit, yeah,” Thornton says in Towers’ AJC blog. “I felt I deserved to be in there.”

Our response: We don’t blame him. Picking a Super 11 or an all-state team accurately is almost impossible because it’s subjective, and no one has the time or resources to analyze every candidate fairly. For the 2009 GHSF Daily Super 11 team, we considered the recruit’s high school production and his projected abilities at the next level. If it were simply college potential, we’d just tally the opinions of the recruiting services (which we’ve done below) and be done with it. But we don’t want to choose players who are just OK so far in high school but who have tested off the charts in summer camps and combines.

Below, we look at the top 40 recruits in Georgia based on a consensus of Rivals (R), Scout (S) and ESPN (E). Then we comment on how the players have done on the field. Thornton has a good argument. (Glad it was Towers and not us taking the heat Monday at Stephenson’s practice.)

Be aware that there were several Super 11 candidates that didn’t make this top 40 list. Among them are Lassiter quarterback Hutson Mason, Grayson running back Ean Pemberton and North Clayton running back and linebacker Clarence Jackson.

Three final observations: 1. Some players – we’re not naming names – did not make all-state in 2008 because their head coaches did not reach out to the media during the December roll call, or vice versa; 2. Some statistics that you read online, especially on recruiting sites, are more accurate than others; 3. South Georgia players are under-represented in recruiting services this year.

Our Super 11 picks are highlighted in bold.

1. Alec Ogletree – DB, Newnan: R3 S1 E3 AVG – 2.3 — First team all-state as a junior. Had 75 tackles and six blocked kicks for 13-1 team.

2T. Da’Rick Rogers- WR, Calhoun: R1 S5 E4 AVG – 3.3 — Caught 47 passes in 15 games for Class AA runner-up. First team all-region in 7-AA.

2T. Mack Brown – RB, M.L. King: R6 S3 E1 AVG – 3.3 — Rushed for 1,660 yards (9.4 per carry) for 8-3 team. Honorable mention all-state.

4. Markeith Ambles – WR, Henry County: R4 S7 E6 AVG – 5.7 — 40 catches for region champion. Returned four KO for TDs. Honorable mention all-state.

5. T.J. Stripling – DE, Southwest DeKalb: R2 S6 E10 AVG – 6.0 — First-team all state in Class AAAA. Had 14 sacks, 18 other tackles for losses.

6. Garrison Smith – DT, Douglass: R5 S2 E16 AVG – 7.7 — 108 tackles, 27 for losses, 14 sacks, according to Rivals. Team was 3-7.

7. Tai-ler Jones – WR, Gainesville: R8 S8 E8 AVG – 8.0 — First team all state in Class AAA for 12-1 team. Had 81 receptions. Also a good punter.

8. Ja’Wuan James – OL, North Gwinnett: R11 S4 E11 AVG – 8.7 — Second team all-region for 10-3 team. Not nominated for all-state by GWSA.

9. Antonio Goodwin – WR, Washington: R21 S11 E2 AVG – 11.3 — About 30 receptions for 6-5 team. Not nominated for all-state by GWSA.

10. Brian Vogler – TE, Brookstone: R13 S21 E7 AVG – 13.7 — First team all-state in Class A. Had 19 receptions. Blocked for offense with 4,000 yards.

11. Storm Johnson – RB, Loganville: R12 S29 E5 AVG – 15.3 — Second-leading rusher (more than 1,200 yards) for Class AA champion Buford.

12. Michael Thornton – DT, Stephenson: R9 S15 E23 AVG – 15.7 — First team all-region in 2-AAAAA. 95 tackles, 15 for losses, on region championship team.

13. Jeffrey Whitaker – DT, Warner Robins: R10 S16 E24 AVG – 16.7 — Not nominated for all-state by GWSA. Did not make first team all-region.

14. Jalen Fields – DE, Dalton: R7 S9 E35 AVG – 17.0 — 68 tackles, 8 sacks for 7-3 team. First team all-region in 7-AAAA. No all-state recognition.

15. Ryan Ayers – DB, South Paulding: R24 S10 E22 AVG – 18.7: Second team all-region in 7-AAAA. Had 45 tackles, five interceptions, 16 receptions.

16. Ken Malcome – RB, Southwest DeKalb: R27 S18 E12 AVG – 19.0: Rushed for 954 yards (6.7 per carry) for 9-4 team. First team all-region in 6-AAAA.

17. Michael Taylor – LB, Westlake: R26 S17 E17 AVG – 20.0: First team all-region in 4-AAAAA. Had 128 tackles, according to Rivals, on 6-4 team.

18. Garry Peters – DB, Heritage (Conyers): R15 S35 E15 AVG – 21.7: Not nominated for all-state by GSWA. Was not recognized on all-region teams.

19. Ed Christian – OL, Lowndes: R19 S26 E21 AVG – 22.0: First team all-state as junior. Started as a sophomore on state championship team.

20. Kolton Houston – OL, Buford: R47 S12 E9 AVG – 22.7: First team all state. “As athletic as Omar Hunter, as sound as Dallas Lee,” coach said.

21. Telvin Smith – LB, Lowndes: R37 S22 E14 AVG – 24.3: 97 tackles, but not among 13 Lowndes players who got all-region recognition in 2008.

22. Neiron Ball – DE, Jackson: R28 S13 E36 AVG – 25.7: 19 sacks, 35 tackles for loss on 10-1 team, according to Rivals. First team 4-AAA.

23. Darius Robinson – DB, Westlake: R16 S37 E25 AVG – 26.0: Second team all-Region 4-AAAAA. 43 tackles, 3 INTs, according to Rivals, on 6-4 team.

24. J.C. Copeland – DE, Troup: R23 S32 E26 AVG – 27.0: No statistics available. Not nominated for all-state.

25T. Denzel McCoy – DT, Northview: R14 S43 E29 AVG – 28.7: Two-year totals, per Rivals: 129 tackles, 18 for loss. Did not make all-region.

25T. Isaiah Johnson – DB, Sandy Creek: R18 S24 E44 AVG – 28.7: First team all-state (GSWA, GACA). Made 53 tackles, 7 interceptions on 11-1 team.

27. Ronald Carswell- WR, Westside (Macon): R33 S19 E43 AVG – 31.7: Second team all-region in 1-AAAA. Made 27 receptions for 424 yards.

28T. Brandon Burrows – DE, Walton: R43 S25 E28 AVG – 32.0: Suffered ACL injury in spring. Out for the season.

28T. Shawn Green – DT, Grayson: R49 S20 E27 AVG – 32.0: Had 54 tackles, 4 sacks, for 13-1 team in Class AAAAA. Second team all-county.

30. Victor Beasley – ATH, Adairsville: R32 S46 E20 AVG – 32.7: No statistics available. Not nominated for all-state.

31. Shaun Kitchens – ATH, Banneker: R41 S50 E13 AVG – 34.7: Not among nine Banneker players who got all-region recognition in 5-AAAA.

32. Anthony Williams – DE, Union Grove: R22 S47 E39 AVG – 36.0: First team all-region in 2-AAAAA. 76 tackles, 16 for loss, 7 sacks.

33. B.J. Bostic – DB, Jefferson County: R17 S42 E53 AVG – 37.3: Two-year totals: More than 2,600 yards passing, 2,600 rushing. Team was 9-3 last season.

34. Blake Sims – ATH, Gainesville: R51 S14 E47 AVG – 37.3: 2,453 yards passing, 822 rushing, 42 total TDs. Region player of year on 12-1 team.

35. Connor Shaw – QB, Flowery Branch: R38 S33 E41 AVG – 37.3: More than 2,220 yards passing, 1,000 yards rushing, 32 total TD, for Class AAA runner-up.

36. Corey Crawford – DE, Carver (Columbus): R61 S23 E32 AVG – 38.7: 53 tackles, 7 for losses, for 11-3 team in Class AAA.

37. Jonathan Mincy – DB, Southwest DeKalb: R31 S40 E45 AVG – 38.7: Made 56 tackles, team-leading 4 interceptions. Second team all-region in 6-AAAA.

38. Fred Holton – DB, Thomasville: R34 S56 E30 AVG – 40.0: Not among four Thomasville players who made first team all-region in 1-AA.

39. Tyrone Cornileus – LB, Stephenson: R46 S44 E33 AVG – 41.0: Stats (117 tackles) nearly identical to all-state teammate Nigel-Mitchell Thornton.

40. Michael Bennett – WR, Alpharetta: R30 S30 E69 AVG – 43.0: Caught 22 passes for 533 yards. Did not make all-region team.

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August 26th, 2009
10:53 am

The kid ambles cannot catch the football.Jones is a better player.


August 26th, 2009
12:04 pm

Michael Copeland of Lowndes from the Defensive end position because he will be there in the end. Most of his tackles were made after being moved back to DE last year. He is back at DE again this year and looked very good last Friday night.

Hurricane on the move

August 26th, 2009
12:54 pm

Tyrone Cornileus also should have been considered for Super 11. This kid is by far the fastest linebacker in the state if not the country, running a 4.41 in the 40yd dash at a Scout Combine, withness by everyone. However, Scout and Scott Kennedy lost his score card. They post a time under his name from a card that did not have a name on it. He has been called a tackling machine. Not mentioned in your spread is that he is a All-Region 2AAAAA. He recently committed to Miami. Its my understanding that Miami feels that Tyrone plays like a South Florida football player with speed and aggression. I think the only reason he is not rated as high is because of his size. (6′2″-195)He has the frame for growth and any kind rank ahead of him is only because of size and not what happens on the field. Miami got an exceptional player that everyone will get to know in the future at the next level.

kevin rollins

August 26th, 2009
11:26 pm

Spalding High School has a defensive front that looks pretty impressive. I know they struggle year to year but my cousin said the front four may anchor that team this year. They have a nose that stands 6′5 and weighs 300. He runs a legit 4.6. My cousin said this is the kids first year playing football. He was a varsity basketball player.

Reck in effect

August 27th, 2009
10:59 am

I’m looking at the list and I can defenitely tell you that some of these numbers are inflated. In particularlly Garrison Smith. There is no way that a defensive end could have 108 tackles in a season. If he is clearly that dominant of a player which I have watched him on film and he is very good. A coach would be a fool to attempt to run off tackle after a couple of trys. You have listed that Denzel McCoy did not make the all region, but infact he did along with the all county team. The ajc published this.


August 29th, 2009
6:25 pm

You better put Strom Johnson as the number 1 on that list.


August 29th, 2009
6:29 pm

John would had all the running stats if not for the coaching . Ahd they still might have him.