The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Associated Press announced their all-state teams on Christmas Day. This week, GHSF Daily is going through each classification, one per day, to look at the selections and provide some insight on how these teams are chosen.
The AJC’s all-state team was picked this year by GHSF Daily. Todd Holcomb, a former AJC sports writer, has coordinated the selection of the AJC’s team the past three years. The AP team is chosen by a panel of Georgia sports writers.
Here are players who made first-team all-state in Class AA:
Coach of the Year: Jess Simpson, Buford (AP, AJC)
Player of the year: Da’Rick Rodgers, Calhoun (AP)
Player of the year: B.J. Bostic, Jefferson County (AJC)
QB: Nash Nance, Calhoun (AP)
QB: B.J. Bostic, Jefferson County (AJC)
RB: Ralph D. Abernathy, Westminster (AP, AJC)
RB: Marquis Terrell, Callaway (AP)
RB: Keith Christopher, Brooks County (AJC)
WR: Markeith Ambles, Henry County (AP, AJC)
WR: Da’Rick Rogers, Calhoun (AP, AJC)
TE/WR: Blake Gowder, Union County (AP, AJC)
OL: Kolton Houston, Buford (AP, AJC)
OL: Du’Von Millsap, Buford (AP, AJC)
OL: Kyle Harris, Pepperell (AP)
OL: Andrew Bridges, Westminster (AP)
OL: Catlin Alford, Adairsville (AP)
OL: Hunter Gay, Swainsboro (AJC)
OL: Parker Fletcher, Vidalia (AJC)
OL: Lawrence Virgil, Brooks County (AJC)
PK: Adam Griffith, Calhoun (AP)
PK: Tommy Harris, Armuchee (AJC)
Player of the year: Jessel Curry, Buford (AP, AJC)
DL: Dale Howard, Appling County (AP, AJC)
DL: Jeremy Phillips, Blessed Trinity (AP)
DL: Matthew Hardeman, Avondale (AP)
DL: Jesse Webb, North Oconee (AP)
DL: Catlin Alford, Adairsville (AJC)
DL: Andrew Bridges, Westminster (AJC)
DL: Jared Moyston, Manchester (AJC)
LB: Victor Beasley, Adairsville (AP, AJC)
LB: Lanoris Christopher, Thomasville (AP, AJC)
LB: Jessel Curry, Buford (AP, AJC)
LB: Lucas Redd, Jefferson (AP)
DB: Kedron Aker, Calhoun (AP, AJC)
DB: Fred Holton, Thomasville (AP, AJC)
DB: Deon Smalls, Fitzgerald (AP, AJC)
DB: Andre Jefferson, Southwest (AP)
DB: Jake Skole, Blessed Trinity (AJC)
P: Dylan Shaddix, Henry County (AP, AJC)
ATH: B.J. Bostic, Jefferson County (AP)
ATH: Trenton Pruitt, Fitzgerald (AJC)
RET: Senorise Perry, Chattooga (AP)
AP honorable mention: QB Devon Blankenship, Brantley County; ATH Mike Bloodser, Lamar County; RB Zach Boden, Lovett; ATH Quan Bray, Callaway; QB Jonathan Carkhuff, Lovett; RB Dustin Christian, Calhoun; RB Keith Christopher, Brooks County; OL William Dunn, Jefferson County; QB Malcolm Eady, Swainsboro; RB Greg Gates, Manchester; WR Quantavious Leslie, Callaway; ATH Taylor Mack, Lovett; LB Taylor Maxey, North Oconee; DB Donovan McCloud, Dublin; QB Chris Milton, Charlton County; QB Darius Minor, Jefferson; QB Kaleb Nobles, Fitzgerald; QB Kolt Owenby, Union County; ATH Mike Palmer, Northeast-Macon; ATH Trenton Pruitt, Fitzgerald; DB Jake Skole, Blessed Trinity; WR Shavarez Smith, Henry County; RB Max Thompson, Avondale; DL Dalvin Tomlinson, Henry County; WR Max Williams, Lovett.
AJC honorable mention: QB Jonathan Carkhuff, Lovett; QB Malcolm Eady, Swainsboro; QB Chris Milton, Charlton County; QB Nash Nance, Calhoun; QB Kaleb Nobles, Fitzgerald; QB Darius Minor, Jefferson; QB Devon Blankenship, Brantley County; QB Kolt Owenby, Union County; QB Mike Palmer, Northeast-Macon; RB Max Thompson, Avondale; RB Brandon Whitlock, North Oconee; RB Nic Williams, Fitzgerald; RB Greg Gates, Manchester; RB Marquis Terrell, Callaway; RB Deon Sewell, East Jackson; WR Lynquez Blair, Swainsboro; WR Donovan Bolden, Charlton County; WR, Quantavious Leslie, Callaway; WR Julian Horton, GAC; OL William Dunn, Jefferson County; LB Izhia Roundtree, Vidalia; LB Lucas Redd, Jefferson; LB Jake Schmidt, Armuchee; ATH Senorise Perry, Chattooga; ATH Taylor Mack, Lovett.
Da’Rick Rogers vs. B.J. Bostic (POY): We picked Rogers as the all-class player of the year, and you can’t win that and the offensive player of the year, too. So we picked Bostic there. The AP picked Lassiter QB Hutson Mason from AAAAA as its all-class player of the year.
Nash Nance vs. B.J. Bostic (QB): Nance threw for a little more than 3,000 yards for a 14-1 team. Bostic is a thoroughly different sort of QB. He rushed and passed for more than 1,000 yards, something he’s done for three consecutive years. There were lots of first-team quality QBs in AA this season, including Jonathan Carkhuff of Lovett and Chris Milton of Charlton County.
Marquis Terrell vs. Keith Christopher (RB): Terrell rushed for 1,628 yards and 29 touchdowns for a quarterfinal team. If any player fell between the cracks, it might’ve been Terrell. We went with Christopher, who had fewer yards but has had a better career (3,000 yards in two seasons), over the junior Terrell.
Kyle Harris/Andrew Bridges/Catlin Alford vs. Hunter Gay/Parker Fletcher/Lawrence Virgil (OL): This is where it gets interesting. We moved Adairsville’s Alford and Westminster’s Bridges to first-team defense in an effort to “get the best 11 players on the field” on offense and defense. Virgil of Brooks County was one of our preseason all-state players who had another good year. We also went with Swainsboro’s Gay, who didn’t allow a sack for a top-notch team, and Vidalia’s Fletcher, a four-year starter. The AP chose Harris of Pepperell, a top Division I-A recruit who had a reported 75 knockdown blocks for a 9-2 team.
Adam Griffith vs. Tommy Harris (PK): Two kickers from the same region, Griffith from Calhoun, Harris from Armuchee. Both made field goals of at least 50 years this year. Both are good punters, too. We picked Harris, a senior who put 58 percent of his kickoffs in the end zone, over the sophomore.
Jeremy Phillips/Matthew Hardeman/Jesse Webb vs. Andrew Bridges/Catlin Alford/Jared Moyston (DL): This is where we put Adairsville’s Alford and Westminster’s Bridges, whom the AP placed on the offensive line. We also picked Manchester’s Moyston, the defensive player of the year in Region 5-AA. The AP picked Hardeman (Avondale’s first first-team all-state player since 1987) and Webb (North Oconee’s first non-kicker to make first-team all-state). The AP also went with Phillips, an Ivy League recruit from Blessed Trinity who had 11.5 sacks in 10 games.
Andre Jefferson vs. Jake Skole (DB): Jefferson, of Southwest (Macon), had more tackles and such. We picked Skole of Blessed Trinity despite an injury-shortened season because he’s just that good. He has committed to Georgia Tech.
B.J. Bostic vs. Trenton Pruitt (ATH): Here’s where all-state teams get very tough to pick. If you do what the AP did – make Bostic your first-team athlete – then you’ve squeezed out what I’d call a high school superstar in Pruitt of Fitzgerald, merely the player of the year in powerful Region 1-AA. Pruitt had nearly 1,000 yards both rushing and receiving. There’s no other place to put Pruitt because he isn’t super strong at any one thing. On the other hand, if you make Pruitt the first-team athlete, you’ve got to decide at quarterback among Bostic, Jonathan Carkhuff of Lovett, Chris Milton of Charlton County and Nance Nash of Calhoun.
1-AA: AP 3; AJC 6
2-AA: AP 1; AJC 1
3-AA: AP 1; AJC 3
4-AA: AP 3; AJC 2
5-AA: AP 1; AJC 1
6-AA: AP 7; AJC 6
7-AA: AP 8; AJC 5
8-AA: AP 3; AJC 1