Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: All-Decade Team: Class AAA

We resume our look at all-decade teams today with Class AAA. You’d think we really love LaGrange, Carver and Dublin by the looks of this. Banneker and Gainesville, too. That’s just the way it worked out.

Here are the GHSF Daily’s picks for Class AAA all-decade team. Please submit your own selections below. Or tell us what you think of the GHSF Daily picks. (The year in parentheses is the last season played by each player.)

Player of the decade: Tray Blackmon, LaGrange
Coach of the decade: Steve Pardue, LaGrange
Team of the decade: 2004 LaGrange
Program of the decade: LaGrange


QB – Blake Sims, Gainesville (2009)
Two-time AP offensive player of the year; 4,500+ yards passing; Alabama
RB – Brandon Andrews, Swainsboro (2000)
Rushed for 2,814 yards on state championship team; Georgia Southern
RB – Tauren Poole, Stephens County (2008)
2007 GACA offensive player of year; 5,000+ career rushing yards; Tennessee
WR – Chris Slaughter, Peach County (2005)
More than 1,000 yards receiving as junior and senior; Auburn
WR – Tai-ler Jones, Gainesville (2009)
MaxPreps all-American; 148 catches as junior and senior; Notre Dame
TE – Bruce Figgins, Shaw (2006)
Unanimous all-state 2006; three career starts at Georgia
OL – David Beasley, Carver Columbus (2009)
Two-time all-state; committed to Clemson
OL – Johnnie Farms, Perry (2008)
Two-time all-state; AJC Super 11; Hargrave Academy
OL – Ian Smith, Cartersville (2004)
Two-time all-state; brief career at Georgia
OL – Fernando Velasco, Jefferson County (2002)
Two-time all-state; Georgia; Tennessee Titans
OL – Seth Watts, Washington County (2003)
Two-time all-state; brief career at Georgia
K – Joe Mansour, LaGrange (2009)
Two-time all-state; three FG of more than 50 yards; committed to Kentucky


DL – Corey Crawford, Carver Columbus (2009)
2009 AJC defensive player of the year; committed to Clemson
DL – Erik Walden, Dublin (2002)
19 sacks as senior; Middle Tennessee; Miami Dolphins
DL – Braxton Kelley, LaGrange (2004)
Two-time all-state; four-year starter at Kentucky; Denver Broncos
DL – Andre Fluellen, Cartersville (2002)
AJC all-state; three-year starter at Florida State
LB – Tray Blackmon, LaGrange
2004 all-class player of the year; Auburn; CFL
LB – Jarvis Jones, Carver Columbus (2008)
AJC Super 11; unanimous 2007 defensive player of the year; Southern Cal
LB – Sam Olajubutu, LaGrange (2001)
AJC 2001 defensive player of the year; All-SEC at Arkansas; brief NFL career
DB – Greg Blue, Banneker (2000)
All-American at Georgia; NFL
DB – Branden Smith, Washington (2008)
AJC Super 11; Parade All-American; Georgia
DB – Quintez Smith, Dublin (2002)
2002 AP class AAA player of the year; D-II all-American at Shaw
DB – Carlos Thomas, Banneker (2004)
DB/RB in high school; South Carolina; NFL; CFL
P – Brian Mimbs, Dublin (2002)
AJC 2002 first-team punter/kicker; all-SEC at Georgia

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32 comments Add your comment

Peach Enthusiast

January 6th, 2010
12:25 pm

Only 1 Peach County player after 3 State Championships…WoW


January 6th, 2010
12:39 pm

D.Furr & J.Fortson of Carver Col…..QB & WR…..Fortson is 2x better than TJ Jones


January 6th, 2010
2:10 pm

what happent to the linebacker from brookwood who ended up at UGA..he was great


January 6th, 2010
3:51 pm

LMAO…Peach Co got the big one this time!!!!!
LMAO,LMAO…. 3 state titles and like no players on the all-decade team…WOW

LB-Darius Dewberry was SUPER 11,and one of the best even to play at PC,and the state of GA

QB-Blake Sims wasnt near the player of Antonio Henton’s caliber….over 4,000 yards passing also…and a couple state rings

RB-no Mareo Howard of Peach Co????? He the schools all-time leading rusher…over 6,000 yards
ok,I will give u Howard,but no Tony Wright either 2-time all-state and rushed for over 2,000 and was super 11…originally signed with UF…..WOW

TE-Bruce Figgins over Deitrich Hudson…Hudson had like 800 yards in back to back seasons with over 30 Td’s….catching passes from Antonio Henton and AJ Bryant, PC,PC,PC

WR-Tai-ler Jones makes the team over Umoh Udom (Vandy/PC), lol…dude only had 14 grabs in 2 years..Udom had 30 + touchdowns and 2 state championships…..


January 6th, 2010
3:53 pm

Jones had 148…Udom had way more than that,and won in a tougher region.

Sir Bernardeo

January 6th, 2010
6:16 pm

You guys are very bias only one player from Peach County.Peach beat Lagrange 2-3 times this decade.I guess you guys are just jacked up and do not want to give our so called country boys any credit.Shame on you writers!!!

The Truth

January 6th, 2010
6:27 pm

Darius Dewberry was nowhere near the LB as the others on the list… Mario Howard wasnt better than either of the RBs… there were RBs that didnt make the list that were better than peach’s RBs like Screven county’s Michael Cooper and Skyler Thornton of Lagrange. Didnt matter if you beat Lagrange, cause Peach wasn’t good enough to make if far enough to play Lagrange during Lagrange’s run of championships. If peach had a complaint, it was OL and DL and maybe QB… other than that, no way.

I like the list...

January 6th, 2010
6:28 pm

Isnt Lagrange country…??? lol, but yea, i agree with the truth. I played against Dewberry and he wasnt a very good player. He more had god given size. other than that, regular high school player.

Me too...

January 6th, 2010
6:30 pm

I know another Lagrange LB better than Dewberry, Wesley Woodyard…


January 6th, 2010
7:36 pm

LOL,Dewberry dominated,anchored the best PC defense ever/…AND THATS SAYING A TON!!!!


January 6th, 2010
7:39 pm

How is Lagrange the team of the DECADE????????

Lagrange…we beat them 2 out of 3 times and we won 3 state titles in the decade…(almost 4)

24-7 in the 2nd round in 2006
35-17 in the DOME iin 2005
lost 16-7 in the state finals in 2003,..if not ,we would have 4 titles in the DECADE

Me too...

January 6th, 2010
8:25 pm

What kind of statement is that? If we hadnt lost to lagrange, we would have 4 titles???? if lagrange had not lost to you, they would 5 titles… If they werent victims of one of the worst calls in history, they would have 4 titles. If PC could have been good enough to make it to LG in 01-04, then they would have 3 more losses to LG…

Ty Cobb

January 6th, 2010
9:00 pm

Maxwell and McChord from Hart Co. Both played at Kentucky AND had INT’s to beat UGA this year

Sir Bernardeo

January 6th, 2010
11:41 pm

No way Lagrange should be team of the decade.They have not really had a good run since 2004.We are very disappointed with all of the ajc writers.Apparently you guys did not do your homework because Peach beat Lagrange 2 to 1 and blew them off the field @ Lagrange and @ the Georgia Dome.If we played them this year we would have beat them again.I guess Steve Pardue must know someone on the staff really well to be the Coach of the decade over Rance Gillespie who beat him head to head twice this decade in blowouts.Ww really got the Big one given to us this time in a Big way.Ouch

Peach Enthusiast

January 7th, 2010
12:39 am

Winning 3 state championships out of 4 in the decade you would think Peach could get more than 1 player. Sims is a great talented player, but he does NOT deserve “Quarter Back” of the decade. Being a Peach fan I thought either AJ Bryant, Henton, or Bryan Ellis would take the title, or atleast a QB that has won a championship. Sims is a great player, but he struggled on the biggest stage against another championship Peach team.

the truth 2

January 7th, 2010
10:07 am

Peach Co, I agree that yall did get screwed a little bit by just having Slaughter up there but LaGrange sent more players to Bigger schools than you all and Henton is better than Sims but Peach could have got very far without Henton because of the Athletes that Peach has, compared to Gainesville couldn’t have got as far without Sims! And some of the other guys you are conplaining about aren’t doing anything but sitting at home in Fort Valley walking up and down the street like that is the cool thing to do, rather than getting a education somewhere!!!

Todd Holcomb

January 7th, 2010
1:46 pm

You couldn’t go wrong with any of those Peach County names that have been thrown out. All were great players, and arguments can be made on their behalf. It’s been QB High in Class AAA this decade.

But one argument that I must cast out: “Peach County won three state titles and therefore should have more than one player listed.” It’s possible to win SIX state titles and still not have any of the 25 best players for an entire decade.

As for Blake Sims, the QB choice in AAAA was the most difficult. Bryant, Henton & Ellis all could’ve been choice. There’s Blake Mitchell at LaGrange. I actually think Connor Shaw was as good as any of them. But Blake Sims is the only one who as named offensive player of the year in Class AAAA two different year, although it was not always unanimous those years.

And finally, for LaGrange vs. Peach County for the decade. Head to head is meaningless because they played only three times. IMO, Peach had a better team than LaGrange only three times this decade (2005, 2006, 2009). Peach County finished strong, but LaGrange was far better early in the decade.

Easy 3

January 7th, 2010
1:59 pm

Peach county got ROBBED. What about QB Antonio Hention (Ohio State)

Todd Holcomb

January 7th, 2010
2:01 pm

A few more comments on some of the Peach County guys …

Dewberry was never the defensive player of the year in Class AAA. Jones, Olajubutu and Blackmon were.

Deitrich Hudson never made first-team all-state. Figgins did.

Udom was not first-team all-state for consecutive years. Tai-ler Jones was. And unless he caught 86 passes as a junior (he caught 64 as a senior), then Udom didn’t catch as many passes for as many yards as Tai-ler Jones in his last two seasons.

Having said that, those Peach County guys might still deserve to be on this team. But we’re not picking names from a hat. We try to have something objective to back it up.

Todd Holcomb

January 7th, 2010
2:05 pm

Didn’t mean for my last paragraph to sound the way it did. Simply saying that we are making well-researched choices. They still might miss the mark, because this is so subjective, but I think each of our choices can be defended as something more than just a wild guess.


January 7th, 2010
5:01 pm

TROJANGATOR and SIR BERNARDEO….Nothing but respect for Peach County. As for “team of the decade”, if we were talking about the past 5 years, Peach County wins. Hands down! Congrats to a great program. But taking a look at the past decade without prejudice to the past 5 years nor the first 5, I believe LaGrange is worthy. Here are the numbers on the Grangers:
5 region championships.
3 state titles.
(Margin of defeat in 3 games lost-3.33 points)
1 Region title
2 trips to the semis
For the decade here are the numbers for the Grangers:
3 state titles
6 region titles.
2 (additional trips to the semis)
OVERALL RECORD (for the decade): 114-17
Show me some numbers from Peach County to compare (for the ENTIRE decade).
I must admit that the Granger program from 2005-2009 slipped. But this award is about the ENTIRE decade. “Show me the numbers on Peach County for the entire decade”.


January 7th, 2010
5:33 pm

What about trevard lindley from Hiram??? Played both running back and cornerback and is about to be going to the NFL draft. One of the top CBs in the country


January 8th, 2010
9:32 am

Where is Ronnie Brown out of Cartersville; the #2 selection in the NFL Draft, WOW that really validates your all decade team.

Me too...

January 8th, 2010
11:16 am

Ronnie brown was AA


January 8th, 2010
11:40 am

the truth 2——Peach Co does have as many big names in college…LOL…thats all Peach Co do!!!!! send kids to college.

Dion Armstrong Maryland
Chris Slaughter Auburn
Antonio Henton Ohio State
Umoh Udoh Vanderbilt
Mareo Howard Akr-Pine Bluff
Bryan Ellis UAB
Jeremiah Wright Troy
Darius Dewberry Georgia
Roger King Ga Southern/Valdosta St
Aj Bryant Georgia
Donnie Daniels Carson Newman
Aj Johnson Clark-ATL
Tony Wright Florida

I dint even list most of the small school signees…

slalom 1—-

3 state titles
5 regions
lost in another title game

102 wins 25 losses ( 1 of only 4 teams to have over 100 wins the past 2 decades)

Todd Holcombe—

you dont pick from a hat,but you pick based what they did in college or what college they signed with instead of how they played in HS. Just like your all-state teams…usually who signed with a D-I school makes your all state team…lol


January 8th, 2010
6:27 pm

TROJANGATOR, When I said “nothing but respect for Peach County”, I meant it. But you must admit that for the entire decade, your numbers support my belief that the recognition given to the Grangers is worthy. 66-3 over a 5 year stretch with 5 region titles and 3 state titles is difficult to argue as is the overall winning percentage over the decade. You bring up a valid point in some great players from Peach County being left out. But every great player cannot be included. The Grangers also had some great players who did not make the cut. i.e. Wesley Woodyard (2 time all SEC LB, Blake Mitchell (2 year starting QB at South Carolina). I could name others, but I think you get the point. These are tough choices. As for Peach County and the future of the program: As we speak, I believe Peach has the #1 program in AAA. More championships are bound to follow. Best of luck in 2010.


January 8th, 2010
7:11 pm

Thanks man,just feel we get left out a ton.

SINCE 1990…………

1 of 4 programs to win over 100 games the past 2 decades.

Send countless players to college every year.

Have approx 7 or 8 guys who have played in the NFL.

Approx 8 or 9 guys have made the SUPER 11

3 state titles, and have played in 6 State Championship Games since 1990 ( 4 different coaches have taken teams to the title game)

3 diff QBs have been named OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

I think some teams get recognition because of the”hype”, I think Peach kids are unknown going into the season and earn it!!!!!!

Sir Bernardeo

January 8th, 2010
11:38 pm

Todd it seem as if our kids did not go D-1 you showed your biases.I am disappointed with the decision making and imagine how our players feel by your own disrespect towards a great program to be railroaded by the AJC which they had so much respect for until you guys totally disrespected our program.Remember what comes goes around.Its a shame!!!Salom 1 thanks for the respect and Lagrange has a good coach and great players.


January 9th, 2010
7:06 pm

Sir Bernardeo and TROJANGATOR, I appreciate the kind words. Furthermore, we most likely see things pretty much the same in AAA. For the past 5 years, AAA has belonged to Peach. Great players and great coaching. As for the next 5 years, I see nothing but more domination by Peach in AAA. It seems to me that the coaches in GHS football who are the most hungry are the ones who are winning BIG.
Make no mistake about this: “The 2008 and 2009 Grangers had absolutely as much talent and depth as the 2004 team”. Maybe more. But no “2 a days” in pre-season. Virtually no 7 on 7 passing camps in the summer. If ANYONE from LG scouted any opponent more than 40 miles from LaGrange, I am not aware of it.
Point is: The new Peach County coaching staff after the departure of Gillespie has obviously done their work. Hats off to them. Wish I could say the same for the lazy Granger coaching staff.
We are obviously talking about the 2 most successful programs of the decade in AAA. The difference is that Peach is on the way up and LaGrange is on the way down.It is time for a “change in LaGrange”.


January 11th, 2010
1:46 am

yea i agree with those ppl. peach county had the best team this decade. but why isn’t anyone from cairo on there. come on, our 2008 team was full of talent. angelo pease was as efficient as any quarterback that yr and even better. he threw one pick the whole season!!! he was offensive player of the yr.

Shotgun Spratling

January 11th, 2010
3:59 am

Kind of sad that there are multiple players with “Brief stint at Georgia.” beside their name. One or two players could have put Georgia over the hump and possibly into a national championship game.

steven maxwell

January 25th, 2010
2:02 am

tauern poole never gets his just do if u guys could have seen the line men he had to run behind u would have him as one of the best running backs in the state hands down coming out of one of the tuffest regions in the state AAA the biggest linemen he had weighed about 200 pounds tauren weighed 190 he carried stephens county on his back for 4yrs