Just released … the AJC’s Super 11 — Your thoughts? Are these the best 11 football players in Georgia?

Who are the best 11 high school football players in the state of Georgia?

We at the AJC have done our best to locate and identify them in our annual selection of the AJC’s Super 11.

It’s one of the most elite teams in the nation, considering Georgia’s status as one of the top states for high school football. Through nominations and feedback from high school and  colleges coaches, along with our own selection committee, here is the 2011 AJC Super 11[Note: click on player's name to see video]

Thomas County Central DE Ray Drew would be my frontrunner for Mr. Georgia Football entering the 2010 season .... to me, he stands far and above anyone else on the Super 11. What are your thoughts?  Post below (AJC photo)

Thomas County Central DE Ray Drew (AJC photo)

  • Carver-Columbus RB Isaiah Crowell [Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, UGA, Miami]
  • Gainesville DE/LB A.J. Johnson [Clemson, Florida, Tennessee]
  • Grady DB Damian Swann [Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Ohio State]
  • Griffin DL Xzavier Dickson [Auburn, Alabama, UGA, Florida, Miami]
  • Kell FS Brian Randolph [committed to Tennessee]
  • North Paulding WR Chris Conley [committed to UGA]
  • Pope OL Thomas O’Reilly [committed to Auburn]
  • Thomas County Central DE Ray Drew [Georgia Tech, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, UGA]
  • Tucker LB James Vaughters [committed to Stanford]
  • Valdosta TE Jay Rome [Alabama, Clemson, Florida,UGA]
  • Wilcox County QB Nick Marshall [committed to UGA]

Click here to see the photo gallery of the 2010 version of the AJC Super 11

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN. The AJC Super 11 is always a fun debate. What are you thoughts? Who was deserving? Who did we leave out? Please state your case below, and please back it with the facts.

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120 comments Add your comment


August 15th, 2010
6:11 pm

The big omission is Sterling Bailey from Hall. The kid’s a stud who has made more plays than Dickson.


August 15th, 2010
6:45 pm

The big answer is Dickson is a lot better player than Bailey! Wait until see what Dickson does at the tight end position before you comment. You will see the numbers on both sides of the ball this season.


August 15th, 2010
6:48 pm

There are so many talented players in Georgia. It’s hard to narrow that down to 11 of the best and be as fair as you can. This is a very good list. It is definitely not the top 11, but it is still a good list, nonetheless.


August 15th, 2010
6:52 pm

Where is Charlton County QB Milton. He only did about everything last year. I guess you’ll see that when they play Wilcox this year.


August 15th, 2010
7:00 pm

Marcus Lambert out of Wheeler h.s. Over 300 tackles in his career. More than held his own against some of the talent on your current list in both camps and games played. Very versatile athlete who has been durable and effective on both sides of the ball. This kid constantly produced on the field in a very competitive region in AAAAA.

HS balla coach

August 15th, 2010
7:21 pm

I know it must be tough to narrow down to 11 in the Great State of Georgia. The only name that really surprises me is Thomas O’Rielly. He’s a good lineman, great pickup for Auburn, but he’s not one of the best 11 players in Georgia. He wasn’t even the best OL on his team last year. That would be the Ramsay kid who signed with Vandy. If you’re not the best OL on your team as a junior, you are certainly not the best OL in Ga. before your senior year. There are no other OL on the 11. Again, this is nothing personal against Thomas. He’s a great kid, good player. But he’s not one of the state’s 11 best. No way. Other than that, this 11 works OK.


August 15th, 2010
7:24 pm

What about the QB at Clarke Central? Committed to South Carolina.


August 15th, 2010
7:33 pm

What about Shannon Brown from down in South GA? Committed to Bama.


August 15th, 2010
7:49 pm

Yeah I agree with the first poster. Sterling Bailey is an animal!!


August 15th, 2010
8:03 pm

Shannon Brown was kicked off his team last year and he has had a history of getting into trouble, He is not rate that high vs some other players and I am sure they don’t want to put someone that may not be playing on the AJC SUPER 11

The Truth

August 15th, 2010
8:03 pm

Quan Bray from Callaway is better than at 7 probably 8 of the players on the list…

Cobb fan

August 15th, 2010
8:04 pm

Thomas O’Reilly???? He’s good but he wasn’t best lineman on his team, surely not in Cobb, and definitely not number one in Georgia. I’m also not sure about Randolph. Saw both kids play last year. Good players but not one of top 11. Maybe they will prove me wrong this year.

Ga, man

August 15th, 2010
8:07 pm

Drew is the best player in the state and rated 3 rd in the country. He looks to be a Auburn Lock


August 15th, 2010
8:08 pm

Watched Xzavier Dickson and Griffin scrimmage aganist Newnan last Friday. He must have been holding back or the Newnan OL is that good.


August 15th, 2010
8:10 pm

Xzavier Ward, colquitt county. future 1st rounder, tremendous upside and lots of growing left to do!

jag count

August 15th, 2010
8:11 pm

Stephenson’s OL Tarik Cook, Jared Boyd, Kadetrix Marcus, and Willie Davis are top notch players in the state of Georgia


August 15th, 2010
8:15 pm

Brian Randolph is OVERRATED. What about Tuitt and Bailey?


August 15th, 2010
8:31 pm

Drew = Dawg Lock. His values fall more in line with UGA then anyone else.


August 15th, 2010
8:41 pm

I bet maybe only 3 of these players will graduate from a Major college/university within the next 8 years. They all will be out of the NFL by 2020 if they ever make it to the NFL.


August 15th, 2010
8:56 pm

Ray Drew could be a dominating force at GT!!

Great picture of him on this post. I hope he decides GT is the best fit for him and his future goals.

How could he be the front-runner for Mr. Georgia Football AND #8 on the AJC Super 11?? Sounds like just maybe he should be closer to the top of the list or maybe even #1!!

Todd Holcomb

August 15th, 2010
9:13 pm

Just a note on the criteria. The ideal candidate is highly recruited, but also highly productive on the field to this point. Not much consideration is given to upside, so if there is an omission who makes the Pro Bowl some day, that doesn’t necessarilly mean there’s been a mistake. I think Dunbar makes a good point. It’s impossible to get the 11 best guys. You can only hope to get 11 guys you can defend. Every guy here is highly recruited with a history of production on Friday nights.

Most of the guys mentioned so far – Milton, Bailey, Bray – were strongly considered and would’ve been fine choices. I think Milton has a shot to be the all-class player of the year.

Todd Holcomb

August 15th, 2010
9:41 pm

GT Grad: The Super 11 players are not ranked. They’re listed in Michael’s list alphabetically by their high school.

If anyone is interested in more about Drew, here’s a story I wrote for MaxPreps. Drew is a licensed minister, which is kinda cool.



August 15th, 2010
9:46 pm

Though I’ve only seen 2 of them play(Vaughters, Swann), this seems to be a good list. But every year there is this debate, but if the AJC feels that this is top 11 then I’m a believer.And Mr. Holcomb just laid out the criteria, so stop whining, complaining, and get ready for Friday nights!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

city slicker

August 15th, 2010
9:51 pm

Wat about HUnt Days

One on One with the Great One

August 15th, 2010
10:33 pm

I think there are so many good football players in all class regions it’s hard to rank 11 of the best unless you go from 1-A to 5-A and rank them. How can you have the best players in mostly skilled positions and no non-skilled positions. It’s unfair not to mention special team players (I.E. kickers, Punters & Returners).. Todd I think you need more than just stats & combine scores and what other writers rank these kids. I think the most Important thing is GPA’s, who has already QUALIFIED (SAT’S & ACT’S Scores) and who has made major impact on and off the field. I might be saying to much but other criteria needs to take into consideration as well.

sally j

August 15th, 2010
10:35 pm

The TOP 5 should be:

Those are the best by far!


August 15th, 2010
10:37 pm

People are sleeping on Martay Mattox/QB Clarke Central HS.


August 15th, 2010
11:20 pm

Crowell – 86 5 stars espn150 #5, rivals #17, scout #8.
Johnson – 80 4 stars espn150 #148, rivals 3 stars (unranked in top 250), scout 3 stars (unranked in top 300).
Swann – 81 4 stars espn150 #89, rivals #48, scout #76.
Dickson – 83 4 stars espn150 #22, rivals #145, scout #122.
Randolph – 78 3 stars (unranked in top 150), rivals 3 stars (unranked in top 250), scout 3 stars (unranked in top 300).
Conley – 80 4 stars espn150 #136, rivals 3 stars (unranked in top 250), scout #215.
O’Reilly – 80 4 stars espn150 #145, rivals 3 stars (unranked in top 250), scout 3 stars (unranked in top 300).
Drew – 87 5 stars espn150 #3, rivals #15, scout #54.
Vaughters – 81 4 stars espn150 #39, rivals #121, scout #131.
Rome – 83 4 stars espn150 #18, rivals #40, scout #18.
Marshall – 78 3 stars (#32 qb), rivals 4 stars (unranked in top 250), scout #161.

Possible Ommissions
Bray – 84 4 stars espn150 #16, rivals #112, scout #165.
Mitchell – 81 4 stars espn150 #40, rivals #170, scout #169.
Walls – 81 4 stars espn150 #61, rivals #152, scout #285.
Wright – 81 4 stars espn150 #92, rivals #92, scout #80.
Scott-Wesley – 81 4 stars espn150 #97, rivals #150, scout 3 stars (unranked in top 300).
Hunter – 81 4 stars espn150 #114, rivals 3 stars (unranked in top 250), scout 3 stars (unranked in top 300).
Witchett – 80 4 stars espn150 #123, rivals 3 stars (unranked in top 250), scout 3 stars (unranked in top 300).
Bailey – 80 4 stars espn150 #126, rivals #82, scout #282.
Tuitt – 80 4 stars espn150 #134, rivals #59, scout #100.

1. Randolph DEFINITELY doesn’t have any business being considered one of the best players in the state. He’s a 3 star player ranked across the board with several other safeties getting 4 star rankings on at least 1 or 2 of the major recruiting sites.
2. Johnson and O’Reilly would be the next two out. They are probably top 20 players, but both of them are 3 star players on rivals and scout.
3. Marshall could be knocked out as well. 4 star player on rivals and scout, but not ranked that high.

4. Wright should DEFINITELY be on the list being in the top 100 on all three sites.
5. Bray and Mitchell would be the next two on the list.
6. Bailey and Tuitt would be a toss up for the fourth spot opened up after taking off Randolph, O’Reilly, Johnson, and Marshall.

My list – Top 11
1. Crowell
2. Drew
3. Rome
4. Swann
5. Wright
6. Vaughters
7. Mitchell
8. Dickson
9. Bray
10. Conley
11. Bailey

dekalb football

August 15th, 2010
11:43 pm

Stephenson’s OL Tarik Cook, Jared Boyd, Kadetrix Marcus, and Willie Davis are top notch players in the state of Georgia


August 16th, 2010
12:49 am

dunbarwildcat ..really? Wheeler? did they win a game last year?

Todd Holcomb

August 16th, 2010
12:49 am

The recruiting info is great, and I like your rankings. But remember that our intent was not to make the Super 11 the best college prospects.

As for Brian Randolph, he has been an impact player in AAAAA since he was a freshman. How many players rush for more than 1,000 yards and make more than 100 tackles in highest class? And he did it despite playing injured all year. Greg Reid didn’t do that. (Not saying he’s Greg Reid, but you know what I mean.)

TTTT-Thumbody Thed Thats Thupid!

August 16th, 2010
1:11 am

Strange that you and most polls are picking NSWR at #1, yet with no top players considered or even mentioned. O’Neill and Van Brunt are both back this year and look what they did last year!

Derrick Mahone

August 16th, 2010
1:21 am

Todd: Good list. I don’t think realize what all goes into picking this team. Your criteria says it all. There are about 25 kids out their that could easily have been substituted into the list and it still would have been strong. I remember when we use to chose the Super 11 team and each of us would do our independent research and could up with our best 11 and then compare it to the others on the committee. There would be about six guys name that appeared on everybody’s list and you knew they were locks. The rest was up to debate. As you know, there will be a few kids on the list that doesn’t pan out, but that happens with everything. Hey, colleges sign 25 guys each year, and only about 7–10 go on to be regular starters, and less become all-conference or get drafted.


August 16th, 2010
2:01 am

Denzel Smith and the other two linebackers of Newnan High School should have been on that list but be looking out for them throughout the season. Most of these players are over rated.

Say what?

August 16th, 2010
2:17 am

Todd what’s the big deal with Brian Randolph’s stats? Everybody knows that Cobb County has THE WEAKEST football in Metro Atlanta. They put up big stats because they play against each other, awful Cobb teams. Let’s see what they do in the playoffs … oh yeah, they all flop (see McEachern), with the one-year exception of Lassiter. You must live in Cobb County to give them this mad respect.


August 16th, 2010
6:23 am

good call on Thomas O’Reilly. He needs to be on the list.

Mike Jabaley

August 16th, 2010
6:24 am

Stephon Tuitt of Monroe and Malcolm Mitchell of Valdosta are probably the two best players in the state and aren’t even listed in the Super 11. The favoritism the AJC shows towards Atlanta metro area players is pathetic. A.J. Johnson, Brian Randolph, and Damian Swann are all three exceptional players but shouldn’t be in the top 11.

Truth shall Prevail

August 16th, 2010
6:52 am

Michael Carvell you know sterling bailey should’ve been up there. Y’all did’t pick him because the team he was on an that’s not right but that alright we will see about it we will see them at the next level.


August 16th, 2010
7:01 am

Leaving Tyler Hunter off this list show the UGA slant of your “Super 11″. Kid will end up thought as one of the top 5 players in this state after his senior season. Had 2 TD over TCC last Friday…


August 16th, 2010
7:27 am

Avery Walls Safety with over D1 offers is not even mention. Saw Xaxier from Griffin friday. Overall very good player esp as a Tight End Prospect. Newnan OT Chris Beno dominated him friday night. I also like Tyler Hunter from Lowndes and Mitchell from Valdosta impressed me just like TE Rome did last year. I agee with NSWR QB and RB Oneill. Both should atleast get mention. Come on Todd get outside of metro Atlanta and just because UGA has offered them dont make them a Super 11


August 16th, 2010
7:40 am


August 16th, 2010
7:59 am

no fullbacks?

Walker, Texas Ranger

August 16th, 2010
8:18 am

Two thoughts:
1) Bailey is the best player in his region. Johnson looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane!
2) As a UGA fan, I’m wondering how this years recruiting class can be a DREAM TEAM, when only two of the top 11 have chosen UGA? Also while every top player in the Southeast has picked Alabama or has them in their final 3.


August 16th, 2010
8:21 am

Whats funny is that people are using subjective (and sometimes biased) recruiting rankings to argue against another set of subjective rankings?

Joe Stevens

August 16th, 2010
8:25 am

What about Lucas Delabate. This kid is a stud Linebacker out of Central Forsyth.

Loyal Stephenson Fan

August 16th, 2010
8:34 am

Willie Davis come about him friday night at hallford staduim #1


August 16th, 2010
8:36 am

O’Reilly and Randolph, are you kidding me? If you are going to pick the Super 11 then do it, don’t put in players that don’t belong.


August 16th, 2010
10:03 am

If they are the “best 11″, take note that 3 have already committed to teams outside Georgia.


August 16th, 2010
10:05 am

Columbus’s Gabe Weight should be there. As for O’ Reilly, it hard to argue that a player that was first team 5-A all state as a junior doesn’t belong. O-line is not a glamor position but the guy has earned his ranking.

Les W. Moore

August 16th, 2010
10:12 am

This is a tough job when the state sends hundreds of kids to the next level. Good work!