Poll talk: Crowell is No. 1 among player-of-year candidates

We just a third of the way to the state finals, but Isaiah Crowell is the runaway favorite to win Georgia’s player of the year award.


The Carver of Columbus running back rushed for 185 yards and three touchdowns in a 21-3 victory over LaGrange last week. It was televised by ESPN2. Crowell is closing in on 1,000 yards rushing in just four games, and Carver is ranked No. 1 in Class A.


I can’t remember the last time a player in Georgia stood out from the pack so much so early.


Can anybody catch him?


In 2009, Calhoun’s Da’Rick Rogers and Lassiter’s Hutson Mason shared player-of-the-year honors with the AJC and AP, so that race went down to the wire.


In 2008, Washaun Ealey of ECI was expected to win it for the second year in a row, but Greg Reid of Lowndes prevailed in the end. While that pick was validated in post-season all-star games and now with Reid’s great start at Florida State, it was debatable at the time, as two-way star Jonathan Davis of Tucker had led his team to a state title while Reid’s team flopped.


In 2007, Ealey was under the radar at ECI until mid-season as a junior playing at  a Class A school that had never won a state title.


In 2006, Caleb King of GAC was the front-runner until he suffered a season-ending injury, making way for a pretty good player named Eric Berry from Creekside. In retrospect, that’s probably one of the best choices ever, but it wasn’t apparent in September of that year.


In 2005, Antonio Henton of Peach County didn’t make Super 11 in preseason and wasn’t really a contender until taking his team to the state title.


The last player who led wire to wire for the award was probably linebacker Tray Blackmon of LaGrange in 2004.


Does anybody else have a shot in 2009?


Nick Marshall is piling up great stats again, although his team was pounded by Clinch County, and he’s thrown a bunch of interceptions. Chris Milton at Charlton County is a sleeper. Brian Randolph could be the best two-way player in the state, and his team, Kell, is 4-0 and highly ranked. I saw that A.J. Johnson carried his team to victory for Gainesville last week, playing linebacker and wildcat quarterback, but Gainesville doesn’t figure to go far this year.


If Thomas County Central (Ray Drew) or Griffin (Xzavier Dickson) or Tucker (James Vaughters) won state titles, maybe they’d have a shot, but it’s not easy for a defensive player to pull it off. 

As for the rankings, not much movement this week. I never thought I’d be ranking Chattahoochee or Cartersville this season. Not sure they can stay there, but congrats on great starts to their seasons. 

AAAAA – Grayson in, Newnan out. Flipped Norcross & Valdosta.

AAAA – Chattahoochee in, Statesboro out. TCC dropped a bit.

AAA – Gainesville, Cartersville in, LaGrange, Burke out.

AA – No change.

A – Johnson County in, Hawkinsville out.


1. Camden County (3-0)

2. North Gwinnett (4-0)

3. Peachtree Ridge (4-0)

4. McEachern (3-1)

5. Lowndes (4-1)

6. Stephenson (3-0)

7. Norcross (4-0)

8. Valdosta (4-0)

9. South Gwinnett (3-1)

10. Grayson (3-1)


Class AAAA
1. Northside-Warner Robins (3-0)

2. Clarke Central (3-0)

3. Tucker (4-0)

4. Griffin (4-0)

5. Kell (4-0)

6. Hiram (4-0)

7. Marist (3-1)

8. Flowery Branch (4-0)

9. Thomas County Central (2-1)

10. Chattahoochee (3-0)


Class AAA
1. Peach County (4-0)

2. Sandy Creek (3-0)

3. Cairo (4-0)

4. Carrollton (4-0)

5. Baldwin (4-0)

6. St. Pius (3-1)

7. Eastside (3-1)

8. Woodward Academy (3-0)

9. Gainesville (2-1)

10. Cartersville (4-0)


Class AA

1. Carver-Columbus (4-0)

2. Buford (3-1)

3. Calhoun (4-0)

4. Cook (4-0)

5. Dublin (3-0)

6. Thomasville (3-1)

7. Lovett (2-1)

8. Westminster (2-2)

9. Fitzgerald (3-1)

10. Jefferson County (3-0-1)


Class A
1. Charlton County (4-0)

2. Wesleyan (4-0)

3. Clinch County (4-0)

4. Savannah Christian (4-0)

5. Wilcox County (3-1)

6. Lincoln County (3-1)

7. Eagle’s Landing Christian (3-0)

8. Emanuel County Institute (3-1)

9. Darlington (3-1)

10. Johnson County (4-0)

Georgia High School Football Daily is a free e-mail newsletter. To subscribe, e-mail GHSFDaily@bellsouth.net or click  HERE

143 comments Add your comment


September 19th, 2010
12:10 pm

Pound for Pound Chris Milton is the best player in Georgia! He put up better # than Hutson Mason last yera. I like Crowell game but…Milton put 4800 on Offense and then he plays defense. If he puts up the same # he should be the player of the year. It’s like baseball giving the MVP to a pitcher they play ever four days.

Mr. Johnson

September 19th, 2010
12:47 pm

DeMarco Robinson of MLK should be in consideration. After 3 games he has 24 catches for 637 yards and 9 tds and 1 kickoff return for a td.. This kid is amazing.


September 19th, 2010
2:20 pm

I.Crowell case-closed…….He’s a stud

Captain K

September 19th, 2010
5:45 pm

Watch for Kane Whitehurst at Chattahoochee.
280 yds in 1st half of last week’s game
He runs with his pads out in front, he is fast and he glides

Falcon Jim

September 19th, 2010
6:04 pm

East ! Still played well. They will be there.

Independent Pigskin

September 19th, 2010
6:12 pm

Josh Swann at Pace has turned that program around

wolverine fan

September 19th, 2010
6:37 pm

How can you have Grayson at #10?


September 19th, 2010
7:02 pm

Nobody’s talking about dublin in AA. They always have a great team. They could be sleepers in that class.


September 19th, 2010
7:16 pm

AJC staff, first you get it wrong by printing the only undefeated team in region 6AAAA is Tucker WRONG and now you continue to sleep on MAYS HIGH by keeping them out of your top 10 poll. As THE PREMIERE CITY SCHOOL for the past five years,check the records, Mays has region 6AAAAs topped ranked D and an O that scores over 30 points a game. You would think those 4-0 Raiders would begin to be recognized by the CITY paper. WAKE UP AJC!!


September 19th, 2010
7:18 pm

Does anyone thinkg they can hang with tucker this year? they were up 68-0 at half time. They have atleast 7 D1 players and runnings backs on the depth chart are crazy good. could be a rematch of TUCKER vs NORTHSIDE WR.


September 19th, 2010
7:58 pm

Mays beats weak competition and folds against the big boys….they are right where they belong.


September 19th, 2010
8:09 pm

Wolverine2Blazer picked last week’s Woodstock upset. He was right on!

Can you believe Valdosta gave up over 60 points to Brunswick? Valdosta’s Jay Rome is good and may be one of the state’s best players, but I think Crowell has more impact.


September 19th, 2010
8:09 pm

william golden from ware county


September 19th, 2010
8:12 pm

Hiram Vs. Kell, this will be another great battle.

Go Hornets!

Game will be on CSS.


September 19th, 2010
8:13 pm

I don’t know his name but the Brunswick quarterback is one heck of a player! I was at the Lowndes games and listening to the Valodsta/Brunsiwick game on my radio. I could not belioeve the heroics of that QB. Don’t know what he’s done in other games, maybe the GHSFB Daily staff can check that out and inform us! Thanks in advance!

Northside Observer

September 19th, 2010
8:13 pm

NSWR, Clark Central,Tucker and Griffin seem to be the favorite to win AAAA but Now I worry about Kell and Flowetry Branch.


September 19th, 2010
8:14 pm

Lowndes “games” should have read “game”.


September 19th, 2010
8:32 pm

Your comments about not imagining ranking Chattachoochee really show how hard it is to keep your pulse on current teams. IF you had even seen this team play or practice you would know. But like so many guys, you end up having to base it on “historical records” or past year’s performance.You could have looked at the number of seniors and figured out something….Again, I know its hard to keep track with that many teams…but Hooch won’t be going away. They are here to stay….and they will be deep into the playoffs.


September 19th, 2010
8:40 pm

@MHS — Mays really has not played any decent teams yet, so would seem hard to justify a top 10 ranking.


September 19th, 2010
8:41 pm

i agree with who said chris milton is one of the best this year and GA always has some of the best players in the nation. region 7 should be tough this year and collins hill is easily the best 1-3 team in the state. does anybody have a pulse on how good Norcross will be this year. they were good a couple years back but lately they havent had much success.


September 19th, 2010
8:43 pm

@bidawg — Marist already hung with Tucker this year, through 2 OTs. Hope to have the chance to try to do it again — maybe this will be a reverse 2008 experience!


September 19th, 2010
8:50 pm

MHS: It must be September, because that is when all the Mays fans complain about not being ranked. This has become a yearly routine for Raiders fans. As we know, they will fade out VERY EARLY in the playoffs as usual. So far, you have played four nobody teams with a combined 6-10 record. What does being the PREMIERE CITY SCHOOL mean. The other six, seven or how many they have are crap. CITY football is a joke. In two weeks, Mays will get a dose of reality when they play a premiere playoff contender in Tucker. They will get a couple weeks to recover before Marist embarrasses them as usual. KEEP DREAMING MAYS, KEEP DREAMING.

dboy jones

September 19th, 2010
8:57 pm

WarEagle, That game against Tucker could have been a lot worse than what it was. Tucker was in the Red Zone 3 times and didnt score!! That wont happen again if they play. Trust you guys do not want to meet up with us again. You guys barely beat SWD..Had to have a 59 yarder to win.


September 19th, 2010
9:04 pm

Who’s to say crowell is the best? He is an outstanding back and i will not take anything away from the kid.But he gets a lot of attention from magazines and social network.There are plenty of kids in the state who are just as great but are never talked about because nobody ever see them. You watch by the end of the seaason other kids will stand out as well.

Bulldawg 15

September 19th, 2010
9:13 pm

@ BulldawgBite….I agree 100%…CH’s aerial attack is insanely dangerous, but goes to show you that defense wins ball games

Bulldawg 15

September 19th, 2010
9:15 pm

and Norcross is like they were in ‘07…great defense with speed and power…the last four weeks of the season will be war.


September 19th, 2010
9:18 pm

Nick marshall and jay rome are just as good at there position as crowell is at his.


September 19th, 2010
9:21 pm

trojan94……. In a parallel universe ,…….If there is another back in the State that have the skills that Crowell has.


September 19th, 2010
9:22 pm

trojan94……….I should say any player in the State.


September 19th, 2010
9:27 pm

Kell might struggle to bring fans out to Hiram this week. It’s a very long ride (something they aren’t used to) and Cobb County is on break this week. Unfortunate, if this game wasn’t during the break it would have the intensity of a playoff game.

Hit A Single

September 19th, 2010
9:49 pm

Clinch Co. fakes a field goal when they are up 49 to 0 Friday night. Throws a TD pass. So what I have heard about Clinch must be true. No Class!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sugar Hill Dawg

September 19th, 2010
9:57 pm

I’m not sure what’s more impressive – Gwinnett having five of the top ten in AAAAA (North Gwinnett, Peachtree Ridge and Norcross from Region 7, and Grayson and South Gwinnett from Region 8), or the only two high schools in Lowndes County in the top ten (Lowndes and Valdosta – wouldn’t be too shocked if the state champ hails from Winnersville this year, although my top choice would be Sugar Hill’s own North Dogs!)


September 19th, 2010
10:15 pm

Sugar Hill Dawg having looked at the playoff brackets if I read them right then N.G. doesn’t see Lowndes or Camden till the State Championship game. Of course I’m assuming all 3 win their regions
and are #1 seeds. If that should happen it would be Camden/Lowndes potentially in the semi final and the winner taking on the winner of the N.G. bracket. N.G. against Camden/Lowndes would make a good championship game. I would have to give a little nod to the exprienced teams from the south in that game who have a way of performing well in the Dome at the end of the year.

Northside Observer

September 19th, 2010
10:22 pm

I was really looking for Thomas County Central and NSWR to meet undefeated. Of course Cairo had something to say about that. Jaybo did say he believed TCC was going to the play-offs without a lost. NSWR, Griffin, Clark Central and Tucker, are the favorites. There a person from Dekalb who said Southwest Dekalb was the best AAAA team hands down (ha,ha). NSWR hasn’t played a quality team so I am hoping for a good test against Bainbridge before we meet TCC. Right now, Kell and Flowery Branch concerns me.


September 19th, 2010
10:40 pm

Grayson at 10…….agree. Fluke loss at Kell with QB injury. I tell you the team has come together and is going to be very dangerous. Next year unstopable from looking at roster and Sophmores getting playing time and the seniors leaving are just a few.


September 19th, 2010
10:43 pm

@dboy jones — you’re right, it could have been worse — for Tucker! If we had tackled just a little bit better on the desperate 4th down play late in the 4th quarter, we would have won by double digits after kicking another fg. But that did not happen, and Tucker won a great game. You bet we want some more!


September 19th, 2010
10:52 pm

newnan should stay n the top ten lmao

TTTT-Thumbody Thed Thats Thupid!

September 19th, 2010
11:40 pm

Valdosta should have dropped out of the top 10 after giving up 60 something points to a Brunswick team THAT IS UNRANKED! Yes, even with a 4-0 record and the fact they won! That is not a top 10 team! NO DEFENSE, PERIOD!


September 19th, 2010
11:44 pm

There is a sophmore at Stephens County region (8AAA) named Chaz Thornton. He is a running back, by the end of this season, barring injuries the whole state will have heard of him. As a freshman last season he rushed for 890 yards without starting the first game and barely playing in the last 2. This season he has only rushed for 119 yards in a game that was stopped at halftime because of lighting, 175 yards, 225 yards, and 205 yards in a game he didnt play after the 3rd quarter. 724 yards and 9 touchdowns in 4 games…only a sophmore.


September 20th, 2010
12:09 am

Valdosta Wildcats should be ranked in the top 5. They played and beat a power house from florida then turn right back around and beat a good Brunswick team. Brunswick can beat half of the teams that is rank in the AAAAA top 10..But we all know its not the ajc poll that counts its the Georgia Highschool poll that counts and they do have Valdosta ranked in the top 5 GOOOO Cats.Now what do you have to say about that..

Bulldawg 15

September 20th, 2010
1:00 am

haha what are you smokin footballfan?


September 20th, 2010
2:25 am

Bulldawg 15 what highschool football team do you go for


September 20th, 2010
3:59 am

Thats ok, drop us out. We will be back in a few weeks at Carrollton’s expense!!!


September 20th, 2010
6:28 am

Once again the Syrupmaker’s are flying under the radar and thats what we like. As I stated before, Syrupmaker’s are young and maybe not this year but the next two years, I see a State Title. Ask TCCHS about us 4 plays from the 2 yard line and could’nt get in!!!!!


September 20th, 2010
7:03 am

Mays High has a decent team and for some reason they seem to play Marist well. If Mays can simply play a disciplined game without a lot of penalties, their quarterback will give Marist secondary nightmares. They also play well against Tucker, both games should be interesting.


September 20th, 2010
7:39 am

Hiram should beat Kell in a close one….Go Hornets!!!!


September 20th, 2010
7:47 am

Hiram should edge out Kell in a close one. Go Hornets!!!!


September 20th, 2010
7:51 am

nobody is giving the hart county bulldogs any respect 18 straight years in the playoffs and still no respect they are a force to deal with and will show everyone why they are contenders year after year

Northside Fan

September 20th, 2010
8:09 am

Poor NSWR against the likes of Tucker, Griffin, Clark Central, etc. Seriously Kell and Flowery Branch are teams to watch. Sorry to say but Jaybo’s TCC and their All American DE couldn’t handled Cairo on their home field.


September 20th, 2010
9:01 am

HHS Fan / Pete:

Get ready…KELL is a PLAYOFF team…the game against EAST last friday was as good a football game as you would want to see. Both sides played their hearts out and the game simply came down to a combination of GOOD play by the KELL “D” to stop a winning EAST drive, then sloppy tackling by the EAST “D” on the last KELL drive. This was two EXTREMELY evenly matched teams!

We will all be pulling for a HIRAM win so give it all you got!

EAST will be in a probable region SHOOT-OUT at “THE BONEYARD” against
North Paulding!!!