Many of Georgia’s top high school football players and college prospects will be on display during the state championship games on Friday and Saturday at Georgia Dome. Here are 10 to watch:
Vadal Alexander, OT, Buford: The 6-foot-5, 330-pounder is among the state’s top 10 juniors, holding early offers from Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Auburn, LSU and Tennessee. Although Alexander was blessed with a lot of natural athletic ability and size, Buford coach Jess Simpson says it’s his strong determination that makes him special.
Timmy Byerly, QB, Chattahoochee: The 6-1, 205-pounder will get one last chance in the Class AAAA championship to impress scouts. Byerly is the ultimate dual-threat quarterback, carrying 199 times for 1,396 yards and 20 TDs, while completing 163 of 237 passes (69 percent) for 2,553 yards and 30 TDs. Byerly has offers from Air Force, Furman, Mississippi State and Navy, with others closely watching.
Alex Chisum, WR, Sandy Creek: Some think the 6-3, 185-pounder may be the No. 1 wide receiver in the state, including his coach. He has 63 catches for 1,354 yards and 11 TDs. “I think he’s the best,” said Sandy Creek’s Chip Walker. “He has got great hands and speed, and is excellent router runner.” Chisum committed early to Cincinnati over West Virginia, Kentucky, Louisville, and Mississippi State, among others.
Dustin Christian, RB, Calhoun: The 5-9, 170-pounder had a showdown in last week’s Class AA semifinals with Carver’s Isaiah Crowell — ranked by some as the nation’s No. 1 college prospect at tailback — and it was Christian who finished with the most rushing yards. Christian has 200 carries for 1,509 yards and 22 TDs and committed to Tennessee-Chattanooga over East Carolina and Georgia Southern, among others.
Jeff Greene, WR, Starr’s Mill: The 6-6, 200-pounder has enormous athletic potential and has enjoyed a respectable senior year, catching 26 passes for a team-high 482 yards and four TDs. His longest reception of the season was 62 yards. Greene quickly accepted an early offer from Georgia Tech, while also considering Duke, Cincinnati and South Florida, among others.
Dillon Lee, LB, Buford: It’s hard to project the college position for Lee because he can do so many things. The 6-4, 230-pounder has only 15 receptions — but 10 have gone for touchdowns. Lee also starts at linebacker and has 85 tackles, 10 tackles for losses, 5 sacks and 5 interceptions. The junior has early offers from Alabama, Miami, Clemson, North Carolina, Oregon and South Carolina.
Cameron Lynch, LB, Brookwood: Broncos coach Mark Crews is not the type to hype his players, but he can’t hold back on Lynch: “I don’t know that I’ve seen a better defensive player this year … he ought to be the state defensive player of the year if we’re fortunate enough to win Saturday.” Lynch has Nintendo-like stats — 175 tackles, 28 QB hurries, 18 sacks and 4 interceptions. He has a 3.8 with all AP and advanced classes, and is committed to Syracuse.
Andre Sims, WR, Brookwood: The 5-9, 170-pounder holds most of the Gwinnett school’s receiving records. He has 47 catches for 728 yards and 6 TDs. Sims is playing both ways this year, also starting at his project college position of cornerback, registering 59 tackles and 9 pass breakups. He committed early to Michigan State. “He is dynamic on both sides of the ball,” Crews said.
Broderick Snoddy, RB, Carrollton: The 5-10, 187-pounder may be the state’s fastest football player after winning Class AAA track state championships in the 100 meters (10.76 seconds) and 200 meters (21.91). He has rushed for 1,300 yards this year and recently committed to Georgia Tech, where he is projected to play A-back and kick returner.
Xzavier Ward, OT, Colquitt County: The 6-7, 260-pounder may be the state’s best prospect at left tackle in the last five years. Colquitt’s Propst has coached several players that went to the NFL and says the basketball-turned-football player “is as good or better than all those guys, as far as NFL potential.” Alabama and Georgia are the longtime frontrunners for Ward, who boasts more than 30 offers.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN. We know there are a lot more than 10. Who’s the best among these 10? Who are we missing? State your case below.