It’s been 20 years since a Georgia high school football team has won a national championship. Grayson, a returning state champion in Georgia’s highest classification, is poised to make a run.
This week, the Rams were ranked No. 2 in preseason by MaxPreps in the first major national poll. Grayson was 15-0 last season and finished in the top five of several national rankings. This season, 10 of 11 defensive starters return, including defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, the 2011 all-classification player of the year.
‘’Grayson should have the country’s best defense, and their offense, with the amount of skill it returns, will be just fine,’’ said Stephen Spiewak, editor of MaxPreps’ national football rankings. “I do expect them to return to a more run-based offense to which the program has been more accustomed. Not to mention, no matter which team Grayson plays, it will always have the single best player on the field [in Nkemdiche].’’
Ranked No. 1 is Manatee of Bradenton, Fla. Grayson and Manatee will have one common opponent – Central of Miami. Grayson plays Central on Aug. 31 at Grayson.
Another Georgia team is in MaxPreps’ top 25. That’s Colquitt County at No. 18.
‘’Colquitt seems to have a good blend of veteran leadership and talented youth,’’ Spiewak said. “I really think Cole Segraves is going to have a huge senior season. It came extremely close to beating Grayson last year and would give them a game this season as well. Overall, I think it’s going to be a very good year for high school football in Georgia.
The most recent Georgia team to win a national title was Valdosta, which was selected in 1992 by the National Prep Poll and the National Sports News Service.