Ridgeland’s Bell heads Class AAAA preseason all-state team

Vonn Bell, the Ridgeland safety who is rated the consensus No. 4 recruit in Georgia, leads the GHSF Daily/Atlanta Journal-Constitution preseason all-state team in Class AAAA.

Bell is uncommitted, but several on the AAAA team have pledged to major colleges. They include WR Demare Kitt of Sandy Creek, CB Shaquille Wiggins of Sandy Creek and LB Johnny O’Neal of West Laurens to Georgia, linemen Alan Knott of Sandy Creek and David Johnson of Lithonia to South Carolina, WR/DB Cameron Sutton of Jonesboro to Tennessee, DL Davin Bellamy of Chamblee to Florida State and DB/WR Taurean Ferguson of Jonesboro to Vanderbilt.

Others, including Carver (Atlanta) OL Delando Crooks, are major recruits who have not committed.

The quarterback is a junior, Cole Garvin, who was 135-of-216 passing for 2,352 yards and a school-record 25 touchdowns in 2011. The running backs are Chaz Thornton of Stephens County (2,179 yards rushing in 2011) and Josh Mercer of South Effingham (1,339).

Class AAAA


QB – Cole Garvin, Sandy Creek, Jr.

RB – Josh Mercer, South Effingham, Sr.

RB – Chaz Thornton, Stephens County, Sr.

TE – Bill Teknipp, Eagle’s Landing, Sr.

WR – Demare Kitt, Sandy Creek, Jr.

WR – Rhett Harper, Southeast Whitfield, Jr.

OL – Kendall Baker, Marist, Jr.

OL – Hakeem Porter, Monroe, Sr.

OL – Jordan Harris, Dutchtown, Sr.

OL – Alan Knott, Sandy Creek, Sr.

OL – Delando Crooks, Carver (Atlanta), Sr.

ATH – Cameron Sutton, Jonesboro, Sr.


DL – Davin Bellamy, Chamblee, Sr.

DL – David Johnson, Lithonia, Sr.

DL – Jeremy Patterson, Wayne County, Jr.

DL – Joe Sanders, LaGrange, Sr.

LB – Paul Davis, Cairo, Sr.

LB – Raekwon McMillan, Liberty County, Jr.

LB – Johnny O’Neal, West Laurens, Sr.

LB – Troy Wyche, Riverdale, Sr.

DB – Vonn Bell, Ridgeland, Sr.

DB – Taurean Ferguson, Jonesboro, Sr.

DB – Akeem Rawls, Mary Persons, Jr.

DB – Shaquille Wiggins, Sandy Creek, Sr.


PK – Manny Lopez, Gilmer, Jr.

P – Austin Bennett, River Ridge, Jr.

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15 comments Add your comment


August 15th, 2012
9:54 am

Todd, let me get this straight: ESPN ranks Greg Taboada (Marist) as the 11th best TE in the country and top in GA, as the 9th best player in GA (without regard to class), and in the top 150 in the country, and you don’t include him in the 4A preseason all-state ranking — choosing the coaches son at Eagles Landing instead (who is not ranked at all by ESPN)? Surprising, to say the least. Guess you have focused solely on how many passes Coach Teknipp had his QB son throw his TE son last year, rather than evaluating the overall TE skills on the various players.


August 15th, 2012
11:38 am

@WarEagles: Not a huge deal, but Bill Teknipp is the coach’s nephew. Just to be accurate.


August 15th, 2012
11:55 am


Just to be honest, anyone that follows recruiting knows nobody goes by recruiting ranking from ESPN because they don’t really know what they are doing in that department and doesn’t put a whole lot of effort into it. They are the worst on the market.

Worry about possible sanctions coming up. Thanks

New Here?

August 15th, 2012
12:18 pm

Sanctions? WarEagle is a Marist fan, not Auburn! LOL

Gator Green

August 15th, 2012
12:35 pm

Gator Green is a beast for Burke County, a pure athelete!


August 15th, 2012
3:17 pm



August 15th, 2012
9:33 pm

Chris Gardner LB of out South Atlanta High is one to watch. Has numerous Division1 offers. Undoubtedly not coming from a powerhouse program but he’s definitely an impact player who can get down with the best of them. Last year had 20 plus tackles on a few occasions.Not to mention he’s an honor student.


August 16th, 2012
5:23 am

Gotta give Greene from Burke County his props, should be on the list since he is coming back from a state Championship team!!!!!


August 16th, 2012
7:20 am

This is a JOKE. right?


August 16th, 2012
8:54 pm

How is everyone? I thought this was an article that offered the best high school football players in Georgia AAAA. Something seems to be missing. Those guys from those teams from the Eastern part of the State, huh. It would be nice to see some of the names of the great young player that who deserves recognition for there talents and dedication that lives east of Grayson. This is a pretty good article anyway. It pretty easy to determine the best in a division they tend to be the one who wins and wears the ring of a champion.

It's A New Day

August 16th, 2012
10:53 pm

@BearDen86 — Aren’t the ones wearing the 2011 4A championship ring Tucker, and they moved to 5A this season. It’s a new season.


August 17th, 2012
4:59 am

Thats crazy how come northside wanrerobins go back to 98 and peach was good during that time !!

Dublin GA

August 17th, 2012
2:31 pm

I just saw Johnny ONeal play and have watched him play many times. He is very over-rated. UGA is wasting a scholarship on him. He will not last there.


August 20th, 2012
9:17 pm

this is a real atlanta biased list how is donquell gator green #5 from burke county is not on this list and he straight demolished all of the competition in the state last year as a freshman led his team to the semifinals and as a sophmore led his team to the state championship and still doesnt get any recognition i dont c a player on thi list that is better than him at any position that he plays and he plays quarterback,running back,wide reciever,safety,punt returner,kick returner and he scores at every position and everybody in the state saw him perform and ripped through the best defenses in the state including this sandy creek players on this offensive list that got beat by gainseville in the quarter finals and he single handedly destroyed them by his self scoring five touchdowns in a semifinals game even a 98 yard touchdown kickoff return and four more running touchdowns on the ground and blowed them out 63-28 and could have done more but he was taken out at half time and not to mention the performance he put up at the georgia dome in the championship against peach county 2 touchdowns and 117 yards rushing so tell me which player on him out performs him he is a better athlete than anyone on this list so why doesnt he even make the ath spot just saying


August 24th, 2012
8:50 pm

Great to see manny lopez get on the list! that dude can kick….