It’s no surprise that Grayson is the preseason No. 1 team in Class AAAAAA. And to some, it’s no surprise the Rams are No. 1 in the nation.
ESPN this week became the first national ranker to put Grayson No. 1. Grayson also is ranked No. 2 nationally by MaxPreps, a national high school Web site. Five other national polls have Grayson in the top 10.
Grayson coach Mickey Conn acknowledged that a national title would be pretty cool.
“Oh my gosh yeah, that would be the ultimate dream come true as a coach and a player,” Conn said. “The last team I remember in Georgia [to win a national title] was LaGrange [in 1991]. I played with some of them at Alabama. Andre Short, Paul Pickett. That’s a rarity to have that opportunity. And that’s where the preseason rankings do matter. To have a shot, you have to be up there from the start.”
Georgia’s last national champion was Valdosta in 1992 (National Prep Poll, National Sports News Service). LaGrange won in 1991 (USA Today).
Grayson will be tested early. Its opener is Saturday against McEachern in the Georgia Dome. On Aug. 31, Grayson plays at home against Central of Miami – the team that USA Today ranks No. 1.
Grayson won its first state title in 2011. This year’s team has seven players on defense who have major college offers. That includes defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, the nation’s No. 1 recruit.
Until this year, Grayson had never been ranked No. 1 in preseason in Georgia, much less the nation.
“We’re learning on the run here because we’ve never been in this position before,” Conn said. “Preseason rankings, it’s a great compliment, and a lot of it is based on last year’s team and college prospects and all that. We’ve embraced that, but we’re not last year’s team. We’ve got to prove it every week.”
Georgia teams in the national rankings:
17. Camden County
56. Northside (Warner Robins)
57. Colquitt County
18. Colquitt County
16. Camden County
Story produced by Georgia High School Football Daily, a free e-mail newsletter. To join the mailing list, click here.