POY Watch: Gainesville’s Watson moves into lead

The Player of the Year Watch continues to be volatile as the playoffs reach the semifinals.

Gainesville quarterback Deshaun Watson – who threw five touchdown passes in the quarterfinals – is the new No. 1. His statistics of more than 3,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing and 67 touchdowns passing or rushing represent the state’s best offensive performance, and his team’s run to the semifinals has erased any demerits for three regular-season losses.

Out of the POY Watch list are outstanding players whose seasons ended last week. Malcolm Parrish of Brooks County, Chris Jordan of Thomson, Jacorey Lewis of Mill Creek and Donquell Green of Burke County made strong runs at the all-class player-of-the-year award but no longer have the opportunity to improve their resumes.

The POY Watch list does not necessarily represent the best 10 players or best 10 seasons, but the 10 players with the most potential to be in position for the award after the season.

Opportunity is a valuable asset. These 10 still have it:

1. QB Deshaun Watson, Gainesville: Watson was 31-of-39 passing for 427 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 145 yards and scored two touchdowns in a 64-13 victory over Harris County. On the season, Watson is 265-for-374 passing for 3,480 yards and 46 touchdowns and has rushed for 1,262 yards and 21 touchdowns. A junior, Watson has committed to Clemson.

2. RB Alvin Kamara, Norcross: Kamara rushed for 175 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries in a 34-20 victory over Camden County. On the season, Kamara has rushed for 1,959 yards on 244 carries and scored 27 touchdowns for the only undefeated team in Class AAAAAA. Kamara, the top-rated running back in Georgia according to some, is uncommitted.

3. QB Taylor Lamb, Calhoun: Lamb threw for 365 yards and four touchdowns in the quarterfinal victory over No. 2 Brooks County. For the season, he is 247-of-359 passing for 3,166 yards and 34 touchdowns with five interceptions for the No. 1-ranked team in Class AA. He has scored 11 touchdowns while rushing for 340 yards on 64 carries. Lamb has committed to South Alabama.

4. DB/WR/RB Vonn Bell, Ridgeland: Bell rushed for 86 yards and was in on more than 20 tackles in a 45-14 victory over Mary Persons in the Class AAAA quarterfinals. For the season, Bell has rushed for 1,008 yards and made 131 tackles with three interceptions. He has scored 20 touchdowns. He has caught 14 passes for 517 yards. A preseason AJC Super 11 pick, Bell is uncommitted.

5. RB Travis Custis, Lovejoy: Custis rushed for 137 yards on 31 carries in a 21-6 victory over North Gwinnett. On the season, Custis has rushed for 1,866 yards and 30 touchdowns. He also has 22 receptions for 245 yards and two touchdowns. He has committed to Georgia Tech.

6. QB Makail Grace, Wilcox County: Grace, recently named the Region 2-AA player of the year, was 28-of-34 passing for 352 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 125 yards and a score in a 39-21 victory over Marion County. In only 11 games, Wilcox is 210-of-333 passing for 3,054 yards and 29 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. He has rushed for 861 yards and 13 touchdowns on 152 carries. He is uncommitted.

7. DL Montravius Adams, Dooly County: Adams, the highest-rated recruit still in the playoffs, had nine tackles, two for losses, and forced a fumble in a 34-28 victory over Seminole County in the Class A (public) quarterfinals. Adams has 78 solo tackles, 5.5 sacks and more than 20 tackles for losses on the season. Adams is the top uncommitted recruit in the state and is ranked the No. 1 defensive tackle prospect in the nation by Scout.com.

8. WR Johnathan Howard, Wilcox County: Howard caught 13 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns in a 39-21 victory over Marion County in the quarterfinals. On the season, Howard has 99 catches for 1,421 yards and 17 touchdowns. If Wilcox reaches the Class A public championship game, Howard is on pace to break the state record for receiving yards in a season (1,655, held by Demarco Robinson of M.L. King) by two yards. Howard has committed to North Carolina.

9. QB Tyler Queen, North Cobb: Queen, the only sophomore on our list, passed for 221 yards and four touchdowns and ran for a score in the 42-35 victory over Mill Creek. For the season, Queen is 151-of-271 passing for 2,421 yards and 21 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. He has rushed for 918 yards and 19 touchdowns on 156 carries.

10. RB Kendall Conley, Whitewater: Conley rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-3 victory over Allatoona. Conley has rushed for 2,041 yards and scored 36 touchdowns on the season. At 5-9, 190, Conley is not yet a major college prospect and is uncommitted.

Others to watch: Keshun Hill, Northside-Warner Robins; RB Darrell Bridges, Ridgeland; RB/LB Xavier Tobler, Ware County; QB Bryant Shirreffs, Jefferson; QB Brooks Barden, Cartersville; Monroe Area RB Kwan Brooks

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43 comments Add your comment

Jacketaxe

December 5th, 2012
7:40 am

Great players, diplomatic story ending. Lamb made some great throws against Brooks when they were needed.

Bulldawg

December 5th, 2012
8:53 am

Once again, Lamb’s stats were for only three quarters of play against the #2 team in the state. However, I don’t expect him to win AJC Player of the Year since he won the Gatorade award. Watson is a terrific player.

Brooks Barden at Cartersville has also had a tremendous season. Would like to see him in a top ten slot.

Gridiron

December 5th, 2012
8:58 am

Deshaun Watson is the current alltime passing leader for yards and TDs. He has over 9100yds passing and 112 TDs.

YELLERJACKETZ1

December 5th, 2012
8:59 am

IM SURE WASON IS A GREAT QB AND WOULD B YERY DESERVING OF THE AWARD IF GIVEN 2 HIM. HAVE NOT SEEN HIM PLAY BUT MAYBE IF HE MAKES IT 2 THE DOME I WILL. I AM STICKING WITH TAYLOR LAMB AS MY PICK IF HE PLAYED THE ENTIRE GAMES HIS STATS WOULD B OFF THE CHARTS . HE HAD 358 YDS PASSING N LESS THAN 3 QTS AGAINST NO.2 BROOKS.

YELLERJACKETZ1

December 5th, 2012
9:09 am

LAMB IS GONNA FINISH CAREER WITH OVER 7000 YDS IN ONLY 2 YRS AND HAS ONLY PLAYED ABOUT 2.5 QTS ON AVERAGE HE DEFINITELY COULD HAVE HAD OVER 9000 IF HE PLAYED ENTIRE GAMES ,STILL NOT BAD FOR 2 YRS.WATSON WILL BREAK ALOT OF RECORDS BEFORE HE IS DONE!

Rev Al

December 5th, 2012
10:10 am

Watson has almost 3,500 yds. passing AND over 1,200 yards rushing. 46 td’s with only 7 ints. Done in AAAAA, not AA. Case closed….those are Xbox numbers….

Jefferson

December 5th, 2012
10:46 am

You can’t win if you are not a state champion appears to be the story here. I guess thats fine with me.

YELLERJACKETZ1

December 5th, 2012
11:03 am

REVERAND AL HOW MANY QTS DOES DESHAUN PLAY ON THE AVERAGE ? JUST CURIOUS

oldpolice

December 5th, 2012
11:14 am

yellerjacketz1, I’ll answer that. For the most part Deshaun plays the first half of games before the JV comes in.

oldpolice

December 5th, 2012
11:17 am

So. if I follow your logic and Deshaun played the whole game during the whole season, he could have well over 7,000 yards just this year. I’ve watched a lot of football in my life and I’ve never seen anything quite like him….at the high school level.

Rev Al

December 5th, 2012
11:20 am

Watson sat out all 4th and most of 3rd last week- in a quaterfinal game on the road. Didn’t play 4 quarters in several games due to blowouts. When playing in AAAAA, the competition is tougher and he has to play more. Kind of like Mr. Lamb had to play the ENTIRE games against better competition- Dalton, Ridgeland, Carrollton…I ain’t takin’ nothing away from Mr. Lamb, he is legit, but Deshaun Watson’s numbers are against bigger schools with more D1 players. Kell has 2 db’s that are going to UGA….2……in one secondary….he lit them up like granny’s Christmas tree and they hung 61 on them. Props to Mr. Lamb, but Deshaun is just a notch above him…

Rev Al

December 5th, 2012
11:25 am

Sorry, Police…..his numbers are what they are. Not extrapolated. ~3,500 yards passing, 1,200+ yards rushing, 46 td passes vs 7 int’s, hasn’t thrown an interception since week 2 against BU…11 games without an INT….I guess I should call you Sgt. Friday because…..those are just the facts, ma’am……

COACH62

December 5th, 2012
11:28 am

Waston is a complete QB !! i have wintnessed his playing ablitiy since he was 8 yrs old!! There are athletes that come along that you just know they have the talent. He has played most of all the qrts this year !! The JV qb has only come in when GHS has a very big lead!! He is commited to Clemson but i bet before it is all said and done he will go somewhere else!! This kid is the real deal !! GHS is on a quest the 2 games they lost at the end of the year has put a real fire in this team and the seniors were there when GHS lost to Peach by one in the dome 2009. So they want this really bad!!

fifener pod

December 5th, 2012
11:48 am

Keep in mind that Watson is only a junior, and 6′3, 200lb.,will probably grow into a beast, and will shatter every record for qts in the state.

TItletown USA

December 5th, 2012
12:15 pm

I have not seen him play in person, but I spoke a few people that know HS football and all reports are that this Watson kid is a beast. I wonder if UGA is watching?

My dad is a tv repairman. I can fix it.

December 5th, 2012
12:54 pm

I have seen a few of the above athletes play in person. They are all outstanding. However, Watson is the best of all of them. Defenses plan to stop or limit him. They cannot. While i have not seen every high school qb in the country, I doubt if there is a better junior qb in the nation! He also is our best basketball player. He has d1 basketball talent. And he is a humble genuine person. If anyone deserves POY two years in a row, its him.

COACH62

December 5th, 2012
1:13 pm

NO UGA IS NOT REALLY LOOKING AT HIM. OHIO STATE IS LOOKING HARD . AUBURN HAS OFFERED BUT WE KNOW HE WANT GO THERE . I UNDERSTAND HE WAS A BIG GATOR FAN AT ONE TIME.. JUST LOOK OUT FOR THE URBANATOR HE IS LOOKING AT THE TALENT!! AND YES WATSON IS A VERY HUMBLE KID AND A GOOD STUDENT. AND YES HE DOES DESERVE THE POY AWARD HANDS DOWN. BUY THIS TIME NEXT YEAR I DON’T BELIVE ANYONE WILL BE ABLE TO BREAK HIS RECORDS!!

Rev Al

December 5th, 2012
2:01 pm

UGA has, for a long time, not recruited Gainesville players very hard…..Blake Sims(Alabama), AJ Johnson(Tennesee), Deshaun Watson…..maybe I am missing something…

COACH62

December 5th, 2012
2:03 pm

no you are not missing anything !! UGA IS MISSING !! A.J. Johnson and Blake Sims both wanted to go to UGA but they never came after either of them. Losing great talent to out of state schools !!

Red Elephant

December 5th, 2012
2:20 pm

Gainesville has sent players to Notredame, Alabama, Tenn., Ga. Tech., Arkansas, and other D 1 schools over the past few years. UGA has shown little or no interest in any of these players. Guess they just don’t like Gainesville kids.

Rev Al

December 5th, 2012
2:27 pm

It’s a 40 minute drive from Athens to Gainesville- thanks to that Jefferson/Arcade bypass, yet these highly recruited Gainesville players never got much of a look from the major state school…..must be somethin’ in the water in Clarke County…..

COACH62

December 5th, 2012
2:41 pm

Must be !! 2 of the of of states recruits will be playing against each other on January 7. Blake Sims with Bama and T.J. Jones of Notredame. Sims was the QB T.J. was his number 1 WR.

Rev Al

December 5th, 2012
3:50 pm

I think TJ was always going to Notre Dame because of his father’s legacy. He sure could make some catches…and when Blake tucked the ball and took off….3 yards and a cloud….

WarEagle

December 5th, 2012
3:59 pm

How about Marist’s Greg Taboada — been dominating on the d-line all year and dangerous at TE.

COACH62

December 5th, 2012
4:33 pm

Yes he could !! We have some good ones today but they are young. By the time they are SRs they will be great also !! GHS STOMPING THEIR WAY TO THE DOME !!

real

December 5th, 2012
5:02 pm

Calhoun fans, Watson doesn’t play entire game, either. Played five minutes only in second half.
He also hasn’t thrown int. since second game of season, 300 passes in a row without int.
Has accounted for 68 TD’s this season and 147 in career with 11,726 total yards.
That said, his best qualities are poise and decision making.

TItletown USA

December 5th, 2012
6:43 pm

This has been an extremely revealing post for me…I follow HS football close in valdosta but do not agree with how a large segment of the young athletes are treated, especially African American ones. I have always had my reservations about the UGA program (even after DJ Shockley).

MC 12

December 5th, 2012
7:46 pm

Let’s give the guys catching these balls from Watson and Lamb some credit. Their passing percentage would not be so high if they did not have receivers who could catch and run after the catch. Imagine how blessed the receiver for Gainesville is . He catches balls for Watson in high school and will be catching balls for Lamb at South Alabama.

Longhorn nation

December 5th, 2012
8:21 pm

I can tell you this he played the hole game against KELL and if not for or QB having concrete shoes and brain freezes he would stayed on the side line most night but one thing is for sure WATSON IS THE REAL DEAL and I would beat that he better offers I no OHIO STATE is after him good luck to him and his team hope ELEPHENTNATION bring home the ring HOOK”EM HORNS

itsonlywrite

December 5th, 2012
8:43 pm

S/o to Longhorn Nation for “bigging up” the #ELEPHANTNATION … props to the Kell Longhorns … as far as my fellow Elephant bredren, Gainesville isn’t the only place getting overlooked with top talent(even though Vasser, Montrez Millner, and the guys from East Hall got recruited to UGA), it seems they miss out on alot of top talent in Georgia. The only top player I’ve seen UGA pick up from Georgia is Mason Hutson.

YELLERJACKETZ1

December 5th, 2012
8:46 pm

THANKS FOR ALL THE GOOD INFO ON D.W. RED ELEPHANTS GOOD LUCK IN YOUR GAMES. GO CALHOUN !!!

COLQUITT SUPPORTER

December 5th, 2012
8:47 pm

The article said Watson is committed to Clemson. I guess he is much like the one they have now with Boyd at QB.

YELLERJACKETZ1

December 5th, 2012
8:49 pm

YEAH THERE SHOULD BE ALOT OF SCOUTS LOOKING AT LAMB ALSO BUT I HAVEN’T HEARD OF ANY

chilidawg

December 5th, 2012
9:04 pm

Has there been a bulldog from Gainesville since Damon Evans?

Longhorn nation

December 5th, 2012
9:15 pm

I’m sure Lamb has a bunch seems that the market for QB in this senior and Jr class is full of talent I think Ga is full of great athletes at all positions seems it runs in spells every two years you get 2 great classes back to back full of talent.

My dad is a tv repairman. I can fix it.

December 5th, 2012
9:53 pm

Uga is trying to recruit watson as a tight end/kicker. See cam newton. Jus kiddin. Even when damon evans was ad, uga still didnt recruit gainesville. Makes no sense! Watson=Bull Elephant!

Bill Nye The Science Guy!

December 6th, 2012
2:40 am

Whitewater will be ready for Mr. Watson! Hannibal learned that elephants do not travel well.

Rev Al

December 6th, 2012
2:43 am

Last big time Gainesville player heavily recruited by UGA……no joke, I believe it was Chris Carpenter way back in 1983/84….

Rev Al

December 6th, 2012
2:44 am

Bill Nye….tell #74 for your team, that mountain of a tackle, that the game is moved to Saturday night…..lol….good luck on Friday, it should be a good one…

My dad is a tv repairman. I can fix it.

December 6th, 2012
2:56 am

Bill nye, das purdy funny bout hannibal. But #4 is gonna go hannibal lecter on your defense!

My dad is a tv repairman. I can fix it.

December 6th, 2012
3:05 am

Re: uga recruiting gville. Uga showed some interest in aj johnson but they wanted him to play defensive end. He dint want his hand in the dirt so he went to tenn. Uga got in game late on blake after he was sold on bama. They were recruiting him as a d back which wasnt a bad idea as he rarely gets any snaps at qb over there. Sims probly cud be an nfl safety or corner. Watson should be an nfl qb. Sims was an unreal high school qb and watson is even better.

Todd Holcomb

December 6th, 2012
8:29 am

”You can’t win if you are not a state champion appears to be the story here.”

I would not agree w/ that. It’s just that in this particular year, what player whose team is eliminated has had a season as good as Watson’s? And if your team is done, you can’t improve your case. There have been players to win POY who didn’t make it to the semifinals. Eric Berry was one. Greg Reid was another.

itsonlywrite

December 6th, 2012
11:59 am

@Todd .. the only thing I disagree with you on about your reply is that Watson dropped out of the POY race when Gainesville lost the last 2 games of the season even though the stats were still good.