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
Produced by Georgia High School Football Daily, a free e-mail newsletter. To join the mailing list, click here.