10 best HS quarterbacks: Watson heads list

Over the next several days, we’ll be providing a position-by-position look at some of Georgia’s best high school football players. It starts today with quarterbacks.

These 10 were chosen based on what they bring to their high school teams. These are not recruiting rankings. In fact, four of the 10 are not being recruited as quarterbacks.

Who are the best quarterbacks that we left out?

- Brooks Barden, Cartersville: Barden led Cartersville to a 13-1 finish (best since the 1999 state championship team) while passing for 2,872 yards (189 of 304) and 39 touchdowns with only five interceptions. Despite good size (6-3, 200) and being a coach’s son, Barden is not yet considered a blue-chip prospect.

- Adam Choice, Thomas County Central: Choice is rated as the No. 1 running back recruit in Georgia by Rivals.com, but he’s been one of the state’s better high school quarterbacks for the past two seasons. In 2012, he rushed for 1,656 yards and scored 23 touchdowns in 12 games. He passed for more than 600 yards. Lee County coach Dean Fabrizion endorsed Choice as a state player-of-the-year candidate last season. ‘’Talk to any of the coaches of teams TCC has played and I am sure they will agree,’’ Fabrizio said. “He is the best I have seen in a long, long time.’’

- Cole Garvin, Sandy Creek: Garvin led his team to a state title last season as a junior. He was 147-of-227 passing (64.8 percent) for 2,491 yards and 20 touchdowns with eight interceptions. Garvin has several offers from mid-major programs including Southern Miss, Marshall and Middle Tennessee. He’d probably be an ACC/SEC recruit if he were taller than 6-foot-1.

- Donquell “Gator” Green, Burke County: Green was 86-of-132 passing for 1,399 yards and 11 touchdowns with only two interceptions last season, but he’s better known for his running skills. He rushed for 1,827 yards and scored 32 touchdowns on 177 attempts. Burke was 11-2 and lost to eventual champion Sandy Creek in the AAAA quarterfinals. Green also was a key figure on Burke’s state championship team in 2011. Green has offers from Georgia Tech, North Carolina and others. At 5-8, he’s unlikely to play quarterback in college. Most are recruiting him as a receiver.

- Tyler Harris, Pierce County: Harris passed for more than 2,500 yards and 29 touchdowns last season, when Pierce went 10-2. It was the Bears’ first 10-win season since 1982. Harris has offers from Alabama, Kentucky and Mississippi State, according to Rivals.com, is probably the top prospect in Georgia among pro-style quarterbacks.

- Tyler Queen, North Cobb: As a sophomore, Queen led North Cobb to its first state semifinal since 1959. He passed for 2,607 yards (completing 60 percent of his attempts) with 23 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He also rushed for 925 yards and 20 touchdowns. As a rising junior, Queen already has an offer from North Carolina.

- Malkom Parrish, Brooks County: Parrish threw for 3,001 yards with 24 touchdowns and rushed for right at 1,000 yards and scored 17 touchdowns on a team Class AA team that stunned Valdosta in early season and went 10-0 for the first time in school history. Parrish is being recruited as a cornerback and has offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech and others.

- Charles Stafford, Monroe: The best player in the Albany area, Stafford passed for 2,921 yards and 22 touchdowns last season and led his team to an 8-4 finish. He was 221-of-319 passing. He also rushed for 342 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s 6-2, 195, but is still waiting on top college programs to take a more keen interest.

- Stanton Truitt, Monroe Area: Truitt led Monroe Area to its first-ever state semifinal as a junior in 2012. He missed four games with an ankle injury, but in the 10 that he played, Truitt rushed for 1,438 yards and scored 17 touchdowns. He passed for 764 yards and eight touchdowns. Truitt has over 20 scholarship offers, including those from Florida, Tennessee, Nebraska and Stanford. At 5-9, he’ll probably be a defensive back or running back.

- Deshaun Watson, Gainesville: Watson already is the state’s all-time leader in passing yards. In 2012, he was 305-of-434 passing for 4,011 yards and 50 touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,430 yards and scored 24 touchdowns. Watson has committed to Clemson. Rivals.com rates him the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback prospect in the nation.

52 comments Add your comment

WarEagle

May 15th, 2013
9:46 am

Adam Choice is excellent, but I thought the top running back recruit in Georgia is Nick Chubb.

StormyT

May 15th, 2013
10:06 am

Chase Noonan from North Paulding should be considered for this list. He had over 2400 yards passing with 32 TDs, over 700 yards rushing w/ 4 TDs and 1 TD receiving. And led his team to the 2nd round of the playoffs. He was 2nd Team All State QB behind Watson in AAAAA. At only 5′ 9″ he’s not garnering much attention from colleges yet but he can play….just ask Flowery Branch.

AverageJoe

May 15th, 2013
10:27 am

Watson is head and shoulders the best QB in the state. G’ville does a great of utilizing his skill set for that up-tempo, no huddle offense.
The Garvin kid at SC is really good too. Cannon for an arm, and runs a “pro-style” offense.

Todd Holcomb

May 15th, 2013
10:33 am

Stormy – Chase literally was the last guy that I considered that didn’t make it. I remember the Flowery Branch game. Good call.

Todd Holcomb

May 15th, 2013
10:37 am

WarEagle – You are correct. Rivals rates Choice at #8 nationally and Chubb at #10, but Chubb is favored by most. I will re-word that.

Swamp Lizard

May 15th, 2013
10:48 am

Hey Todd …… Here’s you a “SLEEPER” to keep an eye out for this year ….. Class A Dalton Ethridge of Eagles Landing Christian Academy ….. he can do it all, run it, throw it, and LEAD. I do believe his on the ESPN Watch List too.

tom

May 15th, 2013
10:49 am

Where is Monore High School in Albany? Never heard of that one.

Todd Holcomb

May 15th, 2013
11:11 am

SL – Dalton Ethridge was definitely on my radar. The stats that I have on him are: 94-for-137, 1,381 yards and 11 touchdowns passing. Rushed for 772 yards and 19 TD on 106 carries. Won state title. Per his coach, “If games would have been closer, there is no telling how many yards he would have thrown for and rushed for. Very, very good quarterback. Has many colleges looking at him due to his performance in the playoffs.”

monroealbanyfan

May 15th, 2013
11:16 am

Monroe comprehesive high school is in south albany. Charles stafford is one of the best QB’s in georgia, he just does not get a lot of exposure because he lives in a heavy basketball and track city in south georgia. He is one of the mentally toughest, humble, and clutchess QB’s in the state. He has been starting since a freshman and he thrown over 2,500 for two years straight. He is one of those type of players that you only get a couple of times as a coach in your coaching career. he has a 3.6 GPA and he is very special. some college team will be lucky to get him. if you have time go check out his highlight tape on youtube

Monroe Area

May 15th, 2013
11:21 am

Truitt is a great athlete and will shine again this year. His brother is doing well at Notre Dame as well…

Momamoon

May 15th, 2013
12:18 pm

Hey Monroe Area there is a difference between Stephon Tuitt and Staton Truitt they are not related although Truitt does have a little brother coming up from the middle school who is a pretty good ball player himself. Monroe Area will be around to watch in the future.

kramers2009

May 15th, 2013
12:52 pm

Watch out for Willie Candler at Lovett. He started as a true freshman in 2011, was only a sophomore last year. Expect big things out of him in his third year in Mike Muschamp’s offense.

Tha Truth

May 15th, 2013
1:44 pm

Watch for AJ Bush….just transferred from Milton to…..NORCROSS

waltonfan

May 15th, 2013
2:14 pm

Good call on Dalton Ethridge….I saw him play as a sophomore and he was very good then. Also a great example of why you shouldn’t get too wrapped up in stats. Some teams are predominantly running teams and therefore the QB will not rack up big passing stats. Also, with Ethridge and many others, the very good teams often are in blow out situations by halftime. A good example of a school where both the running game and blowouts are a factor working against the QB’s stats is Buford.

SEC

May 15th, 2013
2:32 pm

Yea Johnny Manziel’s 6′1 height really hurt him last year. I’ve watched Cole Garvin play and schools that dismiss him because he’s 6′1 are fools.

Chris H

May 15th, 2013
2:51 pm

Rafe Chapple GACS. As a Junior last seaon he led his team to the Semi-Finals before bowing to State Champ Jefferson. Set single season school records for passing TDs (26), completions (154) and yards 2461. 16 yards per completion, 64% completion rate vs only 7 ints. Rushed for almost 400 yards and 8 TD’s. Despite only being 6′ 1″ he is being recruited by Ole Miss, Texas Tech, BYU as well as the mid majors. Older Brothers Lee (UNA), and Colton (Harvard) were All-American selections as QB’s in college.

Todd Holcomb

May 15th, 2013
3:19 pm

Chris – Thanks for pointing out Rafe. My hope is that people will recognize lots of Georgia’s best QB’s. My list of 10 is just a good starting point, I hope.

rwdekalb

May 15th, 2013
3:43 pm

After watching Deshaun Watson absolutely dismantle one of the top defenses in the state, Ware County in championship game, he definitely lived up to all the hype around him. It seems as though Sandy Creek has had sn excellent qb for the past several years.

rwdekalb

May 15th, 2013
3:48 pm

@WarEagle. Did the Marist qb from last year graduate. He may not be mentioned in this particular blog but that young man really made Marist a dangerous team last year. The Carrollton game was absolutely incredible.

BLACK

May 15th, 2013
3:58 pm

@Todd Holcomb.
How dare you leave 6′7 Elijah Staley from Wheeler High school off the list.. He has single handedly led that team from losing to its first playoff birth in over 10 years.. And he is a 2 sport star. SHAME ON YOU for even thinking he shouldnt be on the list..

WarEagle

May 15th, 2013
4:35 pm

@rwdekalb — Yes, Myles Willis is graduating and will be taking his talents to Boston College, probably to play running back or a slot receiver. He was a terrfic quarterback for the Marist offense, and he will be missed. That’s the beauty of high school football — every year seniors leave and new players need to step up.

That Dude Says...

May 15th, 2013
4:51 pm

I agree with AverageJoe.

[...] According to the AJC.com, Brooks county’s qb Malkom Parrish is among the top ten best quarterback’s in the state.  Read the AJC article that includes a feature on Parrish here [...]

Jacketaxe

May 15th, 2013
6:18 pm

Watson has all the tools, records will shatter.

Big Boy

May 15th, 2013
6:33 pm

How does somebody with the name MONROE AREA, think that Tuitt and Truitt are brothers???? Wow.

Playoff Vet

May 15th, 2013
7:23 pm

Daniel David of Mill Creek playing in 7AAAAAA last year as a sophomore. This kid has all the tools and led his team to the quarter finals. Throws it and runs it well. Put him on your list.

First Down Creek!!!!

May 15th, 2013
8:16 pm

Cole Garvin would have better stats were it not for the great running game the Creek has and the fact that he rarely plays in the fourth quarter. Watson is a beast and Stafford is a steal for any D1 school that is in need of a QB. Gator is electric. I hope he gets a shot at returning punts and kickoffs at the next level.

Todd Holcomb

May 15th, 2013
8:29 pm

re: Staley – The Wheeler QB is outstanding. Good argument, Black. Staley did carry a team to the playoffs. It’s tough to get recognition as a QB in high school unless your team makes a run in the playoffs or the QB puts up super numbers. As a result, Staley didn’t get a lot of push for all-state, and that was the list I was working off. But glad you mentioned him. Staley is committed to Vanderbilt. He must be a good student also. Good for Elijah.

Rev Al

May 15th, 2013
11:32 pm

UGA should offer Gator Green. The kid might not have ideal size, but he can flat out play. I witnessed the debacle Burke put on my Red Elephants in 2011, and he is a player. Recruiting isn’t an exact science, so why not offer the young man?

NoDistrictLinesInDekalb

May 16th, 2013
7:12 am

Just can’t get through an article on Ga High School Football without a transfer can we? ” Watch for AJ Bush….just transferred from Milton to…..NORCROSS” ..
Milton to Norcross hmmm. Come on GHSA do something ! I know Norcross hs won some award for the school a few weeks ago, but was it academics or was the kid swayed by those nice looking uniforms they have….Sit out 1 year….

PBJ

May 16th, 2013
7:38 am

To Mamamoon, you said Truitt has a younger brother that is a good athlete in middle school. my son is in the school that feeds to Monroe Area and I don’t recall a kid playing football or basketball, named Truitt, does he have a different last name ?

bucfan

May 16th, 2013
8:07 am

Mitchell Webb from East Paulding is a big strong kid, he’s a very good qb and should get consideration.

HogWild

May 16th, 2013
9:20 am

You forgot D-Mob in Colquitt County. Look for him to put up big numbers this year now that he has the team all to himself.

Todd Holcomb

May 16th, 2013
10:11 am

HogWild – You’re right about Mobley. I didn’t include him because he wasn’t a full-time starter last season. Preferred to list the guys who did a little more in ‘12. But if you’re projecting this season, you’d have to put Mobley high. Propst said that he wouldn’t take any QB that he’s every coached over Mobley.

re: Mitchell Webb – He’s another good one. Didn’t have a chance to put up big numbers because EP ran the ball so well and b/c of blowouts. I think he’s a three-year starter.

CountryD

May 16th, 2013
10:14 am

Slade Dale, Ringgold…Over 3,000 total yards last year…

black123456789

May 16th, 2013
10:38 am

Monroe needs discipline on and off the field. They got good players in some spots but not a complete team. SC in team to beat again. I wouldn’t sleep on Eastside and Stephen County.

CRASH

May 16th, 2013
10:56 am

How do you leave rising junior Bailey Bryant of Newnan HS off this list? 6′4 195lbs threw for 1800 yards and 17td’s as a sophmore in the highest classification in the state of Georgia!!!

PBJ

May 16th, 2013
12:15 pm

You are soooo correct, black123456789, I don’t believe they will go 12-2 again, but, I hope I am wrong, because the Senior leadership is not there like last year, it’s all about ‘ME’, from what I heard so far this year. How did their spring game look ?

GwinnettGridironRecruits.com

May 16th, 2013
1:43 pm

Montgomery VanGorder of Buford won the 3AAA State Championship. While splitting snaps @ QB he went 53-77 (68.8%) 784 yds, 11 TD’s, and 0 Int’s. He has good mechanics and footwork. Also won the Golden Gun Accuracy Challenge @ the Atlanta Elite 11 Regional. His dad Brian was a defensive coordinator for the Georgia Bulldogs, Atlanta Falcons, and the Auburn Tigers.

FridayNightLightsFan

May 16th, 2013
2:38 pm

@ Todd “re: Mitchell Webb – He’s another good one. Didn’t have a chance to put up big numbers because EP ran the ball so well and b/c of blowouts. I think he’s a three-year starter.”

100% right

Webb will be the best athlete on the field most nights this year.

FridayNightLightsFan

May 16th, 2013
2:56 pm

One more thing. Webb is a 4th year starter (3rd at QB). He was a starting safety as a freshman.

black123456789

May 16th, 2013
8:48 pm

Missed it along with a lot of people ! Got to have discipline and stop with all foolishness but hey it’s Monroe, which mean people are happy with them bringing in $. Funny they don’t suspend players due I by the season.

Metro Fan

May 17th, 2013
8:42 am

Although Watson does not play in an offense that requires him to read the field or make a lot of touch passes on intermediate routes as he will need to do at the next level; I still say he’s the best player to come out of Georgia since I moved here in 2005. He will win a national championship and possibly the heisman wherever he ends up, even if that’s Clemson.

Flyer

May 17th, 2013
9:10 am

Todd, another that deserves consideration is Will Anderson at Lassiter. He was a 3 year starter at Wesleyan and transferred to Lassiter in January. At Wesleyan he amassed 4260 yards passing on 341 completions. I would expect these numbers to grow with Lassiters more passing offense.

Todd Holcomb

May 17th, 2013
10:23 am

Flyer – Yes, Anderson was given a lot of thought for this list. If it were a list of ‘pure QBs,’ he’d definitely be there. Three of the 10 are really athletes/running backs. Very curious to see how Anderson does in AAAAAA vs. A. I’m sure he’ll be fine. He’s very experienced, as you note.

ringgold fan

May 17th, 2013
12:42 pm

HEY TODD WHAT ABOUT –slade dale out of ringgold–started and PLAYS both ways ENTIRE GAME every year even as freshman–has atleast 5 intereceptions each year first 3 years on defensivie side of ball–ON OFFENCE SOPHMORE YEAR–threw for 1200 yards 8td and rushed FOR 752 YRDS 6 TD–JUNIOR YEAR—THREW AND RUSHED FOR COMBINED 3000 YARDS AND 24 TDS—

ARM SPEED

May 17th, 2013
1:05 pm

Price Wilson from Walton HS deserves a mention. He finished ahead of all those QBs on your list with the exception of DeShaun Watson at the Atlanta Elite 11 last month. As a matter of fact, the only QBs from the state of Georgia that made the final round were Watson, Price Wilson & Stephen Collier. Unfortunately, Wilson only started five games playing behind Parker McLeod last year. Keep him on your radar.

Tha Truth

May 17th, 2013
3:34 pm

@Flyer…note on Will Anderson formerly of Wesleyan…. he was the QB for the Norcross championship 8th grade team featuring Myles Autry…why go all the way to Lassiter ?…could have just gone across to street and joined back up with his old team

Golden Lion Forever

May 17th, 2013
4:46 pm

What someone left a private school to go public? I just can’t believe that happens !
I was told it was “ONLY” the other way around. Quick some call GHSA. Wow I am stunned.
I know the kid probably wants to show his stuff in a tougher region. Well good luck Mr. Anderson.
@Flyer guess Norcross had already gotten their QB don’t need 2 seniors fighting for playing time.

slim065

May 17th, 2013
10:09 pm

Agree that Wilson at Walton is one to look for. He looked a little “raw” in games last year but has supposedly impressed at the camps. So will be interesting to see how that translates this year. Definitely has the potential to lead Walton to a good year with some of that other talent on the team.

Anderson at Lassiter is also another intriguing one to watch. He will likely be in a tight QB race with the rising junior that led Lassiter’s JV team to a 6-1 mark last year. But Lassiter seems to know what they are doing at the QB position after putting their last 2 into the SEC, so time will tell if the competition will bring out the best in them and see if one can win the job outright.

Surprised the Milton QB went to Norcross. Sounded like Milton had a good amount of talent returning on the o-line and also at RB and WR, but as with most families, can’t fault them for wanting to put their children in the best place to succeed/be noticed.