Carver-Columbus RB Isaiah Crowell tops AJC Fab 50 list

Carver-Columbus RB Isaiah Crowell tops out the AJC's Fab 50 list of the state's top recruits. (AJC photo by Jason Getz/jgetz@ajc.com)

Carver-Columbus RB Isaiah Crowell tops out the AJC's Fab 50 list of the state's top recruits. (AJC photo by Jason Getz/jgetz@ajc.com)

The 2011 AJC Fab 50 is out, and it might just be the strongest group of football players ever assembled on paper in this state.

Traditionally, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has at the beginning of each year produced a list of what we believe to be the best senior high school football players in the state. That’s not exactly what this is.

While most of the names you’ll find on this list certainly were fine high school players, that’s not why they’re included. This is intended to represent the 50 best “college football prospects” in the state. So it’s based as much on potential at the next level as much as it is high school production.

Leading the list was a trip of 5-star-rated recruits who remain undecided about their college choices. Carver-Columbus running back Isaiah Crowell gets the distinction of being the top prospect in the state. He’s followed by Thomas County Central defensive end Ray Drew and Valdosta tight end Jay Rome.

“I certainly have no argument with it,” Carver coach Dell McGee said of Crowell’s rating as the state’s top player. “Isaiah has good size for a running back and he’s going to add muscle and mass without losing his speed in college. He breaks tackles, has great vision and instinct, catches the ball well and is a tough and very spirited kid. He has all the intangibles.”

Crowell had more than 1,700 yards rushing despite missing four entire games and parts of other with injuries.

Tucker linebacker James Vaughters, who is heading to Stanford, and Wilcox County quarterback Nick Marshall, round out the top five.

The list was compiled by me, AJC high schools reporter Michael Carvell and Georgia High School Football Daily publisher Todd Holcomb with consultation from some high school football coaches. Individual recruiting rankings and schools pursuing the players were also taken into consideration.

As ever, the state is stocked with high school football talent, so a lot of very good football talent was left off this list. But that doesn’t mean they’re not college football prospects. In fact an average of more than 150 players sign major college scholarships every year from our state.

So here it is below. I’m sure there are some names not listed you believe should be and others you think aren’t in the right place. Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions and I’ll weigh in when and where I can.

Rank player               Pos.           Ht.     Wt.                             High school    College

1. Isaiah Crowell        RB   6-0    210    Carver                        Choices: AL, AU, CL, GA, TN

2. Ray Drew               DE   6-5     250   Thomas Co. Central         Choices: AU, CL, GA, LSU , TN

3. Jay Rome TE    6-6     240   Valdosta Choices: AL, CL, GA, TN

4. James Vaughters         LB       6-2    230                            Tucker             Committed: Stanford

5. Nick Marshall         ATH           6-2    200                            Wilcox County               Committed: Georgia

6. Malcolm Mitchell WR  6-1      190    Valdosta                    Choices: AL. FL, GA

7. A.J. Johnson          LB    6-3     230   Gainesville                Committed: Tennessee

8. Xzavier Dickson     DE    6-5     260   Griffin                         Committed: Alabama

9. Xzavier Ward        OL   6-7     260   Colquitt Co.              Choices: AL, AU, GA

10. Shannon Brown  LB    6-2     225   Cook                          Committed: Alabama

11. Chris Conley WR  6-3     185    North Paulding Committed: Georgia

12. Damian Swann    DB   6-0    175     Grady                         Committed: Georgia

13. Stephon Tuitt       DE    6-5     260   Monroe Area            Committed: Notre Dame

14. Brian Randolph   DB   6-0    180    Kell                             Committed: Tennessee

15. C.J. Uzomah         ATH           6-5    235                             N. Gwinnett   Committed: Auburn

16. Gabriel Wright    DT   6-3     290   Carver-Columbus  Choices: AU, TN

17. Jabari Hunt-Days        LB      6-3    225                             Hillgrove Committed: Georgia Tech

18. Quan Bray            RB   5-11    180    Troup                         Committed: Auburn

19. Chris Milton         ATH           6-0    175                              Charlton Co.    Committed: Georgia Tech

20. Avery Walls        DB   5-11    185    ELCA                          Committed: Cal

21. Alan Posey           OL   6-6     310    Clarke Central         Committed: Tennessee

22. Corey Moore DB   6-1      190    Griffin                         Committed: Georgia

23. Alex Chisum       WR  6-2     185    Sandy Creek              Committed: Cincinnati

24. Demarco Robinson WR       5-10  165                              M.L. King         Committed: Kentucky

25. Sterling Bailey    OLB 6-5     250   East Hall                   Committed: Georgia

26. Marcus Caffey    RB   6-0    190    Grady                         Committed: Kentucky

27. Amarlo Herrera  LB    6-1      225   North Clayton          Committed: Georgia

28. Martay Mattox   QB   6-1      185    Clarke Central         Committed: South Carolina

29. Justin Scott-Wesley WR 6-1         210                             Mitchell County Committed: Georgia

30. Watts Dantzler  OL   6-7     315    Dalton                        Committed: Georgia

31. Kadetrix Marcus DB   6-1      185    Stephenson             Committed: South Carolina

32. Thomas O’Reilly         OL      6-3    296                             Pope                Committed: Auburn

33. Chris Sanders DB   6-1      175     Tucker                       Committed: Georgia

34. Tyler Hunter       DB   6-0    190    Lowndes                   Committed: FSU

35. Terrance Smith  LB    6-3     220   Southwest DeKalb Committed: FSU

36. Andre Sims         ATH           5-9    170                              Brookwood     Committed: Michigan State

37. Cameron Lynch  LB    5-11    215    Brookwood               Committed: Syracuse

38. Christian Reeves       TE      6-3    220        ELCA                Committed: Virginia Tech

39. Zach Laskey        RB   6-2     220   Starr’s Mill                Committed: Georgia Tech

40. Christian Harris LB    6-2     230   Etowah                      Committed: Tennessee

41. David Andrews    OL   6-2     280   Wesleyan                 Committed: Georgia

42. Taylor Gadbois   OL   6-7     295   East Paulding          Committed: Miami

43. Quincy McKinney        OL      6-4    295                             Carver-Columbus         Committed: South Carolina

44. Josh Clemons     RB   5-10   205   Whitewater              Committed: Kentucky

45. Darrius Caldwell DE    6-5     215    Mays                          Committed: Georgia Tech

46. Justin Garrett     LB    6-2     190    Tucker                       Committed: Auburn

47. Kyle Harris           OL   6-3     260   Pepperell                  Committed: South Carolina

48. Vincent Dallas WR  6-0    185    Cedar Grove             Committed: Tennessee

49. Broderick Snoddy       RB      5-9    192                              Carrollton        Committed: Georgia Tech

50. Ashely Lowry      RB   6-1      190    White County          Committed: Kentucky

174 comments Add your comment

dooley

January 9th, 2011
12:14 pm

dooley

January 9th, 2011
12:15 pm

going by this list, UGA might get back on track real soon!!!!!
GO DAWGS

Recrootin' DAwG

January 9th, 2011
12:15 pm

Didn’t Darrius Caldwell (#45) dominate Jay Rome(#3) at a recent all star practice?

2012 FEAR THE END

January 9th, 2011
12:15 pm

2012 FEAR THE END

January 9th, 2011
12:15 pm

Dawgfood

January 9th, 2011
12:16 pm

jay z

January 9th, 2011
12:20 pm

Does Ga recruit the top players in it’s state anymore?

Chase

January 9th, 2011
12:25 pm

What’s the word with Rome, and Mitchell? What does Mitchell look like he is leaning towards?

Hairy Dawg

January 9th, 2011
12:27 pm

Congrats dooley

Big Dawg

January 9th, 2011
12:30 pm

We need a big class in a bad way. Crowell is a must have! Let’s hope he has Georgia on his mind.

DawginOH

January 9th, 2011
12:30 pm

Here’s to hoping the Dawgs can reel in the top 3! Fingers crossed on both hands.

Chip, do you know how things are going with Grantham’s recruiting of Mr. Jenkins? Are you aware of any other solid NT prospects on Georgia’s radar, high school or JUCO?

dooley

January 9th, 2011
12:31 pm

preciate that Hairy Dawg

dooley

January 9th, 2011
12:33 pm

as a former Carver-Columbus player, the word down here is that Isaiah is a silent UGA commit as well as a few others.

ATL XMAN

January 9th, 2011
12:34 pm

looks like a top 5 class for sure when it’s all said in done, another good reason i love have mark richt and company at UGA. top football players love them and want to play for them.

RRTDawgs

January 9th, 2011
12:38 pm

That is good news about Crowell and also another teammate of his Deion Bonner a 2012 recruit has UGA as his leader Carver Columbus could be a pipeline and as for Rome will be a dawg he is a 90% UGA lean .

Chase

January 9th, 2011
12:42 pm

@Dooley, who would be those few others?? -.-

GeoffDawg

January 9th, 2011
12:47 pm

Impressive group of DBs (including Nick Marshall) heading to Athens next season.

[...] is the original post:  Carver-Columbus RB Isaiah Crowell tops AJC Fab 50 list | AJC … This entry was posted in Lee County Bloggers and tagged broderick-snoddy, committed, dominoes, [...]

Bull

January 9th, 2011
12:53 pm

Chip, sort of off topic question but just curious….how do the all American games decide which top players they get on their roster?

Chris

January 9th, 2011
12:57 pm

In a couple of weeks Crowell will be in Crimson and White just like Xzavier Dickson. Roll Tide!!!

Terry

January 9th, 2011
12:58 pm

Does anyone think that James Vaughters could change his mind since Jim Harbaugh decided to leave Stanford for the 49ers?

Goodtimes 4life

January 9th, 2011
12:59 pm

this should be a very impresseive class lets finish strong dogs! And the negative comments from tech fans should start in 5,4,3……..

GoCoach Mark!

January 9th, 2011
1:03 pm

Richt and Fox! Saw True Grit last night – it was AWESOME! http://www.upglad.com

RRTDawgs

January 9th, 2011
1:04 pm

Dickson may not be a solid commit and with Green leaving UGA has good shot at Mitchell .

mike

January 9th, 2011
1:05 pm

Goodtimes 4life

January 9th, 2011
1:07 pm

@terry I saw an interview on scout.com and he said he loved stanford and he was still pretty solid.

collegeballfan

January 9th, 2011
1:09 pm

I notice 5 “Committed to Tennessee” names on the list. It appears young Dooley has noticed his native state. But then, Tennessee has always recruited well in Georgia.

Only 5 are uncommitted. I find that amazing.

Mr. SEC

January 9th, 2011
1:09 pm

A word of caution! The longer players wait to make a commitment, the harder it is on schools like UGA to put players in place to rebuild a program. If UGA has to go way out of state to fill a position, so be it! Our latest 2 in-state players we needed and wanted went to Ala. and Auburn; forget these people who are playing games with the UGA Nation and go out and get the best you can get while there are still a few out there. If these kids want to come to UGA, their commitment will come before now. This is one of the biggest problems that UGA can’t overcome. This has killed UGA’s recruitment for years, (word of advice) quit playing games with these guys and get players when the getting is good. There are plenty of guys out there without 5 stars beside their names, these guys can be special. Go get someone who has the guts to man up. Leave the poker players alone, get a commitment that is proud to say, “I choose UGA”! The longer UGA waits, the more they cut their own throats! (Ex.-UGA played the recruiting game with DaRick Rogers, you see where he went; I only use him as an example, I didn’t like him anyway), but UGA played his game and lost! UGA needs to get serious about their in state talent! UGA does use all of their football scholarships they can use yearly, why, the talent is gone by the time signing day comes, then we start saying “wait until next year and we will get so and so”! BULL! I am afraid that UGA has waited to long again to fill their needs!

dooley

January 9th, 2011
1:10 pm

@Chase, Rome, Mitchell, and possibly, maybe, Drew…..The kid Bonner really likes UGA….

Dawg Tired

January 9th, 2011
1:12 pm

I’m with Mr. SEC. Tell ‘em we need a decision soon or else we’re looking elsewhere.

Chris

January 9th, 2011
1:13 pm

RRTDawgs

January 9th, 2011
1:04 pm
Dickson may not be a solid commit and with Green leaving UGA has good shot at Mitchell .

Georgia 6-7
Bama 10-3

That sounds solid to me

Dawg Tired

January 9th, 2011
1:15 pm

Make a deal with a big time running back. First to accept our offer has the job. Forget this wishing and hoping style of recruiting. Go get someone now!!

Dawg Tired

January 9th, 2011
1:18 pm

Terry – I don’t want someone who has to “change his mind” in order to come to UGA. I want kids who want to be a Dawg more than anything else. Frankly, I don’t care how many stars they have according to some recruiting guru who’s never played a down of football in his entire life.

Mr. SEC

January 9th, 2011
1:19 pm

Please read Dean Legge’s article today at dawgpost.com! Great article!

Dawg Tired

January 9th, 2011
1:22 pm

BTW – Just what is a “silent commit?” Why not just do it? Why play such games? Give me a kid who wants to shout it from the roof top, “I’m all Georgia!” Otherwise, go somewhere else. Either you want to be a Dawg or you don’t. Just be honest about it.

Ole Yeller Dawg

January 9th, 2011
1:24 pm

Enter your comments here

AFDawg

January 9th, 2011
1:24 pm

Isaiah, Come to Athens and carry on the tradition of Sinkwich, Trippi, Walker, Hearst, Davis, Hampton, and all the others.

Roaddawg80

January 9th, 2011
1:26 pm

MR. SEC

Duhrick Rogers was committed. Everyone has people they are waiting on. Actually most of the coaches already know who is coming. i.e. Swann. He said he committed at the GALA.

By the way Alabama looked bad on national television yesterday and don’t be surprised if Les Miles go to Meeechigan that Kirby Smart isn’t the next head coach at LSU.

Roaddawg80

January 9th, 2011
1:31 pm

Dawg Tired

you say shout it from the top. Swann gave a silent commit at the GALA. He shouted it out on national television. How much bigger could that get. They are HS kids. They want there time in the sun and they work hard for it.

I don’t like the drama attention some of them go for but there is nothing wrong with what Swann did.

Chris

January 9th, 2011
1:36 pm

AFDawg

January 9th, 2011
1:24 pm
Isaiah, Come to Athens and carry on the tradition of Sinkwich, Trippi, Walker, Hearst, Davis, Hampton, and all the others.

And don’t forget getting arrested also

JESUP

January 9th, 2011
1:38 pm

I will NOT believe any “commitments” until after they enroll……learned that last year, hope this year the DAWGS can steal a few on Signing day. Like the big DT that is committed to OK.ST.

UCF owns the mutts

January 9th, 2011
1:41 pm

Crowell is coming to UCF!!!!!!

Ole Yeller Dawg

January 9th, 2011
1:43 pm

Don’t be naive!

There is “Big Money” floating around for some of these game changing recruits…….it’s a system just like in the NFL, you don’t commit or sign your contract until you see what the guy below or above you receives, this will establish the going rate!

My guess this years rate will start at about 200K.

Dawg Tired

January 9th, 2011
1:43 pm

Roaddg – I’m ok with announcing it at these All-Star games. That is shouting it!

Mr. SEC

January 9th, 2011
1:45 pm

Roaddawg80—-you can’t spell! Again, read Legge’s article!

sandman053

January 9th, 2011
1:46 pm

I am waiting to hear about Jenkins as well. He is a beast…but I know our work is cut out for us. Where is he from orginally? Anyone know?

just a fan

January 9th, 2011
2:01 pm

Chip,

Are there an updates on John Jenkins.

Joe Mama Angie Daddy

January 9th, 2011
2:02 pm

Just go ahead and pay these guys what they want, so we will know where they are going!

Murray

January 9th, 2011
2:03 pm

Chip, really good list but I think Justin Coleman of Brunswick could also have been included. He’s committed to Tennessee, has size, great speed and had something like 800 rushing, 500 receiving, five or six interceptions and about 400 yards in kick returns this season.

UGAKev

January 9th, 2011
2:09 pm

Isiah Crowell is a great talent but he is not even the best running back to come out of Columbus, GA the past 5 years. Dantrelle Savage is the greatest football player to come from this area who played two years at Oklahoma State after juco if people have forgotton. Crowell played on a stacked team. Savage played on a bad team withh no good offensive line and still would rush for almost 200 yards on good teams. Savage had a good two years at Oklahoma state under Gundy, I wish he would of played for the dawgs since he was a big bulldawg fan. I hope crowell is a great player if he comes to the dawgs but if you put Dantrelle Savage on Carvers team this year it would of been astronomical numbers.