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 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 Co. Choices: AL, AU, GA
10. Shannon Brown LB 6-2 225 Cook Committed: Alabama
11. Chris Conley WR 6-3 185 North 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. 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 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