Prior to the 2018 season, we unleashed a large list of the top 43 guys to keep an eye on in our area for Player of the Year potential. With just three regular season games to go, let’s break down our top 10 “favorites” to win the award, our top 10 “fringe” players, and finally, our “surprise” players who fit in any of the other categories as well.
NOTE: Many guys having great seasons aren’t in the “top 20” at the moment, and aren’t surprises as surprises are guys we didn’t see coming at all.
Pierson Allison – Union Co JR QB
In our initial POY Watch List, he was labeled an “Up and Comer” and he has certainly proved that more than true. Last year he had just 224 yds, 4 TD passing as a backup.
2018: 1,899 yds, 15 TD, 3 INT (68% passing); 521 rush yds, 9 TD
Logan Barnes – Dawson Co SR S
He was on the “defensive stalwarts” list and is the only guy we’re putting in our top-10 favorites. The Wofford commit is just ridiculously good.
2018: 75 tackles, 1 TFL, 3 INT, FF
Sevaughn Clark – Dawson Co SR RB/QB
He may or may not put up the 1,800 yards he had last season, but the senior who we knew was a “front-runner” is as unselfish as it gets, sacrificing tons of yardage and carries in his new QB role.
2018: 637 rush yds, 12 TD; 506 pass yds, 5 TD, 1 INT
Donovan Curry – Habersham Central SR WR/DB
Curry was initially in our “front-runner” group, so no surprise at all. A career season for him.
2018: 610 rec yds, 5 TD, 37 rec; 341 kick ret yds; 15 tackles, 1 TFL
Austin Jones – Rabun Co SR WR/S/KR
The “Swiss Army Knife” is at it again for Rabun. The Furman commit has battled some injuries, but he’s all-state for a reason and was on our “front-runner” list coming in.
2018: 522 rec yds, 5 TD, 25 rec; 29 rush yds, 155 punt ret yds, 1 TD; 43 tackles, 6 TFL, 1 INT, 6 pass def, 1 FF
Ahmad Kamara – Dawson Co SR RB
We honestly didn’t know about Kamara until his transfer to Dawson County, so he’s an obvious “surprise” candidate for us, and a great one at that. What a bruiser!
2018: 786 rush yds, 9 TD
Tre Luttrell – Habersham Central SR QB
Luttrell was considered a “front-runner” coming in from our original list, and he’s proving that to be true as well. The Gainesville transfer is having a career year.
2018: 1,454 yds, 17 TD, 5 INT (51% passing); 432 rush yds, 3 TD
Michael Mintz – White Co SR RB/LB
He’ll be below in the surprise list for us…we didn’t see this kind of year coming at all. His stats don’t blow you away, but it’s hard to argue a better all-around athlete right now aside from the likes of Austin Jones (Rabun).
2018: 60 tackles, 2 Sacks, FF, Fum Rec, FR TD; 135 rush yds, 9 TD; 146 rec yds, 2 TD
Gunner Stockton – Rabun Co FR QB
Stockton was an “up and comer” on our list, and he’s living up to the hype that surrounds him. Who else as a freshman already has a D-I offer?
2018: 1,496 yds, 14 TD, 3 INT (66% passing); 465 rush yds, 10 TD
Terrence Walker – Banks Co SR RB
We had Walker as a “front-runner” already, so we expected this. He has slowed down a little as of late, but that’s due to a few tough ranked opponents zeroing in on him.
2018: 700ish rush yds, 10 TD
Colby Clark – Jefferson JR QB/LB
Clark would be on this list and was a “front-runner” coming into 2018, but has missed now four games due to injury. His stats though would be perfectly in line.
2018: 402 yds, 4 TD, 1 INT (41% passing); 485 rush yds, 9 TD; 26 tackles, 3 TFL
NEXT 10: ON THE FRINGE
These dudes are right there in the thick of it and well-worth the talk.
Dontarius “DonDon” Bailey – Habersham Central SR WR
Bailey was an “up and comer” and has balled out this season.
2018: 384 rec yds, 8 TD, 20 rec; 13 tackles, 0.5 TFL, Fum Rec
Zac Baloga – Dawson Co SR LB
He was on our “defensive stalwart” list, and we knew he’d come in and dominate again this season.
2018: 32 tackles, 13 TFL, 8 Sacks, Fum Rec
Brison Beck – Rabun Co SR RB
The “up and comer” took on a full RB load this season and no one regrets it, except maybe opposing defenses.
2018: 718 yds, 11 TD
Sawyer Drake & Kyle Morlock – Union Co SR WR
These guys can’t be distinguished enough to separate them. Stats are almost identical, and with 30 catches each, Pierson Allison is making it hard to control this group if you’re on the other side of the ball.
DRAKE 2018: 550 yds, 5 TD, 30 rec
MORLOCK 2018: 443 yds, 4 TD, 30 rec
J Ben Haynes – White Co SO QB
Haynes was a “front-runner” preseason for BLITZ, and has had a decent statistical season to date.
2018: 1,152 yds, 8 TD, 8 INT (49% passing); 132 rush yds
Jay Lepkoske – White Co SR RB/DE
Lepkoske was expected to have a big year. Trust us when we say his numbers don’t do justice.
2018: 300 rush yds, 3 TD; 104 rec yds, 5 rec; 26 tackles, 4 TFL, 2 Sacks, FF, Fum Rec
Caleb Mason – Commerce SR RB/S
Mason has been a nice “surprise” although we’re positive he saw the hard work paying off like this.
2018: 383 rush yds, 8 TD (9.8 YPC; only 39 touches); 25 tackles, Fum Rec, 2 INT
Chayton Schafer – Union Co SR S
Schafer classifies as a “surprise” for us. He has certainly put up the numbers.
2018: 56 tackles, 10 TFL, 3 INT, 2 Pass Def, 3 Blk; 166 rec yds, 3 TD, 12 rec; 13 rush yds
Luke Smith – Lumpkin SR RB
Smith has been incredible and the obvious MVP for the Indians this season.
2018: 668 yds, 8 TD; 38 rec yds, 1 TD; 16 tackles, 1 TFL, FF
Jackson Webb – Rabun Co SR DE
The “defensive stalwart” is having an unforgettable senior campaign.
2018: 54 tackles, 16.5 TFL, 10 Sacks
Our Biggest Surprises this season include the following players from these respective teams.
- Caleb Mason
- Ahmad Kamara
- Jackson Clouatre
- Tarin Westbrook
- Kade McNally
- Kyle Amburgy
- Brody Jarrard
- Gamarion Carter
- Hudson Spurlock
- Alan Gillis
- Chayton Schafer
- Michael Mintz
- Cooper Turner