Top-players by position: Multi-position athletes can be dominant
In today’s category in the series of Top 10 players at each position, we look at players who aren’t easily assigned just one position. They often are dominant in multiple aspects of the game from offense to defense to special teams. They often are underrated because they are not obvious all-state candidates at any one position, but they are some of the most valuable players in the state.
*Ryan Davis, Blessed Trinity (5-10, 165): Davis is a junior receiver, cornerback, return man and punter who made first-team all-state last season largely on his overall impact. On offense, he had 50 catches for 706 yards and seven touchdowns. On defense, he had 48 tackles, two interceptions and eight pass breakups. On special teams, he had 594 return yards and a touchdown. Davis has an offer from Georgia in what might be his best sport – baseball. The center fielder wants to play both in college. He has no firm football offers yet, but Vanderbilt, North Carolina, Duke and UAB are recruiting him.
*James Graham, Fitzgerald (6-1, 180): Graham has led Fitzgerald to back-to-back Class AA title games and is 26-4 as a starting quarterback. He has rushed for 2,500 yards in that time, including 188 in a losing cause against Benedictine last year in the final. He also has thrown for more than 2,500 yards as his passing skills have improved. Michigan is a possible landing spot for him.
*Anthony Grant, Buford (5-11, 195): Grant, Buford’s best all-around player, rushed for 1,484 yards and 24 touchdowns and caught 21 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns last season for the Class AAAAA runner-up. As a linebacker, Grant had 47 tackles, three sacks and eight QB pressures. Rated the consensus No. 21 RB prospect nationally, Grant is committed to Tennessee.
*Jadon Haselwood, Cedar Grove (6-3, 190):Haselwood is the consensus No. 1 WR prospect nationally among juniors and is committed to Georgia. But he’s less likely to leave the field on defense, where he had 53 tackles as a strong safety last season for the Class AAA champions. He had 46 receptions for 811 yards.
*Matthew Hill, Brookwood (6-2, 185): Hill, a key reason for Brookwood’s turnaround 8-4 finish last season, could be the best all-around player in Class AAAAAAA. He had 41 receptions for 849 yards (20.7 per catch) and nine touchdowns as a receiver and 98 carries for 625 yards (6.4 ypc) and eight touchdowns as a running back. He returned 19 kickoffs for 512 yards (26.9). On defense, he had 24 tackles and returned a fumble for a touchdown. Hill, a top-175 recruit nationally, is expected to choose among Alabama, Auburn and South Carolina this month.
*Trezman Marshall, Clinch County (6-1, 215): Marshall, a top-100 national recruit among juniors, has the potential to become Clinch’s best all-around player ever. He’s best at linebacker, where he had 70 tackles and three sacks and returned an interception for a touchdown. He was 33-of-72 passing for 679 yards and 14 touchdowns and rushed for 595 yards and nine touchdowns. Marshall has offers from Georgia, Alabama, Clemson and others.
*Kyler McMichael, Greater Atlanta Christian (6-1, 195): McMichael, who is committed to Clemson, is rated the No. 10 cornerback prospect nationally by 247Sports, and he got his preseason all-state recognition at that position, but he’s more conspicuous on Friday nights in GAC’s offensive backfield. He rushed for 1,493 yards and 16 touchdowns last season for the Class AAA runner-up team.
*Markeith Montgomery, Ridgeland (5-8, 165):Montgomery was a unanimous first-team all-state player in 2016 as a defensive back. He had 96 tackles, forced two fumbles, broke up 10 passes and intercepted two passes. He also rushed for 738 yards and 10 touchdowns with an average of 9.1 yards per carry. Montgomery is committed to Kennesaw State.
*Malik Washington, Parkview (5-9, 180): The Panthers’ best all-around player is Washington, a junior who had 41 receptions for 649 yards and 61 carries for 369 yards while scoring nine touchdowns. He was 11-for-13 passing, three for touchdowns. On defense, he had five interceptions. He has offers from Auburn and Tennessee.
*C.J. Wright, Screven County (6-0, 285): There is probably no better all-around athlete in the state than Wright, a Georgia Southern commit and reigning Region 4-AA player of the year. At fullback, he rushed for 1,043 yards and scored 22 touchdowns. At defensive tackle, where he was recognized as first-team all-state, he had 58 tackles, nine for losses. In track and field, he was the Class AA champion in the discus and shot put. In wrestling, he was the AA runner-up in the heavyweight division.
Coming Friday: Specialists
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