Top projected players by position: Golden era for QBs in Georgia
This is the first in a series of articles that recognizes 10 of the best players at each position in Georgia high school football. It begins with quarterbacks.
October 30, 2015 – Norcross, Ga: GAC quarterback Davis Mills (16) attempts a pass in the first half of their game against Lovett at Greater Atlanta Christian Friday in Norcross, Ga., October 30, 2015. PHOTO / JASON GETZ
This is the golden era for the position in Georgia, certainly according to the recruiting experts. Trevor Lawrence is rated the No. 1 prospect nationally among juniors. Jake Fromm (No. 3), Davis Mills (No. 4), Chase Brice (No. 11) and Bailey Hockman (No. 13) are among the highest-rated pro-style quarterbacks nationally in the senior class. It comes at a time when former Gainesville QB Deshaun Watson of Clemson is probably the early favorite to win the Heisman Trophy.
Our list does not include some outstanding quarterbacks who don’t project to play those positions in college. Expect Calhoun’s Baylon Spector, Glynn Academy’s Deejay Dallas and Liberty County’s Richard Lecounte to be featured later as athletes or defensive players. It also does not include another blue-chip QB, Emory Jones of Heard County, because our list is based primarily on high school production to this point. Jones, the No. 3-rated QB prospect among juniors, committed last week to Ohio State.
*Chase Brice, Grayson (6-2, 205): Grayson became a state power as a wing-T running team. Brice changed all that. In fact, new coach Jeff Herron was willing to scrap the wing-T, the offense around which he built his career, to suit Brice, whowas 179-of-261 passing for 2,716 yards on last year’s state semifinal team. Brice had 29 touchdown passes, at least one in every game and five against Brookwood, against which he hit on 17 of his 18 attempts. Brice is committed to Clemson, where former Grayson head coach Mickey Conn now works. He is the No. 25 prospect in Georgia and No. 11 pro-style QB in the nation.
*Jake Fromm, Houston County (6-2, 220): Fromm was the Gatorade state player of the year in 2015, when he was 250-of-424 passing for 4,099 yards and 36 touchdowns. The Bears are 21-5 in Fromm’s two seasons as a starter. He’s a top-50 national recruit who is rated the No. 3 pro-style QB in the country. He is committed to Georgia and will enroll in January.
*Ryan Glover, Woodward Academy (6-2, 190): Glover is committed to coach Mike Bobo and Colorado State. Glover led Woodward to the AAAA semifinals last season, when he was 158-of-256 passing for 2,740 yards and 26 touchdowns with only four interceptions. He rushed for 392 yards.
*Bailey Hockman, McEachern (6-2, 210): Hockman, a senior and the son of McEachern head coach Kyle Hockman, has thrown for 6,811 yards and 70 touchdowns in his career. After making first-team all-state as a sophomore, Hockman’s junior season wasn’t outstanding. He was 118-of-216 passing for 1,722 yards and 14 touchdowns, meaning he might have a bit to prove in 2016. A left-hander, Hockman is the consensus No. 29 prospect in Georgia and No. 13 pro-style quarterback nationally. A former Georgia commit, Hockman is now committed to Florida State.
*Bradley Hunnicutt, Jones County (5-10, 175): Hunnicutt has thrown for 5,126 yards and 39 touchdowns in two seasons while leading the Greyhounds to a 19-5 record, the best two-year mark in the 70-year history of the program. Hunnicutt has completed 63.9 percent of his passes. Several schools are interested, although only Liberty has offered, as his size is not the prototype for major Division I.
*K’hari Lane, Macon County (6-1, 230): Lane was the Region 4-AA player of the year in 2015, when he threw for 3,245 yards and 30 touchdowns. He ran for 476 yards and 10 touchdowns. Now, Macon County is down in Class A, so Lane could be the odds-on favorite to take player-of-the-year honors in the classification. He’s also down to 220 pounds (played at 245 last year). “If Khari was 6-4 or better, we would be talking about him like they talk about Jake Fromm,” Macon County coach Dexter Copeland says. “He has a cannon of an arm and has great field vision.” Lane is picking among several mid-major Division I offers.
*Trevor Lawrence, Cartersville (6-5, 195): Lawrence is the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect among juniors. He has thrown for 6,697 yards and 69 touchdowns in two seasons of high school ball. (The records are 13,077 and 159 by Watson). Lawrence led Cartersville to the Class AAAA championship last season. Lawrence’s final college choices were Georgia and Clemson, with a decision expected almost any day now.
*Davis Mills, Greater Atlanta Christian (6-2, 170): Mills was 169-of-282 passing for 2,821 yards and 25 touchdowns for a 12-2 team last season He rushed for 577 yards and 14 touchdowns. Mills is rated the No. 4 pro-style quarterback nationally, one spot behind Fromm. He is committed to Stanford. Kipp Adams, a recruiting analyst for 247Sports, believes he could be the best QB in the country. ”It is hard to find a flaw in his game,” Adams said. “Mills has the mental aspect down, and the size, arm talent and athletic ability to develop into a high NFL draft pick.”
*Davis Shanley, South Forsyth (6-1, 170): Colquitt County coach Rush Propst said Shanley was the best quarterback that his Packers faced last season. Shanley was 160-of-254 passing for 2,348 yards and 25 touchdowns on an 11-2 team. He rushed for 623 and eight touchdowns. His size – 6-1, 170 – probably conspired to make him just a two-star recruit. Shanley will announce his college choice on Saturday.
*Jelani Woods, Cedar Grove (6-7, 230): Woods, the tallest major Division I quarterback from Georgia since probably Al Pinkins of Mitchell-Baker a generation ago, was DeKalb County’s leading passer last season (121-of-194 for 1,992 yards, 20 touchdowns), though he’s still considered raw. Cedar Grove, the school that produced recent former Vanderbilt QB Johnny McCrary, reached the Class AA semifinals last year under Woods’ guidance. Rated Georgia’s consensus No. 62 overall prospect and the No. 31 pro-style QB nationally, Woods is committed to Oklahoma State.
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