ATLANTA - Metro Atlanta running backs Joshua Bettistea of Allatoona and Treyvon Paulk of Milton are the newest additions to GHSF Daily’s Player of the Year Watch.
They’ve got a lot in common. Both are averaging more than 150 yards rushing per game for undefeated teams. Both had good seasons last year but were not their team’s leading rushers. Bettistea (1,190 yards rushing, nine TDs, 13 games) was behind T.J. Herron, and Paulk (964 yards rushing, 14 TDs, 11 games) was behind Peyton Barber.
Both have thrived this year as feature backs.
Here’s the latest 10:
1. LB/RB Raekwon McMillan, Liberty County: McMillan had 12 tackles (two for losses), a sack and two QB hurries in a 40-20 victory over Johnson of Savannah. On offense, he rushed for 42 yards and a touchdown on seven carries and caught a 65-yard TD pass. On the season, McMillan has 28 tackles, eight for losses. He has rushed for 264 yards and five touchdowns on 25 carries and caught three passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns. He also has 10 pancake blocks as a fullback. Liberty County is 3-0. The consensus No. 2 college prospect in Georgia made the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Super 11 team.
2. RB Nick Chubb, Cedartown: Chubb rushed for 266 yards and scored five touchdowns on 14 carries in a 62-21 victory over LaFayette. Chubb played only briefly in the second half. For the season, Chubb has rushed for 730 yards on 58 carries (12.6 ypc) and scored 13 touchdowns in three games, all victories. Chubb, the No. 1-rated running back prospect in Georgia, finished with 2,721 yards rushing in 2012, a state record for the regular season. Chubb is committed to Georgia.
3. DE Dante Sawyer, North Gwinnett: Sawyer had seven tackles, one for a 6-yard loss, in a 36-17 victory over defending Class AAAAAA champion Norcross. On the season, Sawyer has 22 tackles, seven for losses, for the No. 1-ranked team in AAAAAA. Sawyer is rated among the top 10 defensive end prospects in the country.
4. QB Deshaun Watson, Gainesville: Watson was 18-of-36 passing for 307 yards and four touchdowns in a 68-0 victory over Winder-Barrow. Watson became the first Georgia quarterback to surpass 10,000 yards passing for a career. For the season, Watson is 67-of-109 passing for 883 yards and five touchdowns with one interception in three games. He has rushed for 138 yards and one touchdown on 31 carries. Watson is committed to Clemson.
5. LB Korie Rogers, Buford: Rogers had six tackles, two quarterback pressures and one sack while playing only 2.5 quarters of a 63-0 victory over Hancock Central. For the season, Rogers has 18 tackles, including a sack, in Buford’s 3-0 start. He also has caught a 19-yard pass. Rogers, who is committed to Clemson, is the leader of the No. 1-ranked team in Class AAA. He was the AAA defensive player of the year in 2012.
6. RB Taj Griffin, McEachern: Griffin rushed for 119 yards on 12 carries in a 53-7 victory over Pebblebrook. For the season, Griffin has rushed for 456 yards and two touchdowns on 43 carries (10.6 ypc) in McEachern’s 3-0 start. He is rated the No. 1 all-purpose running back prospect in the country in 247Sports’ composite rankings for the class of 2015. McEachern is ranked No. 2 in Class AAAAAA.
7. QB Adam Choice, Thomas County Central: Choice rushed for 107 yards on 22 carries and was 6-of-11 passing for 124 yards in a 21-0 victory over Cairo. For the season, Choice has rushed for 589 yards on 86 carries (6.8 ypc) and scored five touchdowns in four games. He is 16-of-30 passing for 292 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Choice also plays in Central’s secondary. A member of the AJC’s Super 11 team, Choice rushed for more than 1,500 yards each of the past two seasons.
8. Stanton Truitt, Monroe Area: Truitt rushed for 125 yards and three touchdowns on eight carries and was 4-of-5 passing for 145 yards and two touchdowns in a 53-0 victory over Oconee County. For the season, Truitt has rushed for 478 yards on 38 carries (12.6 ypc) and is 11-of-21 passing for 283 yards and seven touchdowns with two interceptions. Truitt is committed to Auburn.
9. RB Joshua Bettistea, Allatoona: Bettistea rushed for 217 yards and four touchdowns on 25 carries in a 45-14 victory over Rome. On the season, Bettistea, a junior, has 552 yards rushing and eight touchdowns on 51 carries (10.8 ypc) in Allatoona’s 3-0 start. Bettisttea rushed for 1,190 yards and nine touchdowns as a sophomore despite not being the feature back.
10. RB Treyvon Paulk, Milton: Paulk rushed for 132 yards and one touchdown and caught an 18-yard pass in a 52-10 victory over Centennial. Paulk has rushed for 461 yards and eight touchdowns on 66 carries (7.0 ypc) and led Milton to its first 3-0 start since 1999. Paulk, the No. 2 running back prospect in Georgia according to 247Sports, is committed to Tennessee.
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