Who will be the Player of the Year in Georgia?

by: GHSF Daily Updated:

Buford's Korie Rogers tries to catch the ball on a long throw during action in the first half. Gainesville led 12-7 at halftime.

ATLANTA - Thomas County Central quarterback Adam Choice and North Gwinnett defensive end Dante Sawyer joined the Player of the Year Watch List after impressive opening games for their Top 10 teams.

Seven POY Watch players will play their season openers this week.

The POY Watch, in its third season as a feature in GHSF Daily, is designed to give recognition to some of the state’s best players.

Unlike the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Super 11 or all-state teams, which reflect a player’s individual talents, the POY Watch is more about a player’s impact on his team and the state as a whole.

These are the players who figure to have the best chance of winning the all-classification player-of-the-year award in December. The player’s position and team success are factors.

1. QB Deshaun Watson, Gainesville: Watson, the state’s all-time leading passer for yardage, opens his season Friday at West Forsyth, the team that intercepted him four times in 2012 in Gainesville’s 32-30 loss. Watson, who is committed to Clemson, passed for more than 4,000 yards and rushed for more than 1,400 in leading the Red Elephants to the Class AAAAA title in 2012.

2. RB Nick Chubb, Cedartown: Chubb opens the season against Rockmart on Friday. A year ago, he rushed for 356 yards and scored four touchdowns against Rockmart in a 40-14 victory. He finished with 2,721 yards rushing. Cedartown was 6-4. Chubb is committed to Georgia.

3. LB Korie Rogers, Buford: Rogers opens his season Friday against Elbert County. Rogers, who is committed to Clemson, is the best player for a No. 1-ranked team that is defending its title in Class AAA. He was the AAA defensive player of the year in 2012.

4. WR Demarre Kitt, Sandy Creek: Kitt opens his season Friday against Plant High of Tampa. He is the stat’’s best receiver, according to most recruiting analysts, and plays for a No. 1-ranked defending state champion. He had more than 1,000 yards receiving last season.

5. QB Tyler Queen, North Cobb: Queen opens his season Friday against Starr’s Mill, against which he had 242 yards passing and 64 rushing in a 42-3 victory last year. Queen, who is committed to Auburn, passed for 2,607 yards and rushed for 925 and accounted for 43 touchdowns for a Class AAAAAA semifinal team in 2012. He’s the only junior in the POY Watch.

6. QB Cole Garvin, Sandy Creek: Garvin opens his season on Friday against Plant High of Tampa. Garvin passed for more than 2,700 yards last season for the AAAA champions. He has committed to Marshall.

7. QB Donquell Green, Burke County: Green scored on a 79-yard run on the first play from scrimmage and totaled 235 yards of total offense in the first quarter of Burke County’s game last week against Thomson, which was called because of lightning in the second quarter. Burke led 21-0. In 2012, Green passed for 1,399 yards and rushed for 1,827 and scored 32 touchdowns in 2012 for an 11-2 team.

8. LB Raekwon McMillan, Liberty County: McMillan opens his season Friday against Bradwell Institute, against which he had 14 tackles, a sack and a blocked punt in 2012 in a 13-7 victory in 2012. The consensus No. 2 college prospect in Georgia made the AJC’s Super 11 team, but he has never played in a state playoff game. Liberty County was 6-4 in 2012.

9. QB Adam Choice, Thomas County Central: Choice rushed for 164 yards and scored two touchdowns on 15 carries in a 38-0 victory over Thomasville. Choice completed four of six passes for 76 yards. Choice, a member of the AJC’s Super 11 team, rushed for more than 1,500 yards each of the past two seasons.

10. DE Dante Sawyer, North Gwinnett: A preseason all-state pick in Class AAAAAA, Sawyer had seven solo tackles, two for losses, in a 34-14 victory over Camden County. Sawyer is rated among the top 10 defensive end prospects in the country and plays for the No. 3-ranked team in AAAAAA.

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