Kickoff to the 2019 high school football season is less than 10 days away. Who emerges as Class AAAAAAA’s best players remain to be seen, but here are 20 that look pretty good on paper. Each is coming off big 2018 seasons, and most are major Division I recruits.
*Harrison Bailey, Marietta: Bailey played just nine games before an injury shut down his 2018 season but was 212-of-335 passing for 2,809 yards and 29 touchdowns with six interceptions against one of the state's toughest schedules. Bailey is committed to Tennessee.
*Carter Peevy, Archer: A four-year starter, Peevy was 179-of-269 passing for 27 touchdowns with five interceptions for an 11-3 team in 2018. He was the Gwinnett Daily Post's first-team all-county quarterback. Peevy has small-college offers.
*Cody Brown, Parkview: Brown rushed for 1,588 yards and 25 touchdowns on 183 carries last season. He finished with three consecutive 200-yard rushing games. The only junior on the list, Brown (6-0, 210) is a four-star recruit and top-100 national prospect in the class of 2021.
*Chancellor Lee-Parker, Mill Creek: Lee-Parker (5-11, 180) rushed for 1,284 yards and 13 touchdowns on 173 carries despite missing three games with an injury. He's explosive, yet powerful for his size.
*Daijun Edwards, Colquitt County: Edwards rushed for 1,480 yards as a junior, giving him 3,405 for his career. He has 53 rushing touchdowns in three seasons. Edwards (5-10, 200) is a four-start recruit whose favored schools reportedly are Auburn and Florida State.
*Jordon Simmons, McEachern: The most dynamic of Georgia's elite backs, Simmons rushed for 982 yards and 16 touchdowns on 105 carries and had 380 yards receiving on 25 catches. A three-star recruit, Simmons (5-10, 185) has several SEC and ACC offers.
*Parker Wroble, Mill Creek: Wroble is firstly a wide receiver who had 45 receptions for 698 yards in 2018, but he also rushed for 663 yards and seven touchdowns on 86 carries in the highest classification. He was first-team all-Gwinnett County as a junior.
*Josh Downs, North Gwinnett: Downs had 854 receiving yards and nine touchdowns last season. In 2017, he had 63 catches for 1,019 yards on a state-championship team. A four-star recruit, Downs (5-10, 165) has committed to North Carolina.
*Arik Gilbert, Marietta: A tight end who lines up wide at times, Gilbert had 88 receptions for 1,210 yards and 14 touchdowns in 11 games. He set single-game school records for catches (15), yards (294) and touchdowns (five). Gilbert is a five-star recruit.
*Ricky White, Marietta: White caught 55 passes for 1,006 yards in just 10 games for Wheeler last season. He'll join Gilbert and Boston College-commit Taji Johnson to form the state's most star-studded receiver corps. A three-star recruit, White (6-1, 175) has committed to Michigan State.
*Micah Morris, Camden County: The only junior on the list, Morris is a potential five-star recruit. He's rated the No. 32 overall player in the class of 2021. He was the only sophomore lineman to make first-team all-Region 1-AAAAAAA last season. Morris (6-4, 315) is a left tackle with an NFL frame.
*Paul Tchio, Milton: Tchio was the ringleader of an offensive line that led Milton to its first state championship in 2018 and was named first-team all-state. He was credited with more than 100 knockdown blocks. Tchio also played a little defense (22 tackles) and Wildcat quarterback. Tchio (6-5, 300) is a four-star recruit committed to Clemson.
*Trey Zimmerman, Roswell: Zimmerman was the best lineman on Roswell's region championship team in 2018, when he made first-team all-state. Zimmerman (6-6, 294) is committed to North Carolina.
*Jamil Burroughs, McEachern: Burroughs (6-2, 330) had 10 tackles for losses, nine hurries and five sacks against frequent double-teams for McEachern, a perennial Class AAAAAAA playoff team. He's a four-star recruit committed to Georgia.
*B.J. Ojulari, Marietta: Ojulari led his team with 104 tackles - 18 for losses - while forcing three fumbles in 2018, when he was the only first-team all-state junior defensive lineman in the highest classification. He's also a three-year starter on the offensive line. Ojulari (6-3, 225) is a four-star recruit slated to announce his college choice Aug. 16. His brother, Azeez Ojulari, is an outside linebacker at Georgia.
*Myles Murphy, Hillgrove: Murphy had 16 tackles for losses and seven sacks for a 12-1 team that lost only to eventual Class AAAAAAA champion Milton 20-19. He is the consensus No. 1 prospect in Georgia. ‘’ ''I see one or two of these types every year in my job,’’ Rusty Mansell of 247Sports told Georgia High School Football Daily. ‘’If nothing changes the path he is on, he will be another NFL high draft choice from Hillgrove. I hate to use the word because it gets thrown around so much in my world, but he is every ounce of a freak. I watched him two years in a row take over the McEachern game in the fourth quarter. Tells you all you need to know playing that good, that late in games.''
*Kobe Wilson, Parkview: Wilson was the defensive player of the year in Region 7-AAAAAAA last season on an 11-1 team. He's Parkview's hardest-working player, his coaches say. Wilson had 81 solo tackles in 2018. He is a three-star recruit committed to Memphis.
*Rashad Torrence II, Marietta: Torrence, a safety, didn't play last season after the GHSA declared him ineligible, but he started as a sophomore and finished third on the team in solo tackles with 80. He's the No. 38 overall prospect in Georgia and might be higher if not for the sit-out penalty imposed for failing to make a bona fide change of residency. Torrence (6-0, 195) is committed to Florida.
*Nyquann Washington, Colquitt County: Washington is Colquitt's best returning defensive player and a three-year starter. He had 37 solo tackles, three sacks and two interceptions in 2018. Washington (5-11, 165) is an uncommitted three-star prospect.
*Brock Travelstead, North Paulding: Travelstead made 17 of 18 field-goal attempts, his longest 46 yards. He put 55 of 61 kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks. His punting average was 43.0 yards. Travelstead is rated the consensus No. 5 place-kicker prospect nationally by 247Sports Composite. He is committed to Louisville.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.