POY Watch: Cherokee's Harris having breakout season

Cherokee senior Andrew Harris already led the state in receiving yards last week when he put an exclamation point on his breakout season with another 10 catches and 207 yards in a victory over previously unbeaten Woodstock.

No receiver in Georgia is having a better season. Harris has 53 receptions for a state-leading 918 yards and 10 touchdowns.

He remains a secret to college recruiters. He has three lower Division I offers. Harris had only 21 catches last season as a junior. He was better known for track and field. He was Cherokee County's champion in the long jump and 200 meters.

"He has always been a freakish athlete, but this year he is so much faster and stronger, which has allowed him to be more physical," Cherokee coach Josh Shaw said. "He really improved his route running during the offseason, and I think he only has one drop in our six games. He is performing at an extremely high level that I haven't seen before. He is also a great kid and leader."

Harris is one of three new members this week to the GHSF Daily Player of the Year Watch. The others are Pickens RB Shannon Brooks, the Minnesota-committed senior who has 1,154 yards rushing at the mid-point of the regular season, and Colquitt County RB Sihiem King, whose specialty seems to be showing up for the big games.

1. QB/DB A.J. Gray, Washington County:Gray rushed for 194 yards and four touchdowns and passed for 78 yards in a 56-20 victory over Laney. For the season, Gray has rushed for 785 yards and 14 touchdowns on 83 carries (9.4 ypc) and is 40-of-67 passing for 893 yards and nine touchdowns. On defense, he has returned two interceptions for touchdowns. Washington County (6-0) is ranked No. 1 in Class AAA. Gray is committed to Georgia Tech.

2. QB Kylil Carter, South Cobb:Carter was 19-of-30 passing for 210 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 234 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries in a 42-21 victory over Pebblebrook. In five games, Carter has rushed for 914 yards and 12 touchdowns on 98 carries (9.0 ypc) and is 89-of-136 passing for 1,479 yards and 14 touchdowns with one interception. Carter is on pace for more than 2,900 yards passing and 1,800 rushing in the regular season. South Cobb is 3-2.

3. RB/QB/DB Deshawn Waller, B.E.S.T. Academy:Waller rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, was 2-of-4 passing for 38 yards and a touchdown, caught a 35-yard pass and returned an interception 95 yards for a touchdown in a 20-19 victory over Holy Innocents'. On the season, Waller has rushed for 1,014 yards and nine touchdowns on 124 carries (9.0 ypc). Sometimes a quarterback, Waller is 18-of-34 passing for 317 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions. He has 1,679 all-purpose yards. He has made 23 tackles and intercepted three passes, returning one for a touchdown. B.E.S.T. is 3-3 against the No. 1-rated schedule in Class AA. Waller has offers from Georgia State and Indiana.

4. RB Eric Swinney, Sandy Creek:Swinney's team did not play last week. For the season, Swinney has 722 yards rushing and eight touchdowns on 111 attempts (6.5 ypc). Sandy Creek (5-0) is ranked No. 2 in Class AAAA. Rated the consensus No. 10 running-back prospect in the nation, Swinney is committed to Ole Miss.

5. RB/DB Ruben Garnett, Aquinas:Garnett rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown in a 31-6 victory over Hancock Central. For the season, Garnett has rushed for 1,095 yards and 15 touchdowns on 135 carries (8.1 ypc) and has three TD receptions. He has made 23 tackles in the secondary. Garnett has rushed for at least 125 yards and a touchdown in every game. Aquinas (6-0) is ranked No. 1 in Class A. Duke reportedly leads to sign Garnett among 15 Division I offers.

6. WR Andrew Harris, Cherokee: Harris caught 10 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns in a 42-21 victory over previously unbeaten Woodstock. For the season, Harris has 53 receptions for a state-leading 918 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has scored on a 47-yard run and 91-yard interception return and thrown a 65-yard TD pass. Cherokee is 5-1. Harris has offers from Chattanooga, Central Arkansas and Jacksonville State.

7. DE D'Andre Walker, Hughes:Walker had six tackles, two for losses, and a sack in a 38-7 victory over Campbell. For the season, Walker has 13 sacks for 64 yards in losses and another 13 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Walker also has forced three fumbles. Hughes is 4-1 and ranked No. 4 in Class AAAAAA. Walker is the consensus No. 17 prospect in Georgia and No. 11 weakside defensive end nationally, according to 247Sports. Auburn, Tennessee and Georgia reportedly are his leaders.

8. RB Shannon Brooks, Pickens: Brooks rushed for 246 yards and four touchdowns on 22 carries in a 35-7 victory over Northwest Whitfield. He has rushed for 1,154 yards and 16 touchdowns in Pickens' 4-1 start. Brooks rushed for 1,696 yards as a junior and 1,064 as a sophomore despite his team having never made the playoffs. Brooks is committed to Minnesota.

9. RB/LB Tra Minter, Schley County:Minter rushed for 191 yards and two touchdowns and returned a kickoff 85 yards for a score in a 36-16 victory over Central of Talbotton. In five games, Minter is the state's leading rusher with 1,204 yards on 132 carries (9.2 ypc). He has scored 17 touchdowns, two on kickoff returns. On defense, he has made 35 solo tackles and 22 assists - five behind the line - and caused two fumbles. Schley County is 3-2 in Class A. Minter (5-9, 190) has offers from Appalachian State and Troy.

10. RB Sihiem King, Colquitt County: King rushed for 147 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries in a 45-27 victory over then No. 3-ranked Lowndes. King has rushed for 653 yards and 12 touchdowns on 97 carries (6.7 ypc) and played his best against Colquitt's toughest opponents - Mill Creek (124 yards), Hoover (172), Enterprise (100) and Lowndes (147). He has scored at least one touchdown in 19 of his last 20 games. Only 5 feet, 9 inches and 172 pounds, King has about 10 offers, including one from Georgia Tech.

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