POY Watch: Sapp, Minter, Waller enter top 10

Milton LB Quarte Sapp, Schley County RB/LB Tra Minter and B.E.S.T. Academy RB/QB/DB Deshawn Waller are the three newest members of GHSF Daily's Player of the Year Watch.

Sapp, a major Division I prospect, is the ringleader of a defense that has shut down potential region champions Alpharetta (17-10) and Norcross (26-0). Milton (2-0) is ranked No. 6 in Class AAAAAA.

Milton defensive coordinator Pete Deweese said Sapp's strength is his versatility. He can cover receivers, blitz and make tackles sideline to sideline.

"The linebacker coach for a perennial top-10 [college] defense watched us practice last week and told me flat out that 'I think he will play from day one wherever he ends up. He is too athletic and too smart not to,' " Deweese said.

Minter has the best per-game rushing average in the state (280.5) and has scored nine touchdowns in two games,

albeit for a Class A team that will struggle to break .500 this season. Minter also is his team's leading tackler.

Waller, another two-way player, had one of the best games of his career for seventh-ranked B.E.S.T. of Class AA. He had 200 yards passing and rushing.

The top six in the POY Watch remained the same.

1. QB/DB A.J. Gray, Washington County:Gray was 4-for-7 passing for 104 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns in a 42-3 victory over Veterans. On defense, he had three solo tackles and jarred a ball loose from a receiver coming over the middle. On the season, Gray is 27-of-39 passing for 522 yards and five touchdowns. He has rushed for 263 yards. On defense, he has 15 tackles, two for losses, and has returned two interceptions for touchdowns. Washington County (3-0) is ranked No. 1 in Class AAA. Gray is committed to Georgia Tech.

2. WR Preston Williams, Lovejoy:Williams had six catches for 163 yards and a touchdown in a 27-24 victory over Hillgrove. His 38-yard TD reception tied the game in the fourth quarter. For the season, Williams has 16 receptions for 389 yards and five touchdowns in fifth-ranked Lovejoy's 3-0 start. Williams also is his team's punter. Rated the No. 3 wide-receiver prospect in the nation, Williams is committed to Tennessee.

3. DL Trent Thompson, Westover:Thompson had 14 tackles, five for losses and a sack, in a 31-10 victory over Northside of Columbus. For the season, Thompson has 30 tackles, 12 behind the line, and three sacks for a 2-1 team. Thompson, an AJC Super 11 pick, is the consensus No. 2 recruit in the nation. He is committed to Georgia.

4. RB Eric Swinney, Sandy Creek:Swinney rushed for 211 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries in a 31-14 victory over Newnan. For the season, Swinney has 614 yards rushing and seven touchdowns on 83 attempts (7.4 ypc). Sandy Creek (4-0) 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 170 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries and caught a 31-yard pass in a 44-20 victory over Our Lady of Mercy. For the season, Garnett has rushed for 595 yards and eight touchdowns on 69 carries (8.6 ypc) in three games. He has made seven tackles in the secondary. Aquinas (3-0) is ranked No. 1 in Class A. Duke reportedly leads to sign Garnett among 15 Division I offers.

6. WR Darius Slayton, Greater Atlanta Christian:Slayton's team did not play last week. For the season, Slayton has 14 catches for 288 yards and six touchdowns - two that were highlight-reel game-winners - for the No. 1-ranked team (3-0) in Class AA. Auburn and Georgia are the reported leaders for Slayton, the consensus No. 19 wide receiver prospect in the country.

7. LB Quarte Sapp, Milton: Sapp's team did not play last week. For the season, Sapp has 21 total tackles - two for losses and one for a safety - and three interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. Milton (2-0) is ranked No. 6 in Class AAAAAA. Milton is allowing 5.0 points per game against teams that otherwise are 4-0 and averaging 30.5 points. Sapp is rated the consensus No. 23 outside-linebacker prospect nationally. His reported leader is Tennessee.

8. RB/QB/DB Deshawn Waller, B.E.S.T. Academy: Waller, asked to play quarterback because of an injury, was 11-of-20 passing for 208 yards and two touchdowns in a 22-7 victory over Therrell. Waller also rushed for 200 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. He made three tackles on defense. On the season, Waller is 13-of-22 passing for 238 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. He has rushed for 542 yards and two touchdowns on 62 carries (8.7 ypc). He has caught three passes for 49 yards. He has made seven tackles and intercepted a pass. B.E.S.T. (2-1) is ranked No. 7 in Class AA. Waller has offers from Georgia State and Indiana.

9. RB/LB Tra Minter, Schley County: Minter rushed for 325 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries in a 60-26 loss to Greenville. Minter also had eight solo tackles. In two games, Minter has rushed for 561 yards and scored eight touchdowns on 37 carries (15.2 ypc) and returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown. On defense, he has made 15 solo tackles and 12 assists and caused fumbles in both games. Schley County (1-1) has won only five games during Minter's sophomore, junior and senior seasons. Minter (5-9, 190) has offers from Appalachian State and Troy.

10. RB Sihiem King, Colquitt County:King rushed for 100 yards yards and a touchdowns on 18 carries in a 38-10 victory over Enterprise, Ala. For the season, King has rushed for 481 yards and eight touchdowns on 72 carries (6.7 ypc) and has nine receptions for 44 yards. Colquitt County (4-0) is ranked No. 1 in Class AAAAAA and is nationally ranked in the Top 10 of two polls. King (5-9, 175) has no reported Division I offers.

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