POY Watch: Strong starts propel Buford’s Brown, Callaway’s Bigsby

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Derrian Brown, Georgia's highest-rated running back recruit in the class of 2019, didn't make GHSF Daily's preseason all-state team.

Tank Bigsby, the highest-rated RB recruit in the class of 2020, barely made it, finding a spot as an "athlete." He wasn't the best RB candidate in Class AA.

Neither high-profile recruit rushed for 1,000 yards in 2017 while playing for teams that spread the wealth among several talented ball carriers.

This season, the two are showing why they're so coveted as college prospects. Brown (5-10, 175) is averaging 184 yards from scrimmage and has scored six touchdowns in two games. Bigsby (6-0, 195) rushed for 249 yards and scored three touchdowns in his opening game last week. And both new members of the POY Watch. Both play behind massive offensive lines that might be the best in their classifications.

The POY Watch is designed to be a fun look at some of the state's best players. Players naturally will drift in and out, and that should not be taken as a critique of their season. It is an honor to appear in the POW Watch even for a single week.

1. WR/DB Jadon Haselwood, Cedar Grove: Haselwood had three receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown, 84 yards on two kickoff returns, six tackles and a blocked extra point in a 34-30 victory over Hewitt-Trussville of Alabama in a ESPN-televised game. Haselwood was named ESPN's player of the game. For the season, he has 90 yards on seven receptions, 82 yards on two kickoff returns, 61 yards on three punt returns, two touchdowns and seven tackles. The consensus No. 1 recruit in Georgia, Haselwood is committed to Georgia. Cedar Grove (2-0) is ranked No. 2 in Class AAA.

2. LB Owen Pappoe, Grayson: Pappoe led a defense that allowed only 58 total yards in a 48-7 victory over Tucker. Pappoe also scored on a 1-yard run. Pappoe is the nation's consensus No. 10 prospect and No. 1 OLB prospect. He was the Gwinnett Touchdown Club's outside linebacker of the year as a junior. Grayson (1-0) is ranked No. 1 in Class AAAAAA.

3. WR Dominick Blaylock, Walton: Blaylock had six catches for 114 yards and a touchdown in a 29-25 victory over Collins Hill. Walton trailed 19-7 until Blaylock's 36-yard TD reception with 11:42 left. For the season, Blaylock has 12 receptions for 243 yards and four touchdowns. Blaylock is a five-star recruit and the consensus No. 31 player nationally. He committed to Georgia before his junior season. Walton (2-0) is ranked No. 4 in AAAAAAA.

4. LB/RB/QB Trezmen Marshall, Clinch County: Marshall's team did not play. In the opener, Marshall rushed for 143 yards on nine carries, had three tackles and a sack and forced a fumble that he recovered and returned 29 yards for a touchdown in a 17-14 victory over Hebron Christian. Marshall is a consensus top-100 prospect nationally. He's committed to Georgia. Clinch County (1-0) is No. 1 in the Class A public-school rankings.

5. WR Ramel Keyton, Marietta: Keyton had nine catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns in a 40-28 loss to Our Lady of Good Counsel (Md.). For the season, playing against two teams ranked in the top 25 of national polls, Keyton has 23 receptions for 333 yards and six touchdowns. The latest effort puts him at 2,974 yards receiving for his career. Keyton, a four-star top-200 national recruit, has committed to Tennessee. Marietta (0-2) is ranked No. 8 in AAAAAAA.

6. RB Derrian Brown, Buford: Brown rushed for 155 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries in a 58-7 victory over Jonesboro. Brown also had two receptions for 32 yards. On the season, Brown has rushed for 297 yards and scored six touchdowns on 34 carries (8.7 ypc) and caught four passes for 71 yards. A top-250 national recruit, Brown reportedly favors Texas and Penn State. Buford (2-0) is ranked No. 2 in Class AAAAA.

7. QB Dylan Fromm, Warner Robins: Fromm was 19-of-37 passing for 348 yards and four touchdowns in a 50-40 victory over Locust Grove. For the season, Fromm is 41-of-81 passing for 789 yards and seven touchdowns. A three-star recruit, Fromm is committed to Mercer. Warner Robins (2-0) is ranked No. 3 in AAAAA.

8. QB Knox Kadum, Rome: Kadum's team did not play last week. In his opener, Kadum was 13-of-19 passing for 218 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 89 yards in a 51-41 victory over Marietta. He's 29-2 as a starting quarterback with two state titles. A three-star recruit, Kadum has about 10 mid-major offers. Rome (1-0) is ranked No. 1 in Class AAAAA.

9. DB/WR Kyle Hamilton, Marist: Hamilton had two receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown, one rush for 19 yards, one interception and a team-leading six solo tackles on defense in just a little more than two quarters of a 40-20 victory over Lovett. A top-300 national recruit, Hamilton is committed to Notre Dame. Marist (1-0) is ranked No. 2 in Class AAAA.

10. RB Tank Bigsby, Callaway: Bigsby rushed for 249 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries in a 35-21 season-opening victory over Opelika, a program that made the third round of Alabama's second-highest classification (6A) last season. Bigsby is rated the consensus No. 42 recruit nationally among juniors. Callaway (1-0) is ranked No. 3 in Class AA.

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