Everything is in place for Harrison Bailey to have a historic season as a quarterback.
The Marietta four-year starter has thrown for 7,445 yards and 68 touchdowns in his career. That’s only about 60 percent of the career production of Georgia legends Trevor Lawrence and Deshaun Watson, who rank 1-2 in career passing yards, but Bailey has played only 25 games, never more than 10 in a season. He has been shut down twice with collar-bone injuries.
So while Lawrence set career records averaging 243.9 yards per game, and Watson 233.5, Bailey has averaged 297.8.
Bailey will have all the tools he needs as a senior. Tight end Arik Gilbert is a five-star recruit. Wide receivers Taji Johnson (committed to Boston College) and Ricky White (Michigan State) are big-time college prospects, too.
More on position previews
Good health willing, this season could be special for Marietta and Bailey.
“He looks great right now,” Marietta coach Richard Morgan said. “He’s fully recovered from his injury. He’s cut some weight. He’s a real lean 220 or 225. [He’s 6 feet, 4 inches.] His arm strength and accuracy continue to improve. I think you’ll see his best year he’s ever had.”
Below are 10 of the state’s best quarterbacks for 2019. GHSF Daily will publish its 10 best at each position over nine issues. The players’ status as recruits is a factor, but the choices are made largely on production as high school players.
• Pierson Allison, Union County: There are Division I-committed quarterbacks not on this list. For Allison, only Shorter, Kennesaw State, Reinhardt, Berry and Sewanee have shown interest. He might play a Class AA schedule but he delivers - 172-of-265 passing for 2,840 yards and 24 touchdowns. He rushed for another 719 yards. That’s in 11 games for a 9-2 team.
• 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.
• Kobe Hudson, Troup: He’s a four-star recruit at wide receiver and committed to Auburn but played quarterback last season and will again. In 2018, he was 172-of-302 passing for 3,386 yards and 32 touchdowns with 13 interceptions while rushing for 1,410 yards and 18 touchdowns on 151 carries. His team reached the AAAA semifinals.
• 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.
• Tate Rodemaker, Valdosta: Rodemaker was 233-of-378 passing for 3,518 yards and 34 touchdowns, both single-season school records, with six interceptions as a first-year starter. His team reached the AAAAAA quarterfinals. Rodemaker is committed to South Florida.
• Gunner Stockton, Rabun County: As a freshman in 2018, Stockton was 190-of-291 passing for 2,917 yards and 34 touchdowns with six interceptions for a 11-2 team. Stockton has offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech and Alabama and has five-star recruit potential.
• Kyle Toole, Lee County: Toole led the Trojans to a Class AAAAAA championship with accuracy and consistency. He was 204-of-310 for 3,067 yards and 33 touchdowns with only two interceptions. Toole is committed to Troy.
• Brock Vandagriff, Prince Avenue Christian: Vandagriff, a junior, committed to Oklahoma in June. He was 192-for-296 passing for 3,190 yards and 38 touchdowns with seven interceptions on an 11-2 Class A team in 2018. He rushed for 1,001 yards and 23 touchdowns on 138 carries.
• Tee Webb, Cartersville: Webb was 200-of-347 passing for 2,726 yards and 35 touchdowns with 12 interceptions in 2018, his first season as the successor to Trevor Lawrence. Cartersville was the AAAA runner-up. Webb, who is 6-4, 185, is committed to Louisville.
• Mike Wright, Woodward Academy: Wright missed a month of the 2018 season injured but passed for 1,521 yards (106-of-161) with 18 touchdowns for a 7-5 team. He rushed for 533 yards and nine scores. He’s tall and lanky (6-4, 185). He's committed to Central Florida.
Produced by Georgia High School Football Daily, a free e-mail newsletter. To join the mailing list, click here.
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.