Preseason all-state: Hiram places 5 on Class 5A team

Class 5A

*Best player: Sammy Brown, Jefferson. Brown is a five-star linebacker who doubles as a running back with more than 3,000 yards rushing for his career.

*Best position: Offensive line. All are committed to major Division I schools except unpledged Elyjah Thurman, whose leader according to On3 is Florida.

*Most highly recruited: Brown. He’s the No. 25 Georgia prospect this century, according to the 247Sports Composite, and the No. 2 linebacker in the state behind former LaGrange star Tray Blackmon from 2004.

*That’s interesting: Tight end Walter Matthews last season was the first non-punter from 23-year-old Hiram High to make first-team AJC all-state. Five Hiram players are on this preseason team. Joining Matthews (committed to Southern Cal) are linemen Jameson Riggs (Georgia Tech) and Clinton Richard (Wake Forest), cornerback Chase Tyler (Duke) and kicker Oliver Castenada (Memphis offer).

*Snubbed: A highly competitive game of musical chairs at defensive line meant leaving off McIntosh’s Uche Iloh, Jenkins’ Lorenzo Cowan and Warner Robins’ Isaiah Gibson, all with major Division I offers.

*Underrated: Ware County’s Demetrius Baldwin is four-year starter and the best returning player on the defending Class 5A champions, but he’s not getting Power 5 offers because of his size (6-0, 260). He’s committed to Charleston Southern.

*What else is news: Eleven of the 27 are from Region 7. In addition to the Hiram five are three from Cass, two from Calhoun and one from Cartersville.


QB - Bryce Clavon, Kell, Sr.

QB - Trey Townsend, Calhoun, Sr.

RB - Roderick McCrary, Creekside, Sr.

RB - Caden Williams, Calhoun, Sr.

WR - Isiah Canion, Warner Robins, Sr.

WR - Zion Ragins, Jones County, Sr.

WR - Sacovie White, Cass, Sr.

TE - Walter Matthews, Hiram, Sr.

OL - Caleb Holmes, Creekside, Sr.

OL - Clinton Richard, Hiram, Sr.

OL - Jameson Riggs, Hiram, Sr.

OL - Elyjah Thurmon, Bradwell Institute, Sr.

OL - Malachi Toliver, Cartersville, Sr.

ATH - Kamron Mikell, Statesboro, Sr.

PK - Oliver Castaneda, Hiram, Sr.


DL - Demetrius Baldwin, Ware County, Sr.

DL - Michai Boireau, Creekside, Sr.

DL - Chris “C.J.” Jackson, Tucker, Sr.

DL - Quantavius Johnson, Mays, Sr.

LB/DL - Jamar Birden, Ware County, Jr.

LB - Sammy Brown, Jefferson, Sr.

LB - Justin Logan, Kell, Sr.

LB - Kevin Henderson, Cass, Sr.

DB - Rasean Dinkins, Warner Robins, Jr.

DB - Devin Henderson, Cass, Sr.

DB - Marqavious Saboor, Kell, Sr.

DB - Chase Tyler, Hiram, Sr.

P - Arthur Richez, McIntosh, Sr.

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