Preseason all-state: Keyjuan Brown leads deep running back group in Class 2A

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

*Best player: South Atlanta’s Keyjuan Brown led the state with 2,757 rushing yards in 2021. Another season like that and he’ll finish among the top five Georgia rushers all-time and break Jamal Lewis’s Atlanta city record of 4,879 in the first game. Brown sits at 4,770.

*Best position: Running back. Appling County’s Jaylen Johnson and Washington County’s Dontavius “DJay” Braswell are more highly recruited than Brown, and the three represent 30% of the Georgia Power 100′s players at the position.

*Most highly recruited: ELCA’s tackles, Zechariah Owens and D.J. Chester, each are 6 feet, 5 inches, and 300-plus pounds. They’re the lone consensus top-200 national prospects in the class.

*That’s interesting: North Murray brings back the most prolific QB-WR duo in the class. Seth Griffin, a 6-foot-4 quarterback, threw for 2,785 yards and 32 touchdowns in 11 games last season. Wide receiver Jadyn Rice had 65 receptions for 1,210 yards and 12 touchdowns.

*Snubbed: ELCA QB Charlie Gilliam, who is committed to Houston, passed for 2,098 yards last season against a harsh schedule. Worth County QB Chip Cooper passed for 1,939 yards and rushed for 1,002 in 10 games in 2021.

*Underrated: Pierce County’s D.J. Bell is a running back who does Pierce County’s occasional passing. He was limited to nine games in 2021 but rushed for 1,870 yards and got healthy in time to lead the Bears to the Class 3A semifinals.

*What else is new: Eagle’s Landing Christian is playing against public schools again after winning six championships in Class A Private. The Chargers will enter with three preseason all-state players.

Offense

QB - Seth Griffin, North Murray, Sr.

QB - Caleb McMickle, Fellowship Christian, Sr.

RB - Dontavius Braswell, Washington County, Sr.

RB - Keyjuan Brown, South Atlanta, Sr.

RB - Jaylen Johnson, Appling County, Sr.

WR - Jadyn Rice, North Murray, Sr.

WR - Dennis Sims, Rockmart, Sr.

OL - D.J. Chester, Eagle’s Landing Christian, Sr.

OL - Gabriel Fortson, North Cobb Christian, Sr.

OL - Zechariah Owens, ELCA, Sr.

OL - Xavier Walker, Fitzgerald, Sr.

OL - Johnny Williams IV, Northeast, Sr.

ATH - D.J. Bell, Pierce County, Sr.

PK - Sean Medcalfe, Westside (Augusta), Sr.

Defense

DL - Cevan Edwards, South Atlanta, Sr.

DL - Elijah Gunn, Callaway, Sr.

DL - Sam Williams, Callaway, Sr.

DL - Darion Smith, Appling County, Jr.

LB - Dawson Griffis, Appling County, Sr.

LB - Jacob Cruz, North Cobb Christian, Sr.

LB - Daniel James, Fitzgerald, Sr.

LB - Taye Seymore, South Atlanta, Sr.

DB - Jadan Baugh, Columbia, Jr.

DB - Colton Hood, Eagle’s Landing Christian, Sr.

DB - R.J. Johnson, Eagle’s Landing Christian, Sr.

DB - Jalon Kilgore, Putnam County, Sr.

P - Hayden Futch, Berrien, Sr.

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