Preseason all-state teams: Class 6A

Lee County High's Jaron Willis, who announced his commitment to Georgia Tech on May 1, 2021. (247Sports)
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Lee County High's Jaron Willis, who announced his commitment to Georgia Tech on May 1, 2021. (247Sports)

Class 6A

*Best player: Amehre Morrison, River Ridge. College coaches apparently don’t believe it, as Morrison is only about 5 feet, 7 inches, but Morrison is the reigning Class 6A offensive player of the year. He had 2,211 yards from scrimmage and 31 touchdowns last year for an 11-1 team that won its first region title.

*Best position: Offensive line. All five are Power 5 conference recruits, which is unusual in any classification. Kanaya Charlton (Florida State), Tyler Gibson (Georgia Tech) and Qae’shon Lee (Florida State) are ACC-pledged.

*Most highly recruited: Jaron Willis, Lee County. This linebacker is the consensus No. 16 prospect in Georgia. He’s committed to Georgia Tech. On his heels is JaDarian Rhym (No. 17).

*That’s interesting: Buford has produced more first-team all-state players this century than any other Georgia program, but the most recent wide receiver was Mikey Henderson in 2002. Jake Pope might not be next, as Buford likely will remain a run-first team, and he’s better at safety, but the major Division I prospect had a team-leading 22 receptions for 443 yards and seven touchdowns last season and got the preseason nod here.

*Snubbed: East Paulding’s Justin Williams (committed to West Virginia) and Buford’s Victor Venn (Colorado) are Georgia Power 100 running backs, but those chosen at the position each went over 1,500 yards last season. Also expect a big year from Carrollton quarterback M.J. Morris, who is committed to N.C. State and now working under coach Joey King, who has experience coaching good quarterbacks.

*Underrated: Kennesaw Mountain. The Mustangs reached the playoffs for the first time last season. They haven’t had a consensus first-team all-state player since 2008. They’ve got two representing this team, Jailen Taylor and Connor Lew.

*What else is new: Valdosta won’t be in the playoffs this season because of a GHSA ban. That’s too bad because JaDarian Rhym and Jacquez McGowan are all-state material, and credited here, as were a couple declared ineligible in the recruiting scandal.

OFFENSE

QB - R.J. Johnson, Westlake, Jr.

RB - Antonio Martin, Hughes, Sr.

RB - Amehre Morrison, River Ridge, Sr.

WR - Jake Pope, Buford, Sr.

WR - Jailen Taylor, Kennesaw Mountain, Jr.

TE - Bennett Christian, Allatoona, Sr.

OL - Kanaya Charlton, Brunswick, Sr.

OL - Tyler Gibson, Johns Creek, Sr.

OL - Jonathan “Bo” Hughley, Hughes, Jr.

OL - Connor Lew, Kennesaw Mountain, Jr.

OL - Qae’shon Sapp, Lee County, Sr.

ATH - Kyle Efford, Dacula, Sr.

PK - Alejandro Mata, Buford, Sr.

DEFENSE

DL - Joshua Barker, Kell, Jr.

DL - Brian Bradley, River Ridge, Sr.

DL - Stephalin Greene, Rome, Jr.

DL - Horace Lockett, Westlake, Sr.

LB - Isaac Hubert, Creekview, Jr.

LB - Jacquez McGowan, Valdosta, Sr.

LB - Malik Spencer, Buford, Sr.

LB - Jaron Willis, Lee County, Sr.

LB/DB - Victor “V.J.” Payne, Buford, Sr.

DB - Caleb Coley, Houston County, Sr.

DB - JaDarian “J.D.” Rhym, Valdosta, Sr.

DB - Terian Williams II, Johns Creek, Sr.

P - Preston Gentry, Carrollton, Sr.

Coming Wednesday: Class 5A

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