football Edit

Southeast Spotlight: Takeaways from Georgia high school gridiron

South Paulding 2023 RB Jamarion Wilcox
South Paulding 2023 RB Jamarion Wilcox (

The 2022 high school football regular season in Georgia is coming to a close with conference races and playoff berths being secured. Teams across the state are looking for a strong finish hitting on all cylinders before taking on the best of the best in their respective brackets.

We take a look at some of the top performers and hot teams entering the last week before the playoffs.



Buford is rolling

The Wolves are romping through the schedule (9-0) behind a fierce defense that is only allowing 9.7 points per game highlighted by three-star 2023 linebackers Alijah Williams (Bowling Green) and Ryan McKinnis (Appalachian State). The offense gets the headlines averaging 42.6 points per game led by senior quarterback Dylan Wittke (Virginia Tech) and running back Justice Haynes (Alabama).

Wittke was throwing darts on Friday against Mountain View hitting 7-of-8 attempts for 164 yards with two scores. Haynes entered the game with 1,083 yards on the season adding 172 off just five totes crossing into the endzone twice.

Buford closes their season out on Friday against Central Gwinnett.


Carrollton runs the table

The Trojans were perfect through the regular season (10-0) thanks in large part to the play under center by freshman phenom Julian Lewis. Lewis entered Carrollton’s Week 10 leading 7A with 2,304 yards. In the 52-7 route of Campbell, the 2026 prospect was on point connecting on 17-of-23 passes for 295 yards posting three touchdowns on the board. Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, and Clemson have all hosted Lewis on game-day visits this fall.

One of the breakout performers, not only for the Trojans but for the state of Georgia, has been 2024 running back/receiver Bryce Hicks. Hicks leads the Trojans in rushing yards (1,077) and touchdowns (17) showing off his all-purpose talents with 41 receptions for 394 yards and five more scores. Another standout has been three-star receiver Caleb Odom. Off 38 receptions, Odom leads the team in receiving yards (645) and receiving TDs (10). Recruiting for Odom continues to skyrocket with offers in October from Kentucky, South Carolina, and Pitt.


Langston Hughes bullying the competition

The Panthers are one of the best teams in the 6A classification with an electric offense and stifling defense. Junior quarterback Prentiss “Air” Noland has been picking apart defenses letting Newman feel the pain last time out. In a 41-0 win on Friday, the four-star QB was 16-of-23 for 287 yards with four touchdowns pushing his season stats to 2,335 yards carrying an impressive 32/3 TD/INT ratio.

The senior leadership on the Panthers squad has been a difference maker with offensive lineman Johnathan Hughley (Georgia), tight end Jelani Thurman (Ohio State), defensive backs Terrance Love (Auburn) and Gannon Weathersby (Tennessee State), receiver Robert Lockhart (Jackson State), and defensive end Joshua Horton (North Carolina).


Jamarion Wilcox leading South Paulding into playoffs

The Spartans (6-3) are gearing up for a deep playoff run relying on the legs of three-star senior running back Jamarion Wilcox. South Paulding ran into the buzzsaw that is Langston Hughes on Friday, but the squad was riding a five-game winning streak looking good with Wilcox rushing for a 6A-leading 1,705 yards. Wilcox added an offer from Clemson in September and took an official to Kentucky in October.

Opening up lanes with his arm is senior gunslinger Kasen Weisman (Kansas). Making the creases holes on the line is Louisville commit Madden Sanker. South Paulding is a team to watch in the playoffs.


Sammy Brown feeling it before the playoffs

Tuning everything up before Jefferson enters the playoffs, Sammy Brown put on a show Friday night against Heritage, especially on offense. Brown had a 44-yard TD run, a nine-yard outside TD run, and took a screen pass 83 yards for a score. The week prior against Loganville, Brown had the fireworks popping with 282 yards rushing off 19 carries scoring five times on the ground and had two receptions for 55 yards with a sixth touchdown.

The four-star linebacker/running back has gotten out on the circuit on Saturdays visiting Ohio State, Clemson, Tennessee, and Georgia this fall.