The Way Too Early 2019 Football Rankings: Class AA

This (way too early) edition of the Class AAA 2019 football rankings has been assembled based off a variety of factors and estimations. We will attempt to validate the reasoning behind the order that has been selected by presenting some of the stats or factors that went into our consideration. The Class A-Public poll will be released on Monday and the remaining classes will be released in descending order each day that follows.

Callaway comes in at the top of the class following their 2018 season that came to a close in the semifinals. Demetrius Coleman returns at the quarterback position to help lead the offense along with wide receiver Jacob Freeman who is a constant down-field threat. The Cavaliers lose 4-star offensive guard Keiondre Jones, an Auburn signee, but return Class AA player of the year running back Tank Bigsby who was responsible for every touchdown in the Cavaliers 31-13 victory over Hapeville Charter last season and rushed for 2,221 yards on 238 carries with 22 touchdowns. The bruising back will continue to be a reliable option on an offense that was held under 20-points just once last season.

Longtime head coach Winston Gordon will enter his ninth season at Hapeville Charter with a slew of stellar seasons behind him. The Hornets return quarterback Jeremy Stephens to head the offense, along with four-star recruit Jaquez Smith at wide receiver. Defensively, Hapeville allowed just three points through their first six games last season and return eight juniors. The 2018 second-round loss to Callaway in the post season is the quickest the Hornets have left the tournament in three years, but have enough returning on offense and defense to take the team much further this coming season.

Rockmart sits at the three-spot following their 2018 runner-up season. Since arriving at Rockmart in 2016, head coach Biff Parson has a 2017 and 2018 region title to his name, along with the school’s first finals appearance since 1957. The biggest question will center around filling some holes in on offense. The Yellowjackets lose quarterback Dylan Bailey along with running backs Markus Smith and D.J. Whatley. Together, the three were responsible for over 4,000 yards of offense along with 60 touchdowns. Javin Whatley is expected to be given a shot to fill in at quarterback as a constant duel-threat on the field. Whatley rushed for 653 yards and six touchdowns last season. He’ll also get plenty of support from the Rockmart offensive line which is returning Deacon Allen who has been a starter every year of his high school career. Juke Boozer and Paine Culver will hold down the fort on defense.

Heard County comes in at the four-spot even with the loss of some key players on both sides of the field. The Braves lose Aaron Beasely, a Tennessee signee who led the team in rushing and was a lockdown defender at free safety. On top of that, East Tennessee signee and quarterback Alijah Huzzie will leave the Braves after a stellar senior season. On defense, Tray Owens returns as a key part of the defensive line along with linebacker Jai Wright. Now staring down his 18th season as head coach, Tim Barron has led the Braves to 7 region championships and the 2018 class AA championship.

In 2018, the Dublin Fightin’ Irish reached the quarterfinals and won the region tournament for the first time since 2011. Dublin allowed just 8.46 points to opposing teams last season but lose a huge piece of their defense in Steve Linton. The first-team all-state defensive end racked up 67 tackles and 9 sacks during his senior season and went on to sign at Syracuse.

Fitzgerald takes command of the six-spot after a 2018 season where the offense averaged just under 30 points per game. Tucker Pruitt’s second year as head coach put the Purple Hurricane into the semifinals for the second time in five years. Their 2018 semifinals appearance put Fitzgerald up against future champs Heard County, but the Purple Hurricane took the Braves to overtime where they failed to walk away victorious. On offense, Fitzgerald losses quarterback Justin Reliford but can fill the hole with upcoming senior Dartavious Tomblin. On defense, Quantavious Pugh returns as an excellent defensive presence who can shut down an offense.

At the seven-spot we have Brooks County, who are coming off of a season where head coach Maurice Freeman earned his fifth region title since arriving in 2008. The Trojans lose running back Jacolby Brown but will be able to rely on Omari Arnold who made an impact during his freshmen season. Also on offense, quarterback Ni’Tavion Burrus returns to the field alongside wide receiver Devin Edwards.

Washington County lands at the eight-spot after its 2018 season where the Golden Hawks advanced past the second round in the post season for the first time since 2014. With an offense that scored 34.7 points a game, Washington County was able to a defeat top-seeded Brooks County team in the 2018 second round with a score of 34-30 before tumbling out of the quarterfinals after a 15-point loss to Callaway. The team loses its star running back Dyquan Bloodsaw and Malik Hall in the backfield but returns Shamarcus Poole who has no trouble breaking away for a long run and will be looked to often in this run heavy offense.

Rabun County saw the departure of head coach Lee Shaw after his seven-year stint where he led the Wildcats to five consecutive region titles from 2014-2018. This will undoubtably create a change of scene, but a familiar face in Jaybo Shaw, Lee’s son, will move up from offensive coordinator to take over head coaching duties. Gunner Stockton returns at quarterback after his freshmen season along with the teams leading receiver Braxton Hicks. Hicks was the only pass catcher to surpass the 1,000-yard mark during 2018 and will continue to be a go-to option for Stockton.

All three of Bremen’s 2018 losses came to top-notch teams in Callaway, Heard County and Rockmart. The Blue Devils’ offense averaged 34.75 points per game last season and return first-team tight end Jimbo Brown and receiver Cooper Cartwright on offense. On the other side of the field, defensive back Makai Terry and defensive lineman Seth Hodges return to held suppress all opposing offenses.

Class AA
1. Callaway
2. Hapeville Charter
3. Rockmart
4. Heard County
5. Dublin
6. Fitzgerald
7. Brooks County
8. Washington County
9. Rabun County
10. Bremen


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