South Cobb's Carter is turning heads
Kylil Carter doesn't play on a Top 10 team, and he's got no reported scholarship offers. Those aren't the usual starting points for players who would be all-classification players of the year in Georgia. But nobody to this point is having a better season than the senior quarterback from South Cobb.
In two games, he has thrown for 536 yards and rushed for 398. He has scored five touchdowns and passed for six. Carter's recruitment, which might've been hampered by playing under three head coaches in three seasons, should begin to pick up. South Cobb is 1-1, but the loss was 55-41 to defending Class AAAAA champion Creekside.
"He has a very strong arm and also has the ability to throw with touch when needed, but most of all, he has very deceptive speed and strength," South Cobb coach Sherrod Rainge said. "In the first two games, he has not only proven to be strong by breaking arm tackles, but has also shown that he can outrun most on the field once he breaks into the open."
Carter is one of three new players in this week's Player of the Year Watch. The others are Colquitt County running back Sihiem King and North Cobb quarterback Tyler Queen.
The new leader is Washington County's A.J. Gray, a quarterback and defensive back. He's a two-way starter on a No. 1-ranked team that opened impressively last week.
The POY Watch is designed to be a fun look at some of Georgia's best players. Players naturally will fall in and out of this elite list, and that should not be taken as a criticism of their season.
This list is a subjective ranking of players' impact on their teams and the state as a whole and their chances of winning the year-end all-classification player of the year award.
1. QB/DB A.J. Gray, Washington County: Gray played only the first half of a 41-14 victory over Thomson but was 7-of-8 passing for 186 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 46 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. On defense, he had four tackles, one for a loss, and returned an interception 82 yards for a touchdown. Washington County is ranked No. 1 in Class AAA. Gray is committed to Georgia Tech.
2. RB Eric Swinney, Sandy Creek: Swinney rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries in less than three quarters of a 35-6 victory over Jonesboro. For the season, Swinney has 343 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 51 attempts. Swinney rushed for 1,289 yards and scored 24 touchdowns last season. Rated the consensus No. 10 running-back prospect in the nation, Swinney is committed to Ole Miss.
3. WR Preston Williams, Lovejoy: Williams had four receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown in a 47-13 victory over Mundy's Mill, playing a little less than three quarters in Lovejoy's season opener. Williams punted once for 36 yards that was downed inside the 20, and had three of eight kickoffs go for touchbacks. He had a 47-yard punt return for a touchdown negated by a penalty. Williams is coming off a season in which he caught 56 passes for 1,402 yards and 14 touchdowns. Rated the No. 3 wide-receiver prospect in the nation, Williams is committed to Tennessee.
4. RB/DB Ruben Garnett, Aquinas: Garnett rushed for 244 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries and caught two passes for touchdowns of 52 and 20 yards in a 33-18 victory over Prince Avenue Christian. For the season, Garnett has rushed for 425 yards and six touchdowns on 53 carries in two games. He has made five tackles in the secondary. Aquinas is ranked No. 1 in Class A. Duke reportedly leads to sign Garnett among 15 Division I offers.
5. DE Chauncey Rivers, Stephenson: Rivers had seven tackles, three for losses and two sacks, in a 21-20 loss to Florida Class 6A champion Central of Miami. For the season, Rivers has 13 tackles, six for losses, and 4.5 sacks for a team ranked No. 3 in Class AAAAA. Rated the consensus No. 10 weakside defensive end in the country, Rivers has committed to Georgia.
6. DL Trent Thompson, Westover: Thompson's team did not play last week. In the opener, a loss to Lee County, Thompson had six tackles, two behind the line, against consistent double- and triple-teaming. Thompson, an AJC Super 11 pick, is the consensus No. 2 recruit in the nation. He is committed to Georgia.
7. WR Darius Slayton, Greater Atlanta Christian: Slayton had four receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown in a 28-10 victory over North Oconee. Slayton also rushed for 18 yards on two carries. On the season, Slayton has 12 catches for 227 yards and four touchdowns for the No. 1-ranked team in Class AA. His 63-yard TD reception was the game-winner in GAC's opening victory over Benedictine. He's a consensus top-20 recruit in the state and has more than 20 offers, including those from Georgia and Georgia Tech. GAC is ranked No. 1 in Class AA.
8. RB Sihiem King, Colquitt County: King rushed for 172 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries in a 35-14 victory over Alabama Class 6A champion Hoover. In two games, King has rushed for 296 yards and four touchdowns on 49 carries and has six catches for 28 yards. Colquitt County is ranked No. 1 in Class AAAAAA. A preseason all-state pick who rushed for 1,439 yards in 2013, King has no reported Division I offers.
9. QB Kylil Carter, South Cobb: Carter was 17-of-26 passing for 403 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 146 yards and three touchdowns on 14 attempts in a 57-35 victory over Pope. In two games, Carter has thrown for 536 yards (29-of-46) and rushed for 398 (34 attempts). He has scored five touchdowns and passed for six. South Cobb (1-1) lost its opener 55-41 to defending Class AAAAA champion Creekside.
10. QB Tyler Queen, North Cobb: Queen was 23-of-33 passing for 308 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 104 yards on 23 carries in a 36-29 victory over then-No. 2 North Gwinnett last week. Queen is 33-of-63 passing for 589 yards in two games. Rated the consensus No. 10 pro-style quarterback nationally, Queen is committed to Auburn.
The Rising Seniors Foundation is the presenter of the Georgia Junior Bowl. Its mission is to inspire student-athletes to dominate the fifth quarter. For more on how that's done, see this video tribute from players and coaches who participated in the 2013 game, and visit the Rising Seniors Foundation's Web site at www.risingseniors.com/.