Georgia high schools have constantly produced some of the best quarterbacks in college football. Is the Peach State the quarterback capital of the world?
The debate forever rages on about which state produces the best college football talent. One thing is coming more and more certain: Georgia is the quarterback capital of the U.S.
The game of football has seen a vast change over the years, as spread offenses become the norm. The game is faster, and quarterbacks are required to be quicker with their movements. The position requires confidence, quick decision-making, and the ability to lead the team. Georgia taken that to become ahead of the curve.
The amount of young quarterback talent is staggering in the NFL and at the college level, and the state of Georgia has been a trailblazer leading the way. One of the best young quarterbacks in the country is Deshaun Watson, who came up at Gainesville High School. He broke the majority of the state passing records, including passing yards (13,077) and touchdowns for a career (218). These accomplishments led him to Clemson, where he led the Tigers to their first national championship since 1981.
Since his time at Clemson, Watson has taken the NFL by storm and is one of the top MVP candidates of the 2019 season for the Houston Texans. Watson is well on his way to becoming one of the top passers in the NFL and has the Texans among the best teams in the AFC South every year.
Before his time, Cam Newton was a superstar at Westlake High School.
Right behind them is the man who is regarded as one of the best high school quarterbacks ever, Cartersville High School’s Trevor Lawrence.
He has taken Clemson by storm as well, finishing his freshman season with a national championship. He broke every one of the records Watson previously had, and did so in style. Mark Farrell of Rivals regarded him as Peyton Manning, with a better arm. He is one of the top quarterbacks in college football and will surely be a top pick in the NFL Draft when he is eligible in 2021.
He has some competition, as Houston County’s Jake Fromm, now preparing for the NFL Draft after a successful career at Georgia, and Harrison’s Justin Fields, now at Ohio State, are also the top signal callers for some of the best teams in college football. Fields even beat out Lawrence in 2019, finishing fourth overall in the Heisman Trophy voting.
Three quarterbacks, all from one state as the signal callers for top five teams. Fields and the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes will battle for supremacy against Lawrence and the No. 3 Clemson Tigers. Fromm is on the outside looking in this year, as the No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs take on the No. 7 Baylor Bears in the Sugar Bowl.
The talent pool isn’t slowing down by any means, either. Along with the three stars, Davis Mills at Stanford and Emory Jones at Florida have shown flashes of brilliance this season. Mills will take over as the full-time starter for the Cardinal next season while Jones operates as the wildcat quarterback, but will get his chance once Kyle Trask graduates next year. And the pipeline is still hot. Here are some of the incoming classes of talent.
- The 2020 class will see Harrison Bailey of Marietta enroll at Tennessee, Max Johnson of Oconee County at LSU, and Tate Rodemaker of Valdosta at Florida State, all signing with Power Five schools, while Grayson’s C.J. Dixon transferred to USA Academy with one more year of eligibility.
- The 2021 class has the top quarterback coming from Georgia, Prince Avenue Christian School’s Brock Vandagriff, who committed to Georgia. Grayson’s Carlos Del Rio is committed to the University of Florida as well. Colten Gauthier of Hebron Christian is committed to South Carolina while Aaron McLaughlin continues to weigh his options.
- The 2022 class has the number two and three ranked quarterbacks in Gunner Stockton in Rabun County and MJ Morris at Carrollton.
In a sport where the quarterback is the star, they shine brightest in the Peach State. I’m unsure of what has led to the renaissance of quarterbacks from Georgia, but I can say Deshaun Watson has led the way to creating the quarterback factory in the state. Two things are certain: The future is bright, and the future is Georgia.