An impressive season for two area stars has ended in the highest honors for their respective classes.
Habersham Central’s Kevin Ellison and Gainesville’s Deshaun Watson, both quarterbacks, were named state offensive players of the year by the Georgia Sportswriters Association for Class AAAA and Class AAA, respectively.
Ellison, whose Raiders lost in the first round of the playoffs to Chattahoochee, led a prolific offense with 2,183 yards and 32 touchdowns rushing. He added 1,025 yards and 12 touchdowns through the air, tossing just one interception the whole season.
Watson, only a sophomore, did it with his arm and his feet. He passed for 3,251 yards and 41 touchdowns, and added 1,073 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground to lead the Red Elephants to the state semifinals.
His total yards and touchdowns for the season both broke Hall County records.
In addition to Ellison and Watson, 12 other area players were named to the All-State team. Four more were named honorable mentions.
Flowery Branch quarterback Kanler Coker was named to the first team for Class AAAA, and North Hall running back Imani Cross was named to the second team in Class AAA.
Buford had five players named to the Class AA first team.
The All-Classifications Player of the Year was Grayson defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, who helped his team win a state championship in Class AAAAA.
Nkemdiche, a junior, is one of the highest rated players in the country.