By Derrick Mahone
North Clayton running back Clarence Jackson was named the Region 4-AAAA Player of the Year by the league's coaches. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior rushed for 1,954 yards and 31 touchdowns in leading the Eagles to the Class AAAA quarterfinals this season.
Jackson, who is also a standout on the school's basketball team, has committed to play for Ole Miss next season. National Signing Day is Feb. 3.
"He made us a better team," North Clayton offensive coordinator DeMarco Mitchell said. "His ability got us out of a lot of bad situations. We are definitely going to miss him, but he left a good legacy for the younger kids to follow."
In addition to Jackson, the Eagles placed two other players on the all-region offensive first team. Offensive lineman Torin Box, who has committed to N.C. State and wide receiver Kyle Taylor were named to the first team.
On defense, Amarlo Herrera (linebacker) and Kelly Brown (defensive back) garnered first team honors.
Players from the Southern Crescent dominated the all-region team. Dutchtown, which missed the playoffs by one game, had the most players with five players on the first team.
The Bulldogs, who finished the season 7-3, placed Shaun Nichols (offensive lineman), Trey Nelson (quarterback), Brandon Abernathy (tight end), Dimitri Curry (defensive lineman) and Scott Christensen (defensive back) on the first team. Three other players received second-team honors.
Region champion Griffin had the offense, defense and coach of the year honors in addition to placing eight players on the first team offense and defense combined.
North Clayton sophomore quarterback Dennis Johnson was named to the second team in his first year as a starter. The 6-1, 160-pounder passed for 647 yards and eight touchdowns in the Eagles' run-oriented Wing-T offense.
Mount Zion's Jarrell King and Trey Nelson of Dutchtown were named the first team quarterbacks. Quarterrio Morgan (Mt. Zion) and Victor Hardeman (Stockbridge) were first team at running backs.