Mundy’s Mill running back Rodney Smith was named to the Georgia Sportswriters Association Class AAAAA first team. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)
There is no question that the Clayton County football junior class has some talented players, and it was evident by the recent Georgia Sportswriters Association (GSWA) all-state team.
Of the nine players from the area selected, four were juniors, including three making the first team.
More than half the players on the GSWA all-state team came from a Lovejoy team that reached the second round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs. Leading the way from the Wildcats squad, which had five all-state selections were wide receiver Preston Williams and offensive lineman Randy Robinson, a pair of juniors.
Williams had 56 receptions for 1,402 yards and 14 touchdowns. The 6-foot-5 junior has already committed to Tennessee. Robinson is considered one of the top underclass linemen in the state. Both Williams and Robinson played in Tuesday’s AT&T Junior Bowl at Grady Stadim.
Making the second team from Lovejoy were senior defensive lineman Randy Anyanwu and junior defensive back Montrell Custis. Anyanwu, who has committed to Western Kentucky, has had several college offers including Texas Tech while Custis has already committed to Kentucky as a junior.
Rounding out the all-state selections from Lovejoy, which has won four straight region titles is offensive lineman Justin Brown, who has committed to Western Kentucky. Brown was named to the honorable mention team in Class AAAAAA.
This was the first time in two years that Lovejoy didn’t have the defensive player of the year from its classification. In 2011, former Wildcats defensive back Jermaine Hough was named the Class AAAA Defensive Player of the Year while noseguard Nathaniel Norwood was named the Class AAAAAA top defensive player in 2012.
In both those seasons, Lovejoy reached the state finals in their classification. In 2012, Hough was named freshman All-American at Jacksonville State.
Mundy’s Mill, the only other county school to make the postseason, had three all-state selections including first team Class AAAAA choices Rodney Smith and Darius Anderson. The Tigers reached the quarterfinals of the playoffs with a school-record eight wins.
Smith, who has offers from Minnesota, Southern Mississippi and East Carolina, rushed for 2,201 yards and 26 touchdowns. Named the Clayton News Daily Offensive Player of the Year, Smith is also a top baseball prospect at second base.
With the help of Anderson, the Tigers had one of the top rushing offenses in Class AAAAA. The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Anderson is considered one of the top underclass linemen in the state. This past summer, he competed at the National Underclassmen Ultimate 100 camp at Lassiter High in Marietta where he was named MVP.
Jonathan Celestin, the Clayton News Daily Defensive Player of the Year, was named to the honorable mention all-state team.
The only Class AAAA selection from the county was Rashad Cantry, a senior wide receiver at Riverdale. Canty, a 6-foot-4 college prospect, was named to the second team.
This past season, Canty had 52 rec eptions for 852 yards and nine touchdowns as the Raiders finished with a 4-6 season. In the last two seasons, Canty had 82 catches for 1,419 yards and 19 touchdown and become a Div. I college recruit. During the summer he committed to Appalachain State, but has received offers from Minnesota, Wake Forest, Missouri and Vanderbilt.
It was the second straight season that the Raiders program has had a player make all-state. Last season, linebacker Troy Wyche was a first team member of the Class AAAA defense after the Raiders made the playoff first the first time since the 2005 season.
Wyche was a redshirt freshman this season at Arkansas State.