Buford, the school that claims six state championships over the past seven seasons, is moving up to Class AAAA this season, but it's more than obvious from GHSF Daily's preseason all-state team that the Wolves will not be unarmed in the higher classification.
Six Buford players made the list, and none would be called a sleeper. DL Quay Picou (Tennessee), OL Nick Polino (North Carolina), LB Austin Smith (Tennessee) and PK Matt Bonadies (UAB) have committed to Division I schools. LB/RB Joshua Thomas, perhaps the team's best all-around player last season, a 1,000-yard rusher who made all-state as a linebacker, is the No. 62 consensus prospect in Georgia. TE/DL Isaac Nauta is the No. 3 consensus recruit among juniors.
Then consider some of the Buford players who didn't make our list - DB David Curry is committed to Virginia. RB/DB Evyn Cooper has 13 offers, including those from Georgia and Georgia Tech. And Blake Ferguson, committed to LSU, is rated the No. 1 long snapper in the state.
Don't expect Griffin, the reigning champion, to concede, however. The Bears have three preseason all-state players. So does perennial contender Sandy Creek. Marist, North Oconee and Woodward Academy have two each.
The team is led by Westover DT Trenton Thompson, the consensus No. 1 recruit in Georgia.
QB - Caleb Shiflett, Northwest Whitfield, Sr.
RB - Shannon Brooks, Pickens, Sr.
RB - Kawon Bryant, North Oconee, Sr.
RB - Eric Swinney, Sandy Creek, Sr.
WR - Keyston Fuller, Griffin, Sr.
WR - Christian Owens, Griffin, Sr.
TE - Isaac Nauta, Buford, Jr.
OL - Ben Cleveland, Stephens County, Jr.
OL - Sage Hardin, Marist, Sr.
OL - Mitch Mathes, Troup, Sr.
OL - Nick Polino, Buford, Sr.
OL - Chandler Tuitt, Sandy Creek, Jr.
PK - Matthew Bonadies, Buford, Sr.
DL - Kenneth Brinson, Marist, Sr.
DL - Austin Bryant, Thomas County Central, Sr.
DL - Quay Picou, Buford, Sr.
DL - Trenton Thompson, Westover, Sr.
LB - J.L. Banks, North Oconee, Sr.
LB - Jordan Colbert, Griffin, Sr.
LB - Austin Smith, Buford, Sr.
LB - Joshua Thomas, Buford, Sr.
DB - Rashaad Bolton, Veterans, Sr.
DB - Arrington Farrar, Woodward Academy, Sr.
DB - Richard LeCounte, Liberty County, So.
DB - Brian Miller, Sandy Creek, Sr.
P - William Collings, Woodward Academy, Sr.
Coming Thursday: Class AAA preseason all-state team.
Produced by Georgia High School Football Daily, a free e-mail newsletter. To join the mailing list, click here.