Nkemdiche, Conn head up Gwinnett group on All-State team

2011 Georgia Sportswriters Association All-State Football Team

* Complete List

Postseason honors are beginning to roll in for several of Gwinnett County's top high school football players, especially from recently crowned Class AAAAA state champion Grayson, and not just locally.

Rams junior defensive end Robert Nkemdiche and head coach Mickey Conn head up a large group of Gwinnett representatives on the Georgia Sports Writers Association All-State team released today.

Nkemdiche, who is the Daily Post's 2011 Defensive Player of the Year, earned the highest honor for any player by being named the Player of the Year for all of the state's five classifications.

The 6-foot-5 , 273-pound was a dominating force on both sides of the ball, leading the county with 18 sacks and adding 59 total tackles and assists and 17 quarterback pressures on defense and contributing 528 yards and a team-high 17 touchdowns in part-time duty as a running back on offense.

Conn, the Daily Post's 2011 Coach of the Year, also earned similar honors statewide from the GSWA by being named the Class AAAAA Coach of the Year.

The program's only coach since starting it in 2000, Conn guided the Rams to a perfect 15-0 record and their first state title, and earned his 100th career victory in a 24-0 win over Walton in the championship game.

Four other Grayson players were honored by the GSWA on its All-State team, with senior offensive lineman Fred Zerblis being named to the first-team and defensive lineman Jack Banda, linebacker Wayne Gallman and defensive back Kasey Gaines -- all juniors -- earning second-team accolades.

Five other Gwinnett players -- Brookwood offensive lineman Jackson Buonamia, Central Gwinnett linebacker Trey Johnson, Norcross defensive back Anthony Autry, Archer defensive back Deondre Singleton and Peachtree Ridge punter Connor Rouleau were also named to Class AAAAA's first-team.

In Class AA, Buford, which had its run of four straight Class AA state titles interrupted by an overtime loss to Calhoun in the championship game, was well represented, as expected.

The Wolves had a total of nine players named to either the first, second or honorable mention teams, including five -- tight end Kurt Freitag, offensive lineman Vadal Alexander, defensive end Rick LeGrant and linebackers Dillon Lee and Nathan Staub -- named to the first team.

Also named to the AA first team was Greater Atlanta Christian offensive lineman Chase Roberts, the Spartans' lone representative on the team.

Wesleyan was Gwinnett's only team represented in Class A, with quarterback Will Anderson and receiver Rodney Morris each garnering a spot on the honorable mention team.

In all, 31 Gwinnett players were honored in their respective classifications by the GSWA.