Each week, we will take a look around the state of Georgia and find which 2026 freshmen performed at a high level. While the class of 2026 is still young and growing into their own on the recruiting trail, they…
Each week, we will take a look around the state of Georgia and find which 2026 freshmen performed at a high level. While the class of 2026 is still young and growing into their own on the recruiting trail, they are still some of the best young talent that the state has seen in recent years.
Here are some of the top freshmen performers from week 1 in Georgia High School Football.
Top Offensive Performer
– QB – Carrollton
There is a very good chance thatwill be the top-ranked QB in the 2026 class when those rankings come out. After all, he does already hold offers from schools like Georgia, Texas A&M, Texas, Tennessee, and numerous other P5 schools. In his highly anticipated high school debut, he did not disappoint. Lewis completed nearly 67% of his passes and threw for 286 yards. On top of that, he also added 5 TDs in the air. Lewis led Carrollton to a 69-7 route of Alabama’s Gadsen City.
Top Defensive Performer
– DB – Parkview
This was a tough one, butis the defensive prospect that drew my eye the most. At 6’3 and around 180 pounds, he already has a great frame and will continue to get better as he adds weight. Hicks played at safety in his debut and was all over the field making plays as he helped lead Parkview to a 56-7 rout of Johns Creek in the Corky Kell Classic. Hicks made a couple of tackles and a PBU, showing off his physicality. He also came down with an INT, where he did an excellent job of coming out of nowhere and jumping a route. Hicks has all the tools to become a household name very soon, and his debut performance is evidence of that.
– WR – Kell
To those around him, a breakout performance is probably not a huge surprise. But to a lot of people, including myself, Zachary turned some heads and might have played himself into a household name. In a 38-23 victory over Cherokee Bluff, Zachary finished with 7 receptions for 110 yards and a TD. At around 5’7 150, Zachary is considered a smaller receiver, but his playstyle makes up for it. Even for a smaller player, he shows great body control and is a strong prospect. He runs routes extremely well and can make people miss with the ball in his hands. Zachary showed he could be a playmaker at all three levels of the field, and that will speak for itself over his height.
Other Top Performers
– LB – Grayson
is considered to be one of the best prospects overall in the 2026 class, and he showed why in his high school debut. Atkinson will likely have a future at the EDGE spot. At 6’3 190 with unreal speed and a good set of pass rushing moves, he will be a dominant pass rusher when he grows into his frame. However, for now, he is spending some time at both EDGE and at ILB. Against Marietta, you couldn’t help but notice Atkinson, even when he wasn’t directly making the plays. He has unreal speed and was flying all over the field. He made a few tackles and flushed the QB out of the pocket a few times as well. With more seasoning, Atkinson will be an absolute animal for the Rams over the course of his career.
– OL – Cass
For those that have been following McWhorter for a while, it was only a matter of time before colleges came knocking his door down. After a solid high school debut, Penn State and Louisville came with offers, and more are on the horizon. McWhorter made his debut at LT, but with his skill set, it wouldn’t shock me if he ended up on the inside at some point in his career. Even as a freshman, he is an extremely physical player that could be considered a “mauler” style blocker. In his first game, you could see him do an excellent job of generating power from his legs and maintaining good pad level. At around 6’4 280, it is clear to see why McWhorter is already receiving major P5 buzz.
– RB – Central
Walton quietly had a fantastic debut, and was a contender for the top overall offensive performer. In a 36-12 rout of Redan, Walton was extremely effective in his debut. He got 15 carries and ended up rushing for 136 yards and a TD. That is good enough for over 12 YPC. On film, he looks like a quick cut back with great vision and patience. On multiple runs, he showed great vision by shooting through the line and into the second level. Once he got to the second level, he showed off some impressive acceleration and outran the defense. Walton is certainly a new name to me, but he left a strong impression and is someone that should be tracked closely.
– OL – Prince Avenue
Talented prospect that dominated the camp scene this past offseason. So far, it looks like that success should translate to the high school level. Townsend helped anchor the Prince Avenue offensive front en route to a victory over 5 -ime South Carolina state champs Hammond. Hammond is an athletic lineman that can get to the second level with ease and also has a very smooth pass rush. He can play both inside and out, and has solidified himself as one of the better 2026 OL in the state.