JEFFERSON DRAGONS ALL-TIME TOP 160 FOOTBALL PLAYERS

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Jefferson Dragons Legends

The TOP 160 Football Players in Jefferson Dragon History

Jefferson High School has had a football team since 1947. There have been approximately 3,000 players on those 70 high school teams during this period of time. This averages out to around 40 players per season that laid it on the line for the ol' school and all Dragon fans. Perhaps the most difficult thing one can attempt is to pick the TOP 160 football Players in the history of Jefferson High school. Why would I make an attempt to do this? For the same reason I started up the cecilbuffington.com Historical Web-Site ~

TO KEEP THE MEMORIES ALIVE.

There will be disagreements on some of my selections and nods of agreement from others on some of the selections. One thing is for certain, there have been some outstanding high school football players to come out of Jefferson High School.

Perhaps you wonder why I feel I could put together a list of the most outstanding Jefferson High School football players. I prefer to ask, who else is better qualified for the task than me?

I attended my first Jefferson football game in 1953 as an 8-year old. I didn't see any of that game as I played football with other kids behind the press box. That game was Commerce-Jefferson.

It was two years later that I finally persuaded my cousin Tom Williamson, who had played on that 1953 team, to take me to another game. It was Commerce-Jefferson in 1955. I watched every play in that game. I became a football fan and have remained a fan to this very day. How many Jefferson fans can say they have seen every Jefferson-Commerce game since 1955? I can! For 26 years I carried the down marker at Jefferson home football games at Memorial Stadium. I missed only two home games due to illness during that period, and I also attended probably 95 per cent of the Dragons away games during those 26 years. Even when I was living away from Jefferson,  I always came back to town  for that spectacular Commerce/Jefferson rivalry game, and several more games during the football season. I don't know how many Jefferson games I have seen, but I can say that I have probably seen every Dragon team play three or four games every season since 1955. I have seen every player that has played for Jefferson over the last 60 years.  Many of them from up close on the side-line.

I authored a book, "The Golden Age Of Jefferson Dragons Football" that covered the Jefferson football program from 1947 through the 1964 season.  This required extensive research that brought me extraordinary insight for the years that I was "too young" to attend Jefferson Dragons football games.  I later collaborated on a book ~ "We Believe" ~  that featured the 2012 Jefferson Dragons State Championship season and provided a complete history of Jefferson Dragons football. 

Does that make me qualified to select the TOP 160 players in Dragon history? I don't know the answer to that question, but I do know I have a strong opinion as to who I feel are the best players to ever wear the red and blue. I am now publishing that opinion. Every Jefferson player that ever made all-state or all-state honorable mention by the Associated Press ( AP ) or the Atlanta Journal/Constitution are named on this 160 player list.  The rankings are based on high school performance and skill level only, ( not later college or professional success ) contribution of the player to team success, and in many cases, simply my opinion, since I did see all the Jefferson players since 1955.  To see the rankings of Jefferson players that went on to Division-1A football, go to  JEFFERSON DRAGONS LEGENDS and scroll down to "Football Superlatives." 

As for the former  players that failed to make the list, I know how you feel. If someone else were to make a listing, it would probably be very different.  Everyone has their own opinions just as I have mine. I would have been thrilled to see my name on the list, but I can realistically say I was not in the league as a player with the guys named on the top 160 player list. I realize everyone will not look at this in the same light as I do. Of course there are players that are not on the list that were as good as some players who are on the list, but I do think I managed to pull out the cream of the crop.  The very best of the best!

Keeping the memories alive ~ That's what it's all about . . . Here's hoping these Jefferson High School football players will always be remembered for carrying the Dragon banner with pride on the football field. I have said it before and I'll say it again . . . Once you put on that red and blue and become a Jefferson Dragon, you are always a Jefferson Dragon.

Cecil Buffington

Who Is The Best Football Player That Ever Played For The Jefferson Dragons?

Usually it would be quite a difficult task to pick a "best" out of an estimated 3,000 former Jefferson High School football players. The selectee after the 2017 football season made it a no-brainer as to his selection as "The best football player ever to play for Jefferson High School." 

During his four year career as a Dragon he rushed for 5,786 yards on 874 carries for an 6.62 yards per carry average. As a freshman in 2014 he gave a preview of what could be expected later with a 92-yard touchdown run against Winder. He carried the ball 70 times over the course of the season for 486 yards or 6.94 yards per carry. He ran for 8 touchdowns. The Dragons finished with a 12 - 1 record and made the state elite 8.

As a sophomore in 2015 he had one of the best seasons in Georgia football history with 2,119 yards gained on 321 carries. His per carry average gain was 6.60. He scored 32 touchdowns rushing and 1 on a pass reception. He caught 17 passes for 203 yards. He became the first player in Jefferson history to score 5 touchdowns in a game twice. He reached this milestone against Oconee County and Winder-Barrow. He also became a standout on defense with 29 tackles. He had 4 interceptions on defense. He was named the Banner Herald Northeast Georgia Player of the Year, the all-region player of the year and all-state Class 3-AAA player of the year. The Dragons reached the state playoff sweet 16.

His junior year saw him rush for 1,642 yards on 238 carries for a 6.90 yards per carry. He ran for 20 touchdowns and caught 18 passes for 355 yards and 4 more scores. He had 30 tackles on defense. He was the region 8-AAAA player of the year, Athens Daily News Player of the Year, All-state and the Class AAAA Offensive Player of the Year. The Dragons reached the State Final Four with a 12 - 2 record.

As a 5'10", 180 pound senior he was again the sparkplug behind the Dragons drive to the state elite 8. He rushed for 1539 yards and 19 touchdowns and caught 24 passes for 270 yards and 5 touchdowns. He concluded his Jefferson career with 5,786 yards rushing and 79 touchdowns. The 79 TDs rank him 15th in the state history of Georgia high school football. In his four years at Jefferson, the team won 44 games and lost only 8 games. He is the only 3-time all-state player from Jefferson, the only 3-time All-Northeast Georgia player of the year, the only 3-time region player of the year, and the only 2-time statewide classification player of the year.

He has received a scholarship to play football at Wofford. There is no reason to not expect him to excell at this next level of his life in football participation.

The 2018 cecilbuffington.com top 160 football players in Jefferson Dragons History is proud to name Colby Wood as our best of the best. While there might be some discussion on numbers 2 - 160, I think most will agree, there is not much doubt that Colby Wood's stats and outstanding performance over four years merits the  number 1 ranking.

THE TOP 160 JEFFERSON HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYERS OF ALL TIME BY CECIL BUFFINGTON THROUGH THE 2017 SEASON.

 

1.

Colby Wood

HB

2017

2.

Bryant Shirreffs

QB

2012

3.

Jeff Davis      click on name for info

HB

1960

4.

Evan Shirreffs

QB

2014

5.

Dalton Hill

WR

2014

6.

Zach Boobas

DB

2016

7.

T. J . Skelton

WR

2014

8.

Dontae Wilson

DT

2016

9.

Caleb Chandler

OL

2016

10.

Billy Ricks    Click on name for Info

HB

1956

11.

Curtis Segars     Click on name for Info

HB

1950

12.

Webster Samples

T

1954

13.

Gary Duke

HB

1958

14.

Don Cole

HB

1952

15.

Tradd Porter

DB

2014

16.

Alex Bryan

T

1971

17.

Bobby Gooch

HB

1971

18.

Chris Davis

E

2009

19.

Bennie Tompkins

FB

1956

20.

Michael Shields

G

1975

21.

Todd Berry

HB

1978

22.

Wesley Simonton

LB

2012

23.

Ronald Watson

HB

1979

24.

Bob Hix

T

1977

25.

Brandon Mosley

E

2006

26.

Jack Kesler

HB

1969

27.

Kody McDonald

LB

2012

28.

Dennis Law

E

1973

29.

Darius Minor

QB

2010

30.

Lucas Redd

HB

2009

31.

Jonathon Paolozzi

LB

2016

32.

Locke Potts

E

1954

33.

Johnny Spence

HB

1970

34.

Matt Childress

HB

1995

35.

Tristen Jackson

FB

2013

36.

Logan Garner

T

2017

37.

Herbert Wilson

C

1959

38.

Will Kellum

DL

2016

39.

Trent Sorrells

LB

2014

40.

Stephen Bryan

E

1974

41.

Rodney Wages

T

1971

42.

Sammy Williams

HB

2014

43.

Bryce Moore

QB

2017

44.

Don Tompkins

FB

1961

45.

Jordan Tyler

C

2014

46.

Rufus Sims

HB

1975

47.

Carson Newman

DE

2011

48.

Patrick Allen

LB

2007

49.

Josh Bohanan

QB

2006

50.

James Hardman

T

1982

51.

Dickie Copas

C

1950

52.

Y. D. Maddox

HB

1955

53.

Charles Hooper

T

1965

54.

Jimmy Lofton

QB

1973

55.

Kevin Crosby

HB

1989

56.

Bobby Potter

QB

1958

57.

Burton Riddle

E

1960

58.

John Kesler

E

1959

59.

Zak Crosby

RB

2009

60.

Dennis Marlow

FB

1978

61.

Eddie Watson

HB

1965

62.

Justin Cole

FB

2017

63. 

Norman Botelho

C

1957

64.

Todd Samples

T

1995

65.

Marvin Hall

QB

1953

66.

Cole Stanfill

E

2014

67.

Mark Mason

HB

1976

68.

Damon Gause

G

1960

69.

Charles Anglin

FB

1968

70.

Kory Potts

LB

2004

71.

Eddie Brookshire

QB

1975

72.

Zack Daniels

FB

1981

73.

Tyler Hill

HB

2006

74.

Isiah Blake

HB

2013

75.

Damon West

FB

1963

76.

McKay Dickens

WR

2011

77. 

Daniel Gasaway

HB

1957

78.

Doug Duke Click on Name for Stats

HB

1982

79.

Gus Johnson

E

1954

80.

Virgil Appleby

HB

2008

81.

Earle Tompkins

C

1963

82.

Robert Bailey

HB

1980

83.

Frankie Bray

G

1971

84.

Stephen Sims

HB

1999

85.

Will Puckett

WR

2010

86.

Tab Martin

WR

2004

87.

Jody Pollock

QB

1995

88.

Dennis Beatty

HB

1969

89.

Hunter Griffith

T

2017

90.

Earl Carithers

FB

1952

91.

Melvin Tolbert

HB

1958

92.

James Pinion

E

1968

93.

Donnie Hatfield

E

2013

94.

Wayne Wages

QB

1954

95.

Tyler Porter

WR

2009

96.

Billy Sailors

QB

1953

97.

Howard Sauls

G

1965

98.

Andy Wilkes

E

1974

99.

Chris Keen

WR

1987

100.

Kyle Potts

QB

2001

101.

Zach Allen

LB

2010

102.

Kevin Love

FB

1983

103.

Alex Corbett

C

2015

104.

Morris Bryan III

E

1972

105.

Charles Anglin

G

1957

106.

Brandon Vinson

LB

2003

107.

Phillip Thompson

QB

1981

108.

Donald Marlowe

HB

1954

109.

Tim Corbett

QB

1985

110.

Frank Nichols

C

1959

111.

Mack Rakestraw

LB

2007

112.

Mike Beatty

LB

1968

113.

Gary Porter

QB

1980

114.

Collin Anthony

OL

2012

115.

Chad Sims

QB

1999

116.

Danny Hammonds

HB

1983

117.

Corey Hill

P

2001

118.

Pat Williamson

HB

1968

119.

Noah Mulvey

LB

2017

120.

Paul Ferguson

FB

1948

121.

Freddie Tolbert

QB

1974

122.

Chandler Schlutow

K

2012

123.

Hal Potts

E

1971

124.

Blake Wright

LB

2016

125.

John Davis, Jr.

G

1963

126.

John Beatty

G

1972

127.

Hoke Elrod

E

1953

128.

Chaz Evans

WR

2016

129.

Nick Holman

OL 

2016

130.

Cole Givens

WR

2011

131.

Blake Ehl

CB

2017

132.

Roger Jackson

G

1962

133.

Hoytes Damons

T

2010

134.

Dewey Johnson

E

1971

135.

Tyler Truelove

FB

1995

136.

Tommy Healan

C

1984

137.

Joey Wright

FB

1981

138.

Andrew Benson

G

1997

139.

Shanga Moon

HB

1997

140.

James Shields

 E

1979 

141.

Eric Wilborn

HB

1999

142.

Jason Hensley

E

1994

143.

Scott Jackson

E

1992

144.

Gary Brooks

E

1963

145.

Larry Benton

HB

1961

146.  

Jeremy smith

FB

2002

147. 

Alex Mason

DB

2016

148.

Marty Standridge   

LB

1988

149.

 Charles Gilbert

 E

1957

150.

Woodrow Stewart

QB

1955

151.

Raynard Borders

 HB

1980

152.

Drequan Sewell

DB

2011

153.

Thomas Williamson

T

1953

154.

Dwayne Moon

QB

1977

155.

Ed Stancil

FB

1953

156.

Billy Lofton

G

1974

157.

Rick Tatum

T

1973

158.

Rick Conner

FB

1972

159.

Brantley Gilbert

QB

2005

 160.

John Crenshaw

G

1953

 

Bryant Shirreffs Led the 2012 Jefferson Dragons to the Class AA State championship.   Shirreffs was the Class AA Offensive Player Of The Year in Georgia Class AA football.  His selection is easy to understand when you look at his amazing stats for the season.  Shirreffs completed 174 of 267 ( 65.17% ) passes for 2.369 yards and 18 touchdowns.  He had 177 caries for 1,372 yards with 20 rushing touchdowns.  He was responsible for 38 touchdowns by run or pass.  He average 7.8 yards per rush.  Shirreffs is currently playing Division 1 football at Connecticut.

`

End Burton Riddle ( 33 ) and twice All-State halfback Jeff Davis ( 27 ) co-captained the 1960 Dragons.  Jeff Davis scored 23 touchdowns during the season and rushed for 1,790 yards.   During his Jefferson career he scored by rushing,  pass-receptions, kick-off, punt and interception returns.  He scored 5 touchdowns in  a game on 2 occasions. He is considered the best all-around football player in Jefferson Dragon history.

`

Evan Shirreffs was 164 - for - 236 ( 69.49% ) passing for 2,693 yards and 23 touchdowns during the Dragons 12 - 1 season in their first year in class AAA.

`

The Two Jefferson Dragon first team all-state players from 2014.   Tradd Porter - ( # 4 ) Free Safety - 89 tackles,  2 forced fumbles, 4 interceptions and 11 pass breakups.     Dalton Hill - ( # 7 ) Wide receiver -  had 47 receptions for 1,069 yards and 9 touchdowns.  He also had a punting average of 42.0 yards per punt.

`

T. J. Skelton ( # 14 ) led the 2014 Dragons in pass receptions with 48 caught for 928 yards and 8 touchdowns.  He stepped in at quarterback in 2013 when Evan Shirreffs went down with an injury and was outstanding as a signal caller.  One of the best all-around players in Jefferson history.

``

Benny Tompkins ( # 30 ) was a four-year starter at fullback and line-backer for Coach John Davis in 1956.  He had 856 yards rushing for the season.  He had 116 unassisted tackles in the 1956 season in 10 games.  He was also the teams punter and place-kicker.  Billy Ricks ( # 27 ) scored 19 touchdowns for the Dragons in 1956, scored 114 of the team's 182 points, rushed for  1,523 yards for one of the best Dragon teams of the 50's.  He was also an exceptional defensive cornerback with 73 tackles for the 10 game season. 

Curtis Segars

The 1950 Dragons finished with a 9 - 1 - 1 record.

They scored 333 points while surrendering 126 points. 

Curtis Segars scored 185 points to finish second in the state behind Commerce running back Gene Baird.  Baird had 188 points.

Segars averaged 217 yards per game rushing and pass receiving.

He rushed for 1,881 yards on 198 carries.  This was 9.50 yards per carry.  He had 23 rushing touchdowns, a 92 yard fumble return for a touchdown and a 68 yard punt return for a touchdown.

He scored 28 touchdowns and 15 extra points,  He kicked 5 of these extra points late in the season.

He had 21 pass receptions for 354 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Segars received a grant-in-aid scholarship to Georgia Tech after the 1950 football season.

Colby Wood, the number one rated football player in Jefferson history rushed for 5,786 in his career on 874 carries.  He scored 79 touchdowns.  These are all Jefferson records.  He twice scored 5 touchdowns in a game and four times scored four touchdowns in a game.  Also Jefferson records.  His Jefferson teams won 44 games with only 8 losses during his four year varsity career.  He was a three time all-state player and twice the offensive player of the year in Class 3-AAA and Class 4-AAAA.

Click on pictures to enlarge.