JEFFERSON DRAGONS ALL-TIME TOP 177 FOOTBALL PLAYERS

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Jefferson Dragons Legends

The TOP 177 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 72 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 177 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 177 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 177 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 177 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 177 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 - 177, 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 177 JEFFERSON HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYERS OF ALL TIME BY CECIL BUFFINGTON THROUGH THE 2019 SEASON.

 

1.

Colby Wood

HB

2017

2.

Bryant Shirreffs

QB

2012

3.

Jeff Davis      click on name for info

HB

1960

4.

Colby Clark   click on name

for info

QB

2019

5.

Evan Shirreffs

QB

2014

6.

Dalton Hill

WR

2014

7.

Zach Boobas

DB

2016

8.

T. J . Skelton

WR

2014

9.

Dontae Wilson

DT

2016

10.

Caleb Chandler

OL

2016

11.

Billy Ricks    Click on name for Info

HB

1956

12.

Curtis Segars     Click on name for Info

HB

1950

13.

Webster Samples

T

1954

14.

Gary Duke

HB

1958

15.

Don Cole

HB

1952

16.

Tradd Porter

DB

2014

17.

Alex Bryan

T

1971

18.

Bobby Gooch

HB

1971

19.

Chris Davis

E

2009

20.

Bennie Tompkins

FB

1956

21.

Michael Shields

G

1975

22.

Todd Berry

HB

1978

23.

Wesley Simonton

LB

2012

24.

Ronald Watson

HB

1979

25.

Bob Hix

T

1977

26.

Brandon Mosley

E

2006

27.

Jack Kesler

HB

1969

28.

Kody McDonald

LB

2012

29.

Dennis Law

E

1973

30.

Darius Minor

QB

2010

31.

Lucas Redd

HB

2009

32.

Jonathon Paolozzi

LB

2016

33.

Locke Potts

E

1954

34.

Johnny Spence

HB

1970

35.

Matt Childress

HB

1995

36.

Tristen Jackson

FB

2013

37.

Hayden Kilgore

K

2018

38.

Logan Garner

T

2017

39.

Kade McNalley

LB                 

2019

40.

Herbert Wilson

C

1959

41..

Will Kellum

DL

2016

42.

Garmon Randolph

TE

2018

43.

Trent Sorrells

LB

2014

44.

Stephen Bryan

E

1974

45.

Rodney Wages

T

1971

46.

Sammy Williams

HB

2014

47.

Bryce Moore

QB

2017

48.

Don Tompkins

FB

1961

49.

Jordan Tyler

C

2014

50.

Rufus Sims

HB

1975

51.

Carson Newman

DE

2011

52.

Patrick Allen

LB

2007

53.

Josh Bohanan

QB

2006

54.

James Hardman

T

1982

55.

Mason Ware

C

2019

56.

Dickie Copas

C

1950

57.

Y. D. Maddox

HB

1955

58.

Charles Hooper

T

1965

59.

Jimmy Lofton

QB

1973

60.

Kevin Crosby

HB

1989

61.

Bobby Potter

QB

1958

62.

Burton Riddle

E

1960

63.

John Kesler

E

1959

64.

Josh Cochran

WR

2019

65.

Zak Crosby

RB

2009

66.

Dennis Marlow

FB

1978

67.

Eddie Watson

HB

1965

68.

Justin Cole

FB

2017

69. 

Norman Botelho

C

1957

70.

Todd Samples

T

1995

71.

Marvin Hall

QB

1953

72.

Cole Stanfill

E

2014

73.

Mark Mason

HB

1976

74.

Damon Gause

G

1960

75.

Charles Anglin

FB

1968

76.

Kory Potts

LB

2004

77.

Eddie Brookshire

QB

1975

78.

Zack Daniels

FB

1981

79.

Tyler Hill

HB

2006

80.

Isiah Blake

HB

2013

81.

Damon West

FB

1963

82.

McKay Dickens

WR

2011

83. 

Daniel Gasaway

HB

1957

84.

Doug Duke Click on Name for Stats

HB

1982

85.

Gus Johnson

E

1954

86.

Virgil Appleby

HB

2008

87.

Earle Tompkins

C

1963

88.

Robert Bailey

HB

1980

89.

Sammy Elegreet

WR

2018

90.

Frankie Bray

G

1971

91.

Stephen Sims

HB

1999

92.

Will Puckett

WR

2010

93.

Tab Martin

WR

2004

94.

Jody Pollock

QB

1995

95.

Dennis Beatty

HB

1969

96.

Hunter Griffith

T

2017

97.

Earl Carithers

FB

1952

98.

Melvin Tolbert

HB

1958

99.

James Pinion

E

1968

100.

Donnie Hatfield

E

2013

101.

Zac Corbin

WR

2018

102.

Wayne Wages

QB

1954

103.

Tyler Porter

WR

2009

104.

Billy Sailors

QB

1953

105.

Howard Sauls

G

1965

106.

Andy Wilkes

E

1974

107.

Chris Keen

WR

1987

108.

Kyle Potts

QB

2001

109.

Zach Allen

LB

2010

110.

Kevin Love

FB

1983

111.

Alex Corbett

C

2015

112.

Morris Bryan III

E

1972

113.

Charles Anglin

G

1957

114.

Brandon Vinson

LB

2003

115.

Phillip Thompson

QB

1981

116.

Cale Jordon

DT

2019

117.

Donald Marlowe

HB

1954

118.

Tim Corbett

QB

1985

119.

Frank Nichols

C

1959

120.

Mack Rakestraw

LB

2007

121.

Mike Beatty

LB

1968

122.

Gary Porter

QB

1980

123.

Collin Anthony

OL

2012

124.

Chad Sims

QB

1999

125.

Danny Hammonds

HB

1983

126.

Corey Hill

P

2001

127.

Ryan Godfrey

OL

2018

128.

Pat Williamson

HB

1968

129.

Noah Mulvey

LB

2017

130.

Paul Ferguson

FB

1948

131.

Cole Potts

DB  

2018

132.

Freddie Tolbert

QB

1974

133.

Chandler Schlutow

K

2012

134.

Hal Potts

E

1971

135.

Blake Wright

LB

2016

136.

John Davis, Jr.

G

1963

137. 

Seth Glausier

LS

2018

138.

John Beatty

G

1972

139.

Hoke Elrod

E

1953

140.

Chaz Evans

WR

2016

141.

Nick Holman

OL 

2016

142.

Cole Givens

WR

2011

143.

Blake Ehl

CB

2017

144.

Roger Jackson

G

1962

145.

Hoytes Damons

T

2010

146.

Dewey Johnson

E

1971

147.

Jacon Thompson

FB

2019

148.

Tyler Truelove

FB

1995

149.

Tommy Healan

C

1984

150.

Joey Wright

FB

1981

151.

Andrew Benson

G

1997

152.

Shanga Moon

HB

1997

153.

James Shields

 E

1979 

154.

Eric Wilborn

HB

1999

155.

Gage Swilling

T

2019

156.

Jason Hensley

E

1994

157.

Scott Jackson

E

1992

158.

Gary Brooks

E

1963

159.

Larry Benton

HB

1961

160.  

Jeremy smith

FB

2002

161. 

Alex Mason

DB

2016

162.

Marty Standridge   

LB

1988

163.

 Charles Gilbert

 E

1957

164.

Woodrow Stewart

QB

1955

165.

Raynard Borders

 HB

1980

166.

Drequan Sewell

DB

2011

167.

Thomas Williamson

T

1953

168.

Dwayne Moon

QB

1977

169.

Joseph Randolph

DE

2015

170.

Ed Stancil

FB

1953

171.

Billy Lofton

G

1974

172.

Rick Tatum

T

1973

173.

Rick Conner

FB

1972

174.

Brantley Gilbert

QB

2005

175.

John Crenshaw

G

1953

176.

Adam Rooks 

OL

2005

177.

Brett Bell

OL

2018

 

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.