Last week, it was All-State. Today two area players have made the cut of 42 for Backs and Linemen of the year in their respective classifications.
Oxford’s Racean Thomas is a finalist for Class 6A Back of the Year, and Piedmont’s Jamie Major is a finalist for 3A Lineman.
While linebacker may seem like an odd fit for some to be grouped among into linemen, Piedmont coach Steve Smith said Major epitomizes the position.
“He’s just got that mentality,” Smith said. “… his motor is always going.
“He’s wide open no matter if it’s a rivalry game or a team we’ve never played before. Even at practice, too. You can ask some of the scout team guys, he doesn’t go easy on anybody.”
Major, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound senior, tallied 135 tackles with nine tackles for loss, fives sacks and broke up six passes. He’s rated as a two-star player by national recruiting services Scout and Rivals and holds an offer from Indiana.
Only a third of the 42 players selected are underclassmen and Thomas represents the only player in Class 6A who is not a senior.
But with two first-team all-state selections under his belt and the numbers he put up this past season, him being the anomaly is without question.
Thomas rushed for 1,768 yards and 24 touchdowns in his 10-game season despite being held out of the fourth quarter of many lopsided contests. His per-game rushing average (176.80) was the highest of all running backs in the state’s largest classification.
Thomas said he wears the underclassmen status among the state’s elite like a badge of honor, but he’s quick to point out that it’s not something he’s about to take for granted.
“It feels great,” Thomas said of the honor. “But it makes me want to work harder, too. Just keep getting better at everything.”
Thomas is up for the award, which will also be handed out along with Mr. Football banquet in Montgomery, with Carver-Montgomery quarterback Jeremy Johnson and Northview defensive back Marquez White. Johnson passed for 2,965 yards and 30 touchdowns leading his team into the postseason. White, a Florida State commitment, had three interceptions and only four passes were caught against him while in coverage.
Major is joined by Dale County’s Jamarious Henderson and Midfield’s Torrandine Harris. Henderson, one of a handful of sophomores to achieve the honor, logged 117 tackles, 25 tackles for loss and 16 sacks. Harris, a two-time all-state defensive lineman, had 67 tackles, 17 for loss and 22 sacks.
The finalists were voted on earlier this month at the ASWA’s all-state meeting by a panel of high school writers from around the state.
Assistant Managing Editor Bran Strickland: 256-235-3590. On Twitter @Bran_Strickland.