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Football: 10 candidates for offensive, defensive players of year
Raleigh Herbert
West Forsyth linebacker Raleigh Herbert burst onto the scene in 2020, adding two interceptions and 10 pass breakups to his 106 tackles. File photo

Friday night marked the return of high school football in Forsyth County, with Lambert and North Forsyth hosting preseason scrimmages. With the regular season right around the corner, here are some preseason favorites to win postseason awards. 

First up, five favorites to win Offensive Player of the Year.

5 who could win offensive player of the year

Kojo Antwi, WR, Lambert

The most coveted prospect in school history is an obvious choice for this list. Antwi announced his commitment this summer to Ohio State, where he’ll look to follow in the footsteps of players such as Michael Thomas, Terry McLaurin and Parris Campbell. Lambert head coach Tommy Watson is high on the Longhorns’ offensive line, which would mean more time to target Antwi down the field. Additionally, the emergence of Harrison Peyton at running back should help keep the offense balanced and prevent the defense from singling out Antwi.

Oscar Delp, TE, West Forsyth

Another no-brainer, Delp is technically the highest rated prospect in Forsyth County history, earning a grade of .9588 from 247sports. Delp will be the top target in a West Forsyth offense that is engineered by quarterback Keegan Stover. Stover posted an incredibly efficient 19 touchdowns to four interceptions last season as a sophomore, so as Stover grows as a quarterback, so will Delp’s opportunities in the passing game.

Ty Watkins, QB, South Forsyth

Watkins is a big-bodied quarterback with a strong arm. Combine those attributes with a traditionally pass-happy South Forsyth offense and Watkins could rack up the yards this season. He’ll have the help of do-it-all back Gavin Morris [more on him later], in addition to weapons such as track stars Chris Nelson and Josh Nelson, plus 6-foot-4, 220-pound tight end Mason Capers.

Amon Williams, RB, Denmark

Williams averaged 4.5 yards per carry last season behind an offensive line that wasn’t at full strength until halfway through the season. He also split carries with Brandon Britton and Aaron McLaughlin, both of whom graduated, leaving Williams as the apparent workhorse back in Denmark’s backfield. The Danes also plan to start a sophomore quarterback, which could mean a more conservative approach early in the season and allow Williams to establish a rhythm.

Amon Williams

Gavin Morris, RB, South Forsyth

All Gavin Morris did last year was average 5.2 yards per carry, catch 26 passes for 488 yards and score nine touchdowns. In fact, Morris averaged 12 yards every time he touched the ball, factoring in rushing and receiving yards. We already talked about South’s tendency to light up the scoreboard. A player with Morris’ versatility could have an explosive season in that offense.

Others to consider: Harrison Peyton, Lambert; Keegan Stover, West Forsyth; Will Moffit, East Forsyth; Mason Capers, South Forsyth.

5 who could win defensive player of the year

Dee Crayton, LB, Denmark

Crayton was among the county’s fastest risers this offseason, emerging as a four-star recruit with offers from Arkansas, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Syracuse and Central Florida. The Danes must replace linebacker Harrison Halder, the school’s all-time leading tackler, which should give Crayton plenty of opportunity. Crayton had 62 tackles, including eight tackles for loss, and a team-high five sacks last season as a sophomore.

Patrick Corrigan, LB, North Forsyth

The reigning Forsyth County News Defensive Player of the Year, Corrigan did everything for the Raiders last season. He collected 112 tackles, including 14 tackles for loss, 20 QB hurries, six sacks, four recovered fumbles, one fumble returned for a touchdowns, one interception, one forced fumble and two pass breakups. The scary part is, head coach Robert Craft said at media day that Corrigan got even better during the offseason.

Patrick Corrigan
North Forsyth junior Patrick Corrigan carries the ball after recovering a fumble Friday during the Raiders' 24-10 win at West Forsyth. - photo by David Roberts

Nathan Efobi, DL, South Forsyth

Another fast riser, Efobi is a 6-foot-4, 286-pound defensive tackle who picked up offers from UGA and Georgia Tech in the span of three days in March. South already has an established pass-rusher in defensive end Ben Harvey, so adding Efobi to the mix on a full-time basis this season could be disastrous for opposing offensive lines. Efobi also plays offensive line, but it appears he’s primarily being recruited as a defensive lineman.

Chris Herock, DL, North Forsyth

Herock might be the strongest junior in the county. On top of that, he finished his sophomore season with 57 tackles, including seven tackles for loss, six sacks, 15 QB hurries and one fumble recovery. Herock is the only returning member of North’s three-man defensive front, which could allow opposing offensive lines to key in on him, but Herock has the ability to put up big numbers this season.

Raleigh Herbert, LB, West Forsyth

How many sophomores in the country had more than 100 tackles last season? Raleigh Herbert burst onto the scene in 2020, adding two interceptions and 10 pass breakups to his 106 tackles. If Herbert keeps up that sort of production, he’ll have a chance to break the school’s all-time career tackles mark, which is held by Eli Orr [324 tackles from 2017-19].

Others to consider: Carson Leak, Forsyth Central; Bryce Allen, West Forsyth; Jay Helstone, West Forsyth; Josh Nelson, South Forsyth.