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Football: Forsyth pair named to Sports Illustrated All-America watch list
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West Forsyth offensive lineman Dylan Fairchild and Denmark quarterback Aaron McLaughlin are two of 84 players from the state of Georgia. File photos

A pair of Forsyth County seniors were named to the Sports Illustrated All-America watch list recently, a list naming the top 1,000 high school football players across the country.

West Forsyth offensive lineman Dylan Fairchild and Denmark quarterback Aaron McLaughlin are two of 84 players from the state of Georgia.

Fairchild, a four-star prospect who committed to the University of Georgia this summer, is the only offensive guard on the list of Georgia players. Fairchild played left tackle for the Wolverines in 2019 but was recruited as an offensive guard.

The scouting report spoke highly of Fairchild’s 6-foot-5, 298-pound build, detailing his “sense of calmness” on the field. His “strong, fluid hips” and “electric feet” also drew praise. 

“This dude uproots people at the point of attack,” the report read. “His ability to roll his hips through contact will allow him to kick inside and push three techniques off the point of attack. The body type reminds me a lot of Ben Cleveland, minus two inches of height. Three-hundred-pounders with chiseled features. He’s the modern offensive lineman.”

McLaughlin, also a four-star prospect who committed this summer to North Carolina State, is one of six quarterbacks on the list of Georgia players. 

McLaughlin’s “tall, muscular build” has him “already well-proportioned with NFL frame.”

“Despite great size, proves plenty mobile in the pocket and can hurt defenses with legs,” the report said. “Verified speed and quickness testing numbers to validate mobility with spot production on the run. Comfortable playing outside the pocket to extend plays or add yardage on his own.”

Sports Illustrated will narrow the candidates to 250 in October, 99 in November and then announce a first team of 25, second team of 25 and an honorable mention group in December. The first-team selections will be invited to the SI Sportsperson of the Year banquet.

Georgia’s 84 players ranks the state third behind Florida (142) and Texas (130). California (79), North Carolina (55), Alabama (44), Ohio (37), Virginia (30), Michigan (30) and Maryland (28) round out the top 10.