After Marietta won its first state championship in 52 years, the Blue Devils’ players are continuing to receive recognition for their accomplishments.
Five players were named MaxPreps All-Americans this week.
Tight end Arik Gilbert and defensive lineman BJ Ojulari were named first-team All-Americans, quarterback Harrison Bailey and defensive back Rashad Torrence earned second-team nods and linebacker Daniel Martin was named a second-team sophomore All-American.
Marietta completed the season 13-2 and beat Lowndes 17-9 for the Class AAAAAAA state championship, but the number of players recognized by MaxPreps still caught coach Richard Morgan by surprise.
“I’m a little shocked by it,” he said.
Not because the players were undeserving, but to have that many players recognized from a public school is a feat in itself.
“They all had tremendous years,” Morgan said. “All the accolades are earned.”
Gilbert had already been named the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year for a season in which he caught 101 passes for 1,760 yards and 14 touchdowns. The receptions and receiving yards were both Cobb County single-season records.
Ojulari, who will join Gilbert at LSU next season, finished with 124 tackles, including 40 for loss and 18 sacks. He also started on the offensive line, which had more than 6,000 yards of total offense for the season.
Bailey earned a spot on the second team after throwing for 4,261 yards and 44 touchdowns against only nine interceptions. Four times this season, the Tennessee signee threw for at least five touchdown passes, and he finished his career with a county-record 11,706 passing yards.
Joining Bailey on the second team was Torrence, the Florida signee who finished the season second on the team with 118 tackles and an interception.
Martin has two more years to try to join his older teammates as an overall All-American, but based on his 2019 season, he is well on his way.
As a starter at linebacker, Martin finished the season with 71 tackles (57 solo) and a sack. He has already received offers from Tennessee and Florida Atlantic, with many more Division I programs showing interest.
“They would be the first to tell you, they would not have gotten these accolades without their teammates,” Morgan said. “There were no egos. They all set them aside to win a state championship, and by working together, they got it and it made everything else possible.”