USA TODAY High School Sports Awards: Atlanta football nominees — defense

Photo: William Curtis

USA TODAY High School Sports Awards: Atlanta football nominees — defense

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USA TODAY High School Sports Awards: Atlanta football nominees — defense

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The USA TODAY High School Sports Awards are coming to Atlanta.

On May 11, 2020, top high school athletes from around the Atlanta area will be honored at Atlanta Symphony Hall at the Woodruff Arts Center.

Here are the 11 nominees for Atlanta Football Defensive Player of the Year.

Barrett Carter, North Gwinnett (Photo: William Curtis)

Barrett Carter

School: North Gwinnett (Suwanee, Ga.)
Position: Linebacker
Class: 2021
College: Uncommitted
Noteworthy: Carter (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) is a collision waiting to happen, whether at the line of scrimmage or behind it. But he also boasts the speed to drop back in coverage as a nickel or safety.

Zavier Carter, Hapeville Charter (Photo: Ty Freeman)

Zavier Carter

School: Hapeville Charter (Atlanta)
Position: Defensive end
Class: 2021
College: Uncommitted
Noteworthy: Carter contributed to a state title in his freshman year, boasts a 40-inch vertical and is already posing for photos with LSU coach Ed Orgeron outside Tiger Stadium on social media.

Chaz Chambliss, Carrollton (Photo: Brian Carmicheal/ BmPhotography)

Chaz Chambliss

School: Carrollton
Position: Linebacker
Class: 2021
College: Uncommitted
Newsworthy: Blessed with impressive range, Chambliss, who recorded 87 tackles (58 solo), relentlessly chased down quarterbacks and ball-carriers all season long for Carrollton.

Noah Collins

School: Grayson (Loganville, Ga.)
Position: Defensive end
Class: 2021
College: Uncommitted
Noteworthy: Whether it was pressuring quarterback Harrison Bailey in Grayson’s upset of Marietta or blocking a punt against Tucker (Ga.), few defensive ends impacted games like the 6-foot-4 Collins.

David Daniel, Woodstock (Photo: Skip Daugherty Photography)

David Daniel

School: Woodstock
Position: Safety
Class: 2021
College: Georgia
Noteworthy: The long arms make Daniel (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) a tough safety to throw over or around, and Georgia fans will learn that he does not shy from lowering his shoulder on receivers entering his area.

Jalen Garner, Norcross (Photo: Audrey Herron Photography)

Jalen Garner

School: Norcross (Georgia)
Position: Linebacker
Class: 2021
College: Uncommitted
Noteworthy: Garner had one of the most dominant seasons of any junior in the country, posting 181 tackles, 133 solos and 3.5 sacks for the Blue Devils.

Nyland Green (left), Newton (Photo: Anthony Banks/Covington News)

Nyland Green

School: Newton (Covington, Ga.)
Position: Cornerback
Class: 2021
College: Uncommitted
Noteworthy: Green considers his area of the field to be an island, and his field awareness is exceptional and on full display when he’s patrolling the secondary.

Jonathan Jefferson, Douglas County (Photo: Courtesy of Douglas County)

Jonathan Jefferson

School: Douglas County (Douglasville, Ga.)
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: 2021
College: Uncommitted
Noteworthy: No matter the pre-snap position, Jefferson overpowered opposing lineman to the tune of 13 tackles for loss and 15 sacks this season. He also showed a flair for seizing the moment as a receiver.

Smael Mondon, Paulding County (Photo: Mike Catoe, Paulding Sports Chronicle)

Smael Mondon

School: Paulding County (Dallas, Ga.)
Position: Linebacker
Class: 2021
College: Uncommitted
Noteworthy: Any recruiter looking for a linebacker who can rush for an 81-yard touchdown on a jet sweep, too? Mondon is the man to sign out of Paulding County.

Myles Murphy (98), Hillgrove (Photo: Jim Jones)

Myles Murphy

School: Hillgrove (Powder Springs, Ga.)
Class: 2020
Position: Defensive end
College: Clemson
Noteworthy: Already eyeing an engineering degree in college, Murphy overwhelmed offensive lines from all angles at Hillgrove, and he will be expected to step up in class when he takes the field for Clemson next season.

Jaden Slocum, Alpharetta (Photo: Troy Johnson)

Jaden Slocum

School: Alpharetta (Ga.)
Class: 2021
Position: Safety
College: Uncommitted
Noteworthy: Last spring, Slocum helped win a Class 6A state title in the 4×400 meter relay. He didn’t slow down any in the fall with expansive coverage in Alpharetta’s secondary, recording three interceptions.

For more information on the USA TODAY High School Sports Awards event in Atlanta, visit sportsawardsatlanta.com. Answers to frequently asked questions about the event can be found here.

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