Tate Ratledge All-American

Darlington’s Tate Ratledge poses with his 2020 All-American Bowl honorary jersey during a ceremony in October.

It was the year of the lineman for Floyd County this past prep football season, and that was backed up by the release of the 2019 AJC All-State high school football teams.

Three linemen from the area earned All-State recognition, while another two earned honorable mention.

Darlington offensive lineman Tate Ratledge was joined by his teammate defensive lineman Cade Brock on the Class A Private team, while Rome High offensive lineman Quantavious Leslie made All-State in Class 5A.

Ratledge, a 6-foot-6, 315-pound Georgia recruit, has been in San Antonio, Texas, all week for the 2020 All-American Bowl, which will be played Saturday at 1 p.m. and will be televised on NBC.

Ratledge was also named the Region 6-A/A Lineman of the Year for the second straight year.

Ratledge and Brock, who is headed to UGA as a preferred walk-on, helped lead the Tigers to a 9-2 record and a second-round appearance in the Class A Private state playoffs this past season.

Leslie has gotten several offers from SEC schools in a season that saw him help the Wolves reach the second round of the Class 5A playoffs.

Rome offensive lineman Aiden Gaines was awarded honorable mention, as was Chattooga defensive lineman Luis Medina.

In Class 4A, Kobe Pryor, a 6-foot, 212-pound running back who signed with Clemson back in December, earned All-State status, while Rockmart’s Javin Whatley and Pepperell’s Josh Ross were named All-State in Class AA.

Whatley led the Jackets to their third straight Region 7-AA title, while Ross was a key part of Pepperell’s defense, which held opponents to 12.6 points per game.

Others earning honorable mention were Rome kicker Alonzo Rodriguez and Pepperell wide receiver and linebacker Payton Rhoades.

Arik Gilbert of Marietta was named the All-Classification Player of the Year. The No. 1-rated tight end in the country helped lead the Blue Devils to a 15-0 record culminating in a Class 7A state championship — a first for the team in 52 years.

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