Garrison Hearst was named Lincoln County's best player by the GHSF Daily newsletter today.
GHSF Daily is naming the best players at each school, with the schools organized by their current region. Today was Region 7-A. Here's their write-up:
Garrison Hearst, the best player from the best Class A football program in state history, rushed for 5,122 yards and 52 touchdowns in a career that netted him three state titles. The third came in 1989, when Hearst was the all-classification player of the year on a 15-0 team that was probably the best of the 11 Lincoln County state champions coached by Larry Campbell.
"In high school, Garrison rarely got to play a full game," said Johnny Walton, Lincoln County football historian. "Against one poor opponent, he scored on six consecutive carries - five touchdowns and a two-point PAT. Larry Campbell was never one to run up the score or run a player to death for the sake of stats."
Hearst was an All-American and Heisman Trophy finalist at Georgia, then played 10 seasons in the NFL, with 7,966 rushing yards, mostly with the San Francisco 49ers.
Hearst is one of seven former or current NFL players on our list of best players in the history of the current Region 7-A.
Those include Bud Dupree of Wilkinson County, DeAndre Smelter of Tattnall Square and Darqueze Dennard of Twiggs County (current NFL players) and Bill Hartman of Georgia Military College, Josh Nesbitt of Greene County and Le Kevin Smith of Stratford Academy (former NFL players).
Also notable are Ben Zambiasi of Mount de Sales, a Canadian Football Hall of Famer who led the Cavaliers to a state title in the 1970s, and Daccus Turman of Washington-Wilkes, who merely set the state record for rushing yards in a season with 3,167 in 2000.
*Aquinas: Brendan Douglas (2012)
*Greene County: Josh Nesbitt (2006)
*Lincoln County: Garrison Hearst (1989)
*Warren County: Bobby Thigpen (1968)
*Washington-Wilkes: Daccus Turman (2000)
It's also worth noting that Garrison was all-state at two positions in football: back and punter. And he was all-state in baseball.