ATLANTA, Ga. -- Not that it should be a surprise to anyone, but the postseason accolades for Newton's Darnell Jefferies continue to come streaming in.
Jefferies joined Cartersville senior quarterback and fellow Clemson commit, Trevor Lawrence in receiving Player of the Week honors from the Atlanta Touchdown Club this past weekend.
Jefferies, who finished the season with 65 tackles, including 19 for losses, and seven sacks, received the award based on his play during Newton's 37-0 win over Shiloh on Oct. 27.
In that victory, Jefferies had just a pair of tackles, but he also picked off a pass and rumbled to the house for a pick six. It wouldn't be the only time he'd find the end zone during the season, though.
In Newton's 35-28 overtime loss to Parkview in the first round of the Class AAAAAAA playoffs, Jefferies caught three passes, including one for a touchdown. Such plays showed off his versatility, not to mention the fruits of his labor.
"It feels great to receive this recognition," Jefferies said. "It always feels good when hard work pays off."
Jefferies parlayed his hard work over the course of his high school career into obtaining a football scholarship to defending college football national champion Clemson. He committed to the Tigers earlier in the year, shortly after Newton's spring football game with Alcovy. And though the overtures keep coming, Jefferies has maintained on several occasions that his commitment is "100 percent solid."
His official visit to Death Valley this past weekend seemed to lend tangible credence to that stance.
"The visit there was wonderful," Jefferies said. "The love was over the top. The fans are great and I'm always happy to sign autographs and take time to talk with them. As for the school, they've really done a great job showing me how much they appreciate me."
Jefferies said that the good vibes from the weekend visit helped him to focus on his future, even as the overtime loss to Parkview still stung a bit.
"I will never forget that night," Jefferies said. "It's the last night I suited up as a (Newton) Ram. But it won't haunt me because I honestly gave it everything I had. That night I put it all out there for my brothers, and that I can live with. I don't like how it ended, but I can live with it."
Jefferies has already been named the Region 8-AAAAAAA Defensive Player of the Year in a region that includes talent-rich teams such as Grayson and No. 2 Archer. His name will likely appear on many all-state rosters as those become available, as will the name of Lawrence, his future teammate.
Lawrence's Cartersville squad couldn't make it three straight Class AAAA state championships, as the Hurricanes fell 21-17 to Blessed Trinity last week in the second round of the playoffs. Lawrence had stellar senior campaign, however, as he completed 71 percent of his passes for 3,148 yards and 40 touchdowns with just one interception. He also rushed for 200 yards and a score.
The duo is part of a recruiting class that ranks No. 18 in the nation by 247sports.com