Gatorade today announced Caleb Downs of Mill Creek High School is the 2022-23 Gatorade Georgia Football Player of the Year- the first Gatorade Georgia Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Mill Creek High School in Gwinnett County. The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Downs as Georgia’s best high school football player.
Downs is a 6-foot, 195-pound senior safety and running back who led the Hawks to a 14-1 record and the Class 7A state championship this past season. Downs recorded 76 tackles and made five interceptions, returning two of them for touchdowns. Downs also rushed for 390 yards and 20 scores, including three TDs in the Hawks’ 70-35 win over Carrollton High School in the state final. Ranked as the nation’s No. 13 recruit in the Class of 2023 by 247Sports.com, he also had 36 receptions for 422 yards and three scores.
Downs has volunteered locally with Gen50, a faith-based peer leadership group, and as a youth football coach. He has also donated his time as a member of the Mill Creek High School football leadership council and as part of local food drives. “Caleb is on a different level,” said Casey Wogt, head coach of Dacula High School. “He lines up in multiple spots on the field and has the ability to make plays at all of them.”
Downs has maintained an A average in the classroom. At the time of his selection, he’d made a verbal commitment to play football on scholarship at the University of Alabama this fall.
Downs joins recent Gatorade Georgia Football Players of the Year Gunner Stockton (2021-22, Rabun County High School), Brock Vandagriff (2020-21, Prince Avenue Christian School), Arik Gilbert (2019-20, Marietta High School), and Jamious Griffin (2018-19, Rome High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.