Payton Wilson Named 1st Team All-State by Associated Press

Updated: December 22, 2017

Even on his first day after his high school career ended, Payton Wilson is still getting accolades.

Wilson was named to the Associated Press first-team All-State football squad on Wednesday. Wilson is the first Panther to achieve this recognition since defensive lineman J.R. Bolden in 1987, who went on to play for Mack Brown at UNC in the early 90s, which triggered the most successful period in modern Tar Heel football history.

Wilson made the team as a linebacker, but easily could have been designated under the athlete category. He played four different positions in his senior year, including starting at quarterback in three games. In his opening game of the season against Northern Nash, Wilson accounted for 393 all purpose yards, including 244 off punt returns. He also made five catches for 127 yards and two touchdowns.

After starting quarterback Rodney Brooks suffered a torn ACL in Orange’s fourth game against Riverside, Wilson alternated with Brandon Huss at quarterback. Wilson led Orange in receptions (15), touchdowns (10), tackles (103), and tackles for loss (21).

19 media members vote for the Associated Press All-State team. Wilson, who was named Big 8 Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive year earlier this month, received eight votes. He was the only player from the Big 8 Conference to be named to the All-State team and one of four from the Triangle. Javon Terry, a defensive back from the 4-AA state champions Wake Forest, made the squad. Peyton Winstead of Leesville Road made the team as an offfensive lineman. Kick returner Jordyn Adams of Green Hope earned a spot as a kick returner.

Wilson was named to the All-State team one day after officially signing with N.C. State to conclude a heated recruiting battle between the Wolfpack, UNC, Clemson, Ohio State and several other schools.

D.H. Conley quarterback Holton Ahlers was named the North Carolina Offensive Player of the Year. Shelby linebacker Dax Hollifield was the Defensive Player of the Year.


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