By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Three High School Scholar Athletes Nominated For National Football Player Of The Year Award
SAN ANTONIO — Marvin Austin, defensive lineman from Ballou High School in Washington, D.C.; Piscataway (NJ) Township High School’s offensive lineman Anthony Davis; and running back Joe McKnight from John Curtis Christian High School in River Ridge, Louisiana are among the five finalists for the U. S. Army All-American Bowl’s coveted Player of the Year Award, an equivalent to college football’s Heisman Trophy.
These players join an elite group of former All-Americans who have either won or been nominated for the award, including Reggie Bush, Brian Brohm, and Brady Quinn.
The winner of the U.S. Army Player of the Year Award will be presented the Ken “Sugar Land Express” Hall Trophy on Friday at the All-American Awards Dinner.
Hall set the national career prep rushing record with 11,232 yards in 1953 at Sugar Land High School in Sugar Land, Texas and is ranked high school football’s all-time greatest player by ESPN. His record has stood for the past 51 years.
“These are truly the elite high school football stars,” said Hall. “Their determination to be the best is obvious in how they dedicate themselves to the game of football. They are not only the future college stars, but future NFL stars.”
Just as the All-Americans before them, this year’s nominees are also destined to become tomorrow’s college and NFL stars.
Austin is the top defensive player in the country and registered more than 80 tackles during his junior season that earned him All-Metro honors. Often compared with Gerald McCoy from the 2006 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, Austin is considered by some to be the best overall player in the nation.
Davis totaled 60 pancake blocks last season for a team that finished the year 8-2 and lost the championship game. Davis was an All-State performer as a junior and was also named to the All-Combine Team in San Antonio at the Army National Combine.
McKnight is viewed as Louisiana’s top rated prospect. Last year he rushed for 502 yards and nine touchdowns on 36 attempts. As a receiver, he hauled in 20 passes for 497 yards and five scores. His total average of yards per game earned him a 1st Team All-State selection.
Past winners of the U.S. Army Player of the Year trophy are Mitch Mustain, quarterback, Arkansas (2006); Ryan Perrilloux, quarterback, LSU (2005); Adrian Peterson, running back, Oklahoma (2004); Chris Leak, quarterback, Florida (2003); Lorenzo Booker, running back, Florida State (2002); and Kevin Jones, running back, Detroit Lions (2001).
The featured speaker at this year’s All-American Awards dinner will be football legend and Hall of Fame offensive tackle Anthony Munoz. Along with the presentation of the U.S. Army Player of the Year, Bowl Week will also include the U.S. Army National Combine featuring the country’s top underclassmen and the U.S. Army Cheer Bowl.
The All-Americans will also attend a series of performance improving sessions that will continue to build upon their successes and provide them with an education on the U.S. Army core values.
The seventh annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl kicks off on Saturday at the Alamadome in San Antonio. The Classic East vs. West match up will be televised live on NBC at 1:00 p.m. (EST) and will feature the nation’s top 80 high school football players.
The U.S. Army and SportsLink, the producer of the All-American Bowl, selected these outstanding scholar athletes not only for their superlative athletic ability, but also for their academic achievement and outstanding leadership on their teams and in their communities.