For a list of the other Gatorade State Football POYs, click here.
THE WINNER: Joe Burrow
School: Athens (The Plains, Ohio)
Weight: 190 pounds
Athletic achievement: He passed for 3,374 yards and 46 touchdowns, completing 190-of-257 passes while throwing just five interceptions this past season, leading the Bulldogs (12-1) to the Division III quarterfinals. The 2012 and 2013 Southeast District Player of the Year, Burrow also rushed for 585 yards on 96 carries, scoring nine touchdowns. His 93 career passing touchdowns current ranks seventh in state history.
Academic excellence: Burrow has maintained a 3.71 GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of his school’s Key Club, he has volunteered locally as a youth football referee and camp counselor.
“Joey Burrow is an outstanding athlete who has performed well in every game no matter the situation,” said Justy Burleson, head coach at Vinton County (McArthur, Ohio). “When he has to make the big-time throw, he gets it done. If the defense takes the pass away, he is a team player who puts his running backs in position to be successful. Physically he has the tools to play at the next level and he also possesses the intellectual capabilities as well.”
THE FUTURE: Burrow will be a senior next fall.