With three weeks remaining in the high school football regular season, there have been several football standouts worthy to be candidates for the Tennessee Titans Mr. Football award.
The Mr. Football award is considered a regular-season award given to the top back and lineman in each classification. An overall kicker of the year is also recognized.
Here are five players who are locks to be on my ballot when nominations come due later this month. All Tennessee high school football head coaches and members of the media can vote on the award.
Ty Chandler, MBA
The Tennessee commitment is the reigning Division II-AA Mr. Football Back Award winner. Chandler, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior running back, has rushed for 1,500 yards on just 137 carries and has an area-best 29 rushing touchdowns for Montgomery Bell Academy, which is ranked second in Division II in this week’s Associated Press’ statewide poll.
His 341-yard, four touchdown performance against Brentwood Academy in Week 8 helped the Big Red avenge a loss in last year’s Division II-AA state championship game.
Jordan Mason, Gallatin
Mason, a senior, broke Gallatin’s all-time rushing record a week ago in a win over Hendersonville. Mason (6-0, 205) leads the Midstate with 1,920 yards on 218 carries and has 21 rushing touchdowns through eight games.
His only offer from a power-5 conference comes from Iowa State of the Big 12.
Perhaps the only thing that may keep Mason from winning the Class 5A Back Award is that reigning Mr. Football winner Tee Higgins of Oak Ridge has been just as dynamic as a year ago.
Jacob Phillips, East Nashville
Phillips, a 6-3, 228-pound senior linebacker, has 73 tackles with six tackles for loss through six games played. He also has three interceptions, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble. He should be a candidate for the Class 3A Lineman honor.
Phillips is a four-star college prospect according to 247Sports with numerous college offers including Alabama, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Notre Dame and Oklahoma.
Preston Rice, Wayne County
Rice (6-2, 215) is 63 of 102 passing for 1,470 yards and 19 touchdowns. He has yet to throw an interception. He has rarely played in the second half for Wayne County due to lopsided scores.
Rice was a Class 1A Mr. Football finalist a year ago. However last year’s winner, Dresden’s Dresser Winn, is also in the hunt.
JaCoby Stevens, Oakland
Stevens, a 6-2, 200-pound safety, has 30 tackles and six interceptions through seven games. While his tackle numbers are not gaudy like others, he has rarely stepped onto the field in the second half due to the Patriots routing every opponent. They have outscored their opponents 346-26.
He’s also been prolific on offense and special teams in that small amount of time with 18 catches for 412 yards and eight total touchdowns.
Stevens, an LSU commitment, is considered the No. 2 safety in the country for the Class of 2017. He was a finalist for the Class 6A Mr. Football Back award a year ago.
Reach Tom Kreager at 615-278-5168 and on Twitter @Kreager.
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