From many, there will be one. And while there’s still no guarantee contending athletes will win their own state at this point in the season, a number of elite performers are making a case for Gatorade National Football Player of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop on the latest top candidate.
Senior defensive tackle, Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.)
Greatness Present: As a junior, the 6-foot-4, 290-pound Brown showed the potential to be the nation’s best defensive tackle. As a senior, he’s put that size, strength and quickness to full use.
A disruptive force in the middle of the defensive line, Brown has also been a stalwart at offensive tackle for the Tigers (10-0), who enter the Class 6A state playoffs ranked 10th in the USA Today Super 25.
Though he rarely plays much more than a half, the Under Armour All-American has amassed 65 tackles—21 behind the line of scrimmage—with 13 sacks, seven forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries on a defense that has allowed just 55 points all season.
Brown, the nation’s No. 4 recruit according to ESPN, leads top-seeded Oscar Smith against Bayside (and standout DB/WR Quin Blanding) in the first round of the Class 6A South playoffs on Friday.
Greatness Past: Upon transferring from Indian River (Chesapeake, Va.) in 2012, Brown recorded 83 tackles and 11 sacks as a junior at Oscar Smith, leading the Tigers (11-2) to the state quarterfinals.
Greatness Future: Brown verbally committed to home-state Virginia, turning down the likes of Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State.
Make no mistake: The Gatorade State Football Player of the Year races aren’t over, and the National POY race is now heating up. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list.Check back for daily updates on the top contenders making their case.