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 wide receiver, Kenton (Ohio)
Greatness Present: The 6-foot-1, 185-pound senior wideout’s record-breaking prep career is entering uncharted territory as he sets his sights on a handful of national receiving records.
Sawmiller hauled in 14 catches in Kenton’s 34-10 win over Ottawa-Glandorf, raising his career total to 351 receptions and eclipsing the former state record of 349, set by Fairview’s Ben Wonderly in 2008.
Sawmiller’s 4,995 career receiving yards rank third in state history behind Wonderly’s 5,065 and another former Kenton receiver, Tommy Petitt, who amassed 5,172 yards between 2001 and 2004.
He needs just eight catches to break the national record for career receptions, set by Tennessee’s Davis Howell(358) in 2012. He also has an outside shot of breaking two-time Gatorade Missouri Football Player of the Year Dorial Green-Beckham’s 2011 national record for career receiving yards (6,356).
Greatness Past: Sawmiller collected 137 receptions as a sophomore in 2011 and 128 as a junior in 2012. He has caught at least one touchdown pass in 12 of his past 15 games and is averaging better than 120 receiving yards per game in his career.
Greatness Future: Sawmiller remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.
Make no mistake: The Gatorade National 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.