For a list of the other Gatorade State Football POYs, click here.
THE WINNER: Shuler Bentley
School: Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.)
Weight: 190 pounds
Athletic achievement: He passed for 5,032 yards and 71 touchdowns, completing 293-of-425 passes while throwing just eight interceptions this past season, leading the Rebels (13-3) to the Class 4A-I semifinals. The state’s returning Gatorade Football Player of the Year, Bentley broke his own state record for single-season touchdown passes, eclipsing the mark of 59 he set as a junior in 2012. He also set a state record for career touchdown passes with 177, topping the mark of 169 set by 2010-11 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year, Justin Worley.
Academic excellence: Bentley has maintained a 3.44 GPA.
Exemplary character: A devoted member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he has volunteered locally on behalf of multiple community service initiatives in association with his church youth group and as an elementary school guest speaker.
“Shuler Bentley is as accurate a high school passer I have ever seen play,” said Dave Gutshall, head coach at Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.). “His statistics are unbelievable. I really think he’s the best quarterback in the state.”
THE FUTURE: Bentley has verbally committed to Old Dominion.