For a list of the other Gatorade State Football POYs, click here.
THE WINNER: D’Andre Payne
School: H.D. Woodson (Washington, D.C.)
Weight: 175 pounds
Athletic achievement: He has led the Warriors to a 10-3 record and a berth in the District of Columbia State Athletic Association final against Friendship Collegiate, scheduled for Dec. 7. Payne recorded 70 tackles and four interceptions through 13 games. He also caught 13 passes for 313 yards and five touchdowns, and rushed 24 times for 356 yards and four TDs. MVP of the 44th annual Turkey Bowl, Payne is a First Team All-Conference selection and was named to the Washington Post All-Met First Team.
Academic excellence: Payne has maintained a 3.36 GPA.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally on behalf of a youth track program.
“Payne is a very, very solid defensive player who can also make explosive plays on offense,” said Cato June, head coach at Anacostia (Washington, D.C.). “He’s got good feet and top-end speed, and he has great instincts.”
THE FUTURE: Payne has verbally committed to Tennessee.