30 Years of Honoring The Future: Reigning Gatorade Calif. Football POY Jake Browning continues to amaze

Legacy. Tradition. A who’s who of American sport. As the Gatorade Player of the Year program celebrates its 30th anniversary year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, fans can count many a household name on the roster of former award-winners. Over the past three decades, prep sports’ most esteemed honor boasts Super Bowl, World Series, NBA, WNBA, MLS Cup, NCAA and Olympic champions among more than 13,000 State Players of the Year and 270 National POYs across 12 sports. Let’s not forget the scores of program alumni who have gone on to capture league-MVP, All-Star and All-American recognition. Today, we’re catching up with Jake Browning.

Nary a speck of dust has collected on Folsom (Calif.) senior quarterback Jake Browning’s most recent Gatorade Player of the Year trophy, and he he’s already cemented himself among the program’s most accomplished alumni. In fact, Browning is starting to run out of records to break.

In November, when University of Washington’s soon-to-be signal-caller was named Gatorade California Football Player of the Year for the season straight season, he was on the brink of breaking the national record for career touchdown passes (219), held by another two-time Gatorade honoree, former Kenton (Ohio) QB and current Missouri play-caller Maty Mauk.

Well … guess what (spoiler alert!)? Browning broke it.

Not only has Browning now thrown more career touchdown passes (223 and counting) than any player in prep history, he has also shattered the state single-season record for TD passes. Twice. In three varsity campaigns, he has amassed 63, 75 and now 85 touchdown passes, respectively.

Amazingly, Browning still isn’t finished. In just a few weeks, he plans to graduate early and pack his bags for Seattle. Taking advantage of new NCAA early signing rules, the teen signed a financial-aid agreement with the Huskies that paved the way for him to enroll in January. Prior to that, however, he has one more shot at a state title. Browning will suit up for Folson (15-0) one final time opposite Oceanside in Friday’s CIF Division I Bowl Game.

Folsom is looking for its first state championship since 2010, and Browning has his sights on one last record. Already one of only two players in prep history to toss 80 touchdown passes in a single season, he has an outside shot at eclipsing the national record. He needs six to tie Paducah (Ky.) Lone Oak standout and NFL free agent Corey Robinson, who threw for 91 TDs in 2007.

If you think that’s something of a long shot, keep in mind Browning has already thrown for at least six touchdowns in 10 different games this season.

After this week’s state final, he can call it a career—at least at the high school level. Regardless of the outcome, it’s been a sensational run.

To see the legacy for yourself, visit the Gatorade Player of the Year winner archive, where you can relive history and see which future stars won their first national recognition as high school athletes. To see the cream of the crop, visit the roster of Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year winners, showcasing Gatorade’s top male and female National Player of the Year honoree, selected annually from each POY class.

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