The Gatorade State Football Players of the Year were selected based on athletic production and impact in the 2015-16 season. Each winner also demonstrated high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership.
For the complete list of Gatorade State Football Player of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Dillon Mitchell
School: White Station (Memphis, Tenn.)
Position: Wide receiver
Weight: 195 pounds
Athletic achievement: He caught 81 passes for 1,484 yards and 22 touchdowns this past season, leading the Spartans to a 9-4 record and the Class 6A quarterfinals. Mitchell also rushed for 951 yards and 20 touchdowns on 64 carries. A First Team All-State selection and district Offensive Player of the Year as a junior, he also earned the 2015 Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Class 6A Back of the Year award.
Academic excellence: Mitchell has maintained a B-plus average as an upperclassman.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally on behalf of food donation drives and a youth football program.
“Mitchell is an off-the-chart talent,” said Jeff McFerran, head coach at Bartlett High. “He’s the most explosive player I’ve ever seen in person at the high school level. He changes everything in all phases of the game when he is on the field.”
THE FUTURE: Taking advantage of NCAA early signing rules, Mitchell inked a financial-aid agreement that paves the way for him to enroll at the University of Oregon. He is expected to graduate from high school this month and begin classes in the spring semester.