Gatorade® National Football Player Of The Year: Jacob Eason

Super Bowl XLVIII champion Bobby Wagner Surprises Standout with Elite Honor

Dec 15, 2015, 11:40 ET from The Gatorade Company

LAKE STEVENS, Wash., Dec. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In its 31st year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Jacob Eason of Lake Stevens High School (Lake Stevens, Wash.) as its 2015-16 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year. Eason was surprised with the news at school by Super Bowl XLVIII champion Bobby Wagner.

"Jacob really deserves to be this year's Gatorade National Football Player of the Year because he embodies everything the award stands for," said Wagner. "Not only has Jacob excelled on the field, but he's also a stellar student and is a positive influence in the community. I'm excited to follow his career and watch all the things he will accomplish in the future."

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Eason as the nation's best high school football player. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Eason from more than 1 million high school football players nationwide. Eason is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound senior quarterback completed 235-of-338 passes for 3,585 yards and 43 touchdowns against just six interceptions this past season, leading the Vikings (12-1) to the Class 4A semifinals. A national Elite 11 quarterback camp invitee and ranked as the nation's No. 16 recruit in the ESPN 300, Eason has been selected to play in the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Eason has maintained a 3.83 GPA in the classroom. He is an active member of his Holy Cross Catholic Church community, he has volunteered with the Never Ever Give Up foundation, helping to ensure children fighting cancer get the support and resources they need, in addition to visiting with patients. He has also donated his time as the coordinator and head coach for quarterbacks at the Vikings Junior Football Camp and as a four-year instructor at the Vikings Passing Academy.

"Eason has the fastest release I have ever seen," said Kai Smalley, head coach at Snohomish High. "It is actually very deceiving if you aren't watching him for a long time. He makes such quick and correct reads, then has the ability to get rid of the ball with great mechanics. For being as long as he is, you would think he would have a long release but it happens so quickly, it's nearly impossible for a high school defensive back to get a break on the ball."

"Without question, Jacob is deserving of recognition as the nation's best high school football player based on his statistics on the field and the impact his accomplishments have had on Lake Stevens' success," said Gatorade Chief Marketing Officer Morgan Flatley. "But he is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young athletes of what a leader and a student-athlete should be. He represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient."

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Former notable Gatorade National Players of the Year include:

  • Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning
  • 2015 NBA first overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns
  • Three-time WNBA champion Maya Moore
  • Four-time track & field gold medalist Allyson Felix
  • Three-time beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh
  • Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw

For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of former winners, and future announcement dates, visit the Gatorade Player of the Year Web site at http://www.gatorade.com/poy, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.

All-Time Gatorade National Football Players of the Year

As of December 15, 2015


YEAR

NAME

POSITION

HIGH SCHOOL

STATUS

2015-16

Jacob Eason

QB

Lake Stevens HS, Lake Stevens, WA

High School Senior

2014-15

Kyler Murray

QB

Allen HS, Allen, TX

Texas A&M University

2013-14

Andrew Brown

DT/OT

Oscar Smith, Chesapeake, VA

University of Virginia

2012-13

Max Browne

QB

Skyline HS, Sammamish, WA

Univ. of Southern California

2011-12

Johnathan Gray

RB

Aledo, Aledo, TX

University of Texas

2010-11

Justin Worley

QB

Northwestern, Rock Hill, SC

NFL Free Agent

2009-10

Malcolm Jones

RB/LB

Oaks Christian, Westlake Village, CA

NFL Free Agent

2008-09

Garrett Gilbert

QB

Lake Travis, Austin, TX

Oakland Raiders

2007-08

Matt Barkley

QB

Mater Dei, Santa Ana, CA

Arizona Cardinals

2006-07

John Brantley

QB

Trinity Catholic, Ocala, FL

NFL Free Agent

2005-06

Mitch Mustain

QB

Springdale, Springdale, AR

AFL/NFL Free Agent

2004-05

Greg Paulus

QB

Christian Brothers Academy, Syracuse, NY

Ohio State Coaching Staff

2003-04

Jeff Byers

C/DT

Loveland, Loveland, CO

Retired from NFL

2002-03

Kyle Wright

QB

Monte Vista, Danville, CA

NFL Free Agent

2001-02

Lorenzo Booker

RB

St. Bonaventure, Ventura, CA

NFL Free Agent

2000-01

Joe Mauer

QB

Cretin-Derham Hall, St. Paul, MN

Minnesota Twins

1999-00

Brock Berlin

QB

Evangel Christian Academy, Shreveport, LA

Retired from NFL

1998-99

Chris Lewis

QB

Long Beach Polytechnic, Long Beach, CA

Retired from NFL Europe

1997-98

Ronald Curry

QB

Hampton, Hampton, VA

San Francisco 49ers Staff

1996-97

Travis Minor

RB

Catholic, Baton Rouge, LA

Retired from NFL

1995-96

Tim Couch

QB

Leslie County High, Hyden, KY

Retired from NFL

1994-95

Brock Huard

QB

Puyallup, Puyallup, WA

Retired from NFL

1993-94

Peyton Manning

QB

Isidore Newman, New Orleans, LA

Denver Broncos

1992-93

Ron Powlus

QB

Berwick, Berwick, PA

Univ. of Notre Dame Staff

1991-92

Chris Walsh

QB

Cretin-Derham Hall, St. Paul, MN

Retired from NFL

1990-91

Marquette Smith

RB

Winter Park, Lake Howell, FL

Retired from NFL

1989-90

Robert Smith

RB

Euclid, Euclid, OH

Retired from NFL

1988-89

Terry Kirby

RB

Tabb, Tabb, VA

Retired from NFL

1987-88

Curtis Bray

LB

Gateway Senior, Monroeville, PA

Deceased

1986-87

Emmitt Smith

RB

Escambia, Pensacola, FL

Retired from NFL

1985-86

Jeff George

QB

Warren Central, Indianapolis, IN

Retired from NFL

 

SOURCE The Gatorade Company



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