Several SEC signees honored as Gatorade State Players of the Year
Gatorade has just announced its latest round of Players of the Year from across the country and several prospects set to start their college careers in the SEC have been honored.
If you aren’t familiar with the award, Gatorade names one player as the most outstanding from their state “recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field,” according to the company.
Six SEC signees and one player currently committed to an SEC program were honored this year. Here is the list along with the information Gatorade provided on each player regarding their accolades on the field.
Brock Vandagriff, Georgia signee
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound senior quarterback led the Wolverines to a 13-1 record and the Class 1A Private state championship this past season. Vandagriff passed for 4,169 yards and 46 touchdowns, completing 252 of 356 passes and throwing just seven interceptions. He also rushed for 503 yards and 17 TDs on 104 carries. The Atlanta Journal Constitution Player of the Year and the Class 1A Private Offensive Player of the Year, Vandagriff was named Mr. Georgia by the Touchdown Club of Atlanta. He was selected High School Quarterback of the Year by the National Quarterback Club and was a finalist for the All-American Bowl adidas Player of the Year. Vandagriff is ranked as the nation’s No. 7 recruit by Rivals.com.
Jager Burton, Kentucky signee
The 6-foot-4, 265-pound senior tackle led the Broncos to a 7-2 record and the Class 5A state semifinals. Burton amassed 78 knockdown blocks and paved the way for an offense that averaged 323 yards and 38.7 points per game. Winner of the Paul Hornung Award as the state’s top player, he is a three-time All-State honoree and was selected for the 2021 All-American Bowl.
Walker Howard, LSU commit (he is still in high school)
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound junior quarterback led the Cougars to a 10-0 record and the Division II state championship this past season. Howard threw for 3,430 yards and 39 touchdowns, including 381 yards and four scores in St. Thomas More’s 35-28 win over De La Salle High in the state final. The 2020 MaxPreps State Player of the Year, Howard was selected as the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class 4A Outstanding Offensive Player. He is ranked as the nation’s No. 28 recruit in the Class of 2022 by ESPN.com.
Mekhi Wingo, Missouri signee
The 6-foot-1, 275-pound senior defensive tackle recorded 54 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and five sacks this past season, leading the Spartans (6-1) to the Class 6 state championship game. The two-time Class 6 Defensive Player of the year, Wingo is also a First Team All-State honoree and the Metro Catholic Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
Jalon Walker, Georgia signee
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound junior linebacker led the Hornets (9-2) to the Class 2AA state championship this past season. Walker recorded 97 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, eight sacks and two fumble recoveries. He notched 12 tackles and caught a touchdown pass in the state title game. A three-time All-Conference and All-County selection, Walker was also the Central Carolina Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
Corey Kiner, LSU signee
The 5-foot-10, 210-pound senior running back rushed for 1,866 yards and 35 touchdowns this past season, leading the Spartans (10-1) to the Division V state semifinals. Kiner averaged 10.8 yards per carry and rushed for at least two scores in 10 of 11 games. The Ohio Football Coaches Association’s Mr. Football winner, Kiner also caught a touchdown pass and returned a kickoff for a score. He concluded his prep football career with 7,130 yards and 116 touchdowns on the ground. His 125 total touchdowns and 772 total points each rank third in state history.
Sawyer Robertson, Mississippi State signee
The 6-foot-4, 198-pound senior quarterback passed for 4,509 yards and 58 touchdowns this past season, leading the Mustangs (12-1) to the regional finals. Robertson completed 297 of 457 passes, throwing just seven interceptions, while also rushing for 233 yards and five touchdowns on 53 carries. The All-City Offensive Player of the Year, he was an All-State and Academic All-State honoree and was named the Class 5A Built Ford Tough Player of the Year.