CHICAGO — In its 32nd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, has selected Trevor Lawrence of Cartersville High School as its 2016-17 Gatorade Georgia Football Player of the Year. Lawrence is the first Gatorade Georgia Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Cartersville High School.
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 Lawrence as Georgia’s best high school football player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award to be announced in December, Collins joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Anquan Boldin (1998-99, Pahokee HS, Fla.), Greg Olsen (2002-03, Wayne Hills HS, N.J.), Matthew Stafford (2005-06 Highland Park HS, Texas), Harrison Smith (2006-07 Knoxville Catholic High School, Tenn.), Latavius Murray (2007-08, Onondaga HS, N.Y.), Brock Osweiler (2008-09, Flathead High School, Mont.) and Leonard Fournette (2012-13, 2014-15, St. Augustine HS, La.)
At the time of his selection, the 6-foot-5, 212-pound junior quarterback had led the Purple Hurricanes to a 14-0 record and a berth in the Class AAAA state championship game. Lawrence had completed 236 of 372 passes for 3,708 yards and 49 touchdowns, with just nine interceptions. A two-time First Team All-State honoree, he was the Class AAAA Offensive Player of the Year as a sophomore and is ranked as the nation’s No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2018 by both Rivals.com and Scout.com.
Lawrence has maintained a 4.07 GPA in the classroom. A devoted member of his church community, he has volunteered locally on behalf of his school’s peer leadership program and Challenger Football team.
“Lawrence is the best player that I’ve seen in quite some time,” said Tanner Glisson, head coach at Troup County High. “He’s big and fast, with a strong arm. I’m not sure if he has any weaknesses.”
Lawrence will begin his senior year of high school next fall.
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 Player of the Year Selection Committee, 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.
Lawrence joins recent Gatorade Georgia Football Players of the Year Jake Fromm (2015-16, Houston County High School), A.J. Gray (2014-15, Washington County High School), Deshaun Watson (2013-14, Gainesville High School), Taylor Lamb (2012-13, Calhoun High School), Kenyan Drake (2011–12, Hillgrove High School), Brian Randolph (2010-11, Kell High School), and Hutson Mason (2009-10, Lassiter High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Lawrence will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.
To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow the conversation on Twitter #GatoradePOY. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit www.gatorade.com/poy.