CHICAGO — In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, has selected Jamious Griffin of Rome High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Georgia Football Player of the Year. Griffin is the first Gatorade Georgia Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Rome 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 Griffin 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, Griffin joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Emmitt Smith (1986-87, Escambia High School, Fla.), Matthew Stafford (2005-06 Highland Park High School, Texas) and Christian McCaffrey (2012-13, 2013-14, Valor Christian High School, Colo.).
The 5-foot-9, 205-pound senior running back rushed for 2,815 yards and 38 touchdowns on 288 carries this past season, leading the Wolves (13-1) to the Class 5A semifinals. Griffin’s rushing total places him fifth on Georgia’s list of top single-season rushing performances. A three-time All-Region selection, he was a Second Team All-State honoree as a sophomore and junior.
A devoted member of his church community, Griffin has volunteered on behalf of area elementary schools. “Jamious Griffin is a special player on the field,” said Billy Shackelford, head coach at East Paulding High. “He runs with power and speed, and also does a great job blocking and catching the ball out of the backfield.”
Griffin has maintained a 3.04 GPA in the classroom. He has verbally committed to play football on scholarship at North Carolina State University 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. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
Griffin joins recent Gatorade Georgia Football Players of the Year Trevor Lawrence (2017-18 & 2016-17, Cartersville High School), Jake Fromm (2015-16, Houston County High School), A.J. Gray (2014-15, Washington County High School), and Deshaun Watson (2013-14, Gainesville High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Griffin has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.