2005 News
Published Wednesday November 30, 2005 in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Gatorade Florida Football Player of the Year
Aquinas tackle named state's Player of Year
Staff reports

St. Thomas Aquinas senior tackle Sam Young, one of the area's most heavily recruited players, was named
State Football Player of the Year by Gatorade on Tuesday.

Young, a four-year starter, helped lead St. Thomas to the state semifinals last year, notching 80 pancake blocks.

Young earned All-County First Team honors from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel as well as All-State First Team acclaim from the Florida Sportswriters' Association for the 2004 season.

He was selected this year for the Army All-American Bowl.
Copyright © 2005, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Florida's Leading Candidates for Its 2005-06 State Football Player of the Year Award

CHICAGO, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Entering its third decade of honoring the nation's elite high school athletes, Gatorade(R) Thirst Quencher today announced the front runners for its 2005-06 Gatorade Florida Football Player of the Year award.
The Gatorade Player of the Year award, which recognizes athletic achievement as well as the academic performance and overall character of its recipient, distinguishes its winner as the best high school football player in Florida and makes him eligible for 2005-06 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year honors. The national award is to be presented in mid-December and has previously been won by Florida prep standouts Emmitt Smith and Marquette Smith (see list below).
This year's leading candidates for Gatorade Florida Football Player of the Year, in alphabetical order, are (stats provided at time of press):

     Corey Hobbs, DT - Oviedo HS (Oviedo, Fla.)
      Despite having to stave off double and triple teams on most snaps,
      Hobbs, a 6-5, 305-pound nose tackle, has recorded 38 tackles, 14
      assists and four sacks through nine games for the Lions this season. A
      three-year starter and two-year team captain, Hobbs has been selected
      to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January. He will attend
      the University of Florida next fall.

   C.J. Spiller, RB/DB - Union County HS (Lake Butler, Fla.)
      Spiller, a 5-11, 185-pound senior, has gained 1,205 yards on 126
      carries in the Tigers' first eight games this year, reaching the end
      zone 21 times. He has also come out of the backfield to rack up 150
      receiving yards.

     Tim Tebow, QB - Nease HS (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.)
      Through the air, Tebow, a 6-3, 225-pound senior, has thrown for 2,146
      yards and 22 touchdowns while being intercepted just twice in Nease's
      eight games. On the ground, he has rushed for 757 yards and twelve
      touchdowns. In 2004, he had 5,576 yards in total offense and accounted
      for 70 touchdowns (46 passing, 24 rushing), earning him first-team All-
      State and 2004 Florida Sports Writers Player of the Year honors.

     Antonio Wilson, WR - Mainland HS (Daytona Beach, Fla.)
      Wilson, a 6-1, 180-pound senior, is one of the most versatile athletes
      in the country. In addition to starring at wide receiver, he has played
      quarterback and running back for the Buccaneers while compiling over
      1,514 all-purpose yards and 16 touchdowns. On defense, Wilson has spent
      time at free safety, strong safety and corner back, racking up 60
      tackles (41 solo), four interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
      Wilson will attend the University of Georgia next fall.

     Sam Young, OT - St. Thomas Aquinas HS (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
      Young, a 6-8, 305-pound senior, dominates the line of scrimmage with
      his strength and agility. One of the top offensive line prospects in
      the country, "Big Country" runs a 4.9 40-yard dash, bench presses 360
      pounds and has a vertical jump of 31 inches. As a junior, Young helped
      lead the Raiders to the state championship game by piling up over 80
      pancake blocks. An All-State performer, Young has been selected to play
      in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January

The State Player of the Year selection is scheduled to be announced November 29th after a final review of on-field performance and academics.
"Each of the five student-athletes leading the race for this award is a tremendous player enjoying a great individual season," said Gatorade Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing Tom Fox. "With the season drawing to a close the race will no doubt heat up. At the end, we look forward to honoring one as the Gatorade Florida Football Player of the Year."
Candidates for the 2005-06 Gatorade Florida Football Player of the Year award have been identified by the Gatorade Media Advisory Board, a group of sportswriters and sport-specific experts from around the country. The Gatorade Media Advisory Board is comprised of high school sportswriters from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Board members are divided into 10 regions, each with its own chairperson. The Southeast Region is chaired by Bill Buchalter of the Orlando Sentinel.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program recognizes one winner in each of the 50 states and D.C., and awards one National Player of the Year in five boys sports (football, soccer, basketball, baseball, track & field) and five girls sports (volleyball, soccer, basketball, softball, track & field). For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a list of upcoming announcement dates and the names of previous award winners, visit http://www.gatorade.com/playeroftheyear .

PAST GATORADE FLORIDA FOOTBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR HONOREES

   Year     Name        Position         High School
   2004 Kenny Phillips     S    Carol City HS (Carol City, FL)
   2003 Keith Rivers       LB    Lake Mary HS (Lake Mary, FL)
   2002 Ernie Sims        FB/LB  North Florida Christian School  (Tallahassee, FL)                               
   2001 Gavin Dickey      QB   Lincoln HS (Tallahassee, FL)
   2000 Adrian McPherson   QB    Southeast HS (Bradenton, FL)
   1999 Willis McGahee     RB   Miami Central HS (Miami, FL)
   1998 Anquan Boldin      QB    Pahokee HS (Pahokee, FL)
   1997 Earnest Graham    RB    Mariner HS (Cape Coral, FL)
   1996 Kenny Kelly        QB    Tampa Catholic HS (Tampa, FL)
   1995 Sheddrick Gurley   LB    Godby HS (Tallahassee, FL)
   1994 Martavious Houston LB    Boyd H. Anderson HS (Lauderdale Lakes, FL)
   1993 Lamont Green       LB   Southridge HS (Miami, FL)
   1992 Thad Busby         QB    Pace HS (Pace, FL)
   1991 Danny Kanell       QB    Westminster Academy (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
   1990 Marquette Smith*  RB    Lake Howell HS (Winter Park, FL)
   1989 Lateef Travis     LB    Pine Forest HS (Pensacola, FL)
   1988 Richard McKenzie   LB    Boyd H. Anderson HS (Lauderdale Lakes, FL)
   1987 Derek Brown       TE/DE  Merritt Island HS (Merritt Island, FL)
   1986 Emmitt Smith*     RB    Escambia HS (Pensacola, FL)
   1985 Willis Peguese    LB   Southridge HS (Miami, FL)

   *Denotes National Football Player of the Year.
CONTACT: Jermaine Batemon for Gatorade, +1-312-751-4199
Web site: http://www.gatorade.com/playeroftheyear/