Kicking off its Player of the Year program’s 34th season, Gatorade has released a “Top 3 Watch List” video ahead of the 2018-2019 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year announcement.
The video announces the three finalists — Dunham School (Baton Rouge, La.) wide receiver/defensive back Derek Stingley Jr.; St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei; and Notre Dame Prep (Scottsdale, Ariz.) athlete Jake Smith.
All three finalists have GPA’s above 3.30, and volunteer within their respective communities.
More info about all three of these finalists:
Derek Stingley Jr. (Photo: Bill Embody, 247Sports)
Derek Stingley Jr., Sr. WR/DB, Dunham School (Baton Rouge, La.)
The future LSU Tiger leaves his high school program as one of the Bayou’s most imposing threats at cornerback, totaling 27 interceptions for his career at Dunham. This fall, Stingley was also an unstoppable threat on offense, averaging an absured 28.3 yards per catch and totaling 14 touchdowns in nine games.
St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei. (Photo: St. John Bosco Football)
D.J. Uiagalelei, Jr. QB, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
The nation’s top Class of 2020 signal-caller turned in a virtuous junior season for the Braves, who spent five weeks as the No. 1 team in USA TODAY’s Super 25 national rankings before falling to rival Mater Dei in the CIF Southern Section D1 Final. On the season Uiagalelei completed nearly 70 percent of his passes (179 of 257) for 3,366 yards and 48 touchdowns, to just seven interceptions. He also added six rushing touchdowns, carrying 50 times for 312 yards.
Notre Dame Prep’s Jake Smith (1) looks to cut back against Millennium’s Kaysan Barnett during their game in Scottsdale, Friday, Nov.9, 2018. #azhsfb (Photo: Darryl Webb, Arizona Republic)
Jake Smith, Sr. ATH, Notre Dame Prep (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Last year, Smith became the first Arizonan to reach 1,000 yards both receiving and rushing since Arizona Cardinals rookie Christian Kirk did it in 2013. Smith wanted to do it again, and wanted to set the state single-season record for touchdowns by a non-QB. He came close to doing both, totaling 2,443 all-purpose yards and 39 total TDs as the Saints reached the state Class 5A final. The future Texas Longhorn is a jack-of-all-trades, lining up at six different positions for Notre Dame Prep; in addition to his prowess as a running back, receiver and return specialist, Smith averaged 38.7 yards per punt in the kicking game and recorded 4.5 sacks and two forced fumbles as a safety.
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