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California's JT Daniels named 2018 NHSCA Football Athlete of the Year

Friday, January 26, 2018  
Posted by: Mattie Potter
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January 25, 2018 – Easton, PA - The National High School Coaches Association is pleased to announce JT Daniels of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California as this year's 2018 NHSCA National High School Football Athlete of the Year. This honor is presented jointly with High School Football America, a partner of the NHSCA.


Daniels had an outstanding high school football career that he capped with a CIF Open Division championship in December, which led to Mater Dei being ranked No. 1 in the High School Football America Top 100. Daniels passed for 4,123 yards and 52 touchdowns this past season. He rushed for 556 yards and nine touchdowns.


In the classroom, Daniels has a weighted 4.18 GPA, plus he has spent countless hours volunteering and serving as a youth football coach.  Because he was so good in the classroom, Daniels was able to reclassify from a junior to a senior and will enter the University of Southern California on a football scholarship early.


“JT is an excellent example what this award stands for,” said Eric Hess, Executive Director of the NHSCA.  “He has excelled as much in the classroom as he has on the football field.  We congratulate JT on an outstanding high school career and wish him success at USC.”


“The most impressive thing about JT may be that he’s just as good of a person as he is a football player,” said Jeff Fisher, founder of High School Football America and head of the NHSCA Athlete of the Year nominating committee. “His on-field numbers speak for themselves, but it’s the stuff away from the field that makes him truly deserving of this honor.


Daniels, who also won Gatorade’s National Player of the Year Award, closed-out his three-year career with 12,014 yards passing with 152 touchdowns.


Daniels is the fourth California high school football player to win the award.  St. John Bosco’s Sean McGrew won the award in 2016.  Lorenzo Booker, who played with four NFL teams during his professional career, won the NHSCA award in 2002 while at St. Bonaventure High School, one year after Tyler Bell of Ventura High School won the award in 2001.


This the 19th year straight year the NHSCA will honor achievers in the high school athletic community nationwide with its Athlete of the Year Award in 20 boys’ and girls’ sports.  Other winners will be announced throughout the rest of the 2017-18 school year.


Each one of the honorees will receive a beautiful trophy. In addition, the honoree will be featured in the National High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum that is currently being designed.


Past Winners of the NHSCA National Football Athlete of the Year: 

2017 – Tate Martell – Bishop Gorman HS, Nevada

2016 – Sean McGrew – St John Bosco HS, California

2015 – Kyler Murray – Allen HS, Texas

2014 – Leonard Fournette – St. Augustine HS, Louisiana

2013 -  Derrick Henry – Yulee HS, Florida

2012 – Jonathan Gray – Aledo HS, Texas

2011 – Johnny Manziel – Tivy HS, Texas

2010 – Seantrel Henderson – Cretin-Derham Hall, Minnesota

2009 – Garrett Gilbert – Lake Travis HS, Texas

2008 – Terrell Pryor – Jeannette HS, Pennsylvania

2007 – John Brantley – Trinity Catholic HS, Florida

2006 – John Dergo – Morris HS, Illinois

2005 – Greg Paulus – Christian Brothers Academy, New York

2004 – Jeff Byers – Loveland HS, Colorado

2003 – Austin Scott – Parkland HS, Pennsylvania

2002 – Lorenzo Booker – St. Bonaventure HS, California

2001 – Tyler Bell – Ventura HS, California

2000 – David Beck – Lockport HS, New York


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