Lone Star Gridiron

Gatorade National Football Player of the Year: Garrett Gilbert

Gatorade National Football Player of the Year: Garrett Gilbert

Standout QB first-ever Texas player to be named nation's top high school gridiron performer

AUSTIN, Texas (December 9, 2008) - In its third decade of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in partnership with ESPN RISE Magazine, today announced senior quarterback Garrett Gilbert of Lake Travis High School (Austin, Texas) as its 2008-09 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year. Gilbert is the first-ever player from the state of Texas to win Gatorade National Football Player of the Year honors.

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 Gilbert as the nation's best high school football player. A national advisory board comprised of sportswriters and sport-specific experts from around the country helped to select Gilbert from more than one million high school football players nationwide. Gilbert is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year Award, to be presented at a special afternoon ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound senior quarterback has completed 256-of-372 passes for 4,231 yards and 48 touchdowns against just five interceptions this season for the Cavaliers (14-0) entering the Class 4A Division I semifinals against Friendswood scheduled for Dec. 13. A 2009 Under Armour All-American and 2008 Elite 11 quarterback camp selection, Gilbert had also rushed for 557 yards and 18 touchdowns on 84 carries at the time of his selection.

A returning Class 4A First Team All-State selection as named by the Texas Sports Writers Association, he has completed 849-of-1,304 passes for 11,918 yards and 129 touchdowns in his career through 14 games this year. He ranks second in the state all-time (to former Ennis High and current Texas Tech senior quarterback Graham Harrell) in career passing touchdowns, and (to former Baytown Lee High and current Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Drew Tate) in passing attempts and passing completions.

The son of former NFL quarterback Gale Gilbert, Garrett has maintained a 3.78 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered extensively as part of the Lake Hills Church community's vacation bible school and weekly youth group, as well as for Lake Travis Pop Warner Football and the Lake Travis Youth Association.

"He's on another level," said Chris Ross, head coach of rival Cedar Park High. "I've coached 14 years and I've coached kids who've gone on to play in the NFL and against kids who've gone on to play in the NFL and I've never been on a football field with a player like him before. I've met him personally and got to talk to him a number of times and you can tell immediately that he's unique. He's unbelievably impressive as a person and as a quarterback."

Gilbert has verbally committed to a football scholarship at the University of Texas next fall.

"Without question, Garrett is deserving of recognition as the nation's best high school football player based on his statistics on the field and the impact his play has had on Lake Travis' success," said Gatorade Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing Jeff Urban. "But he is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young players of what a leader and a student-athlete should be. He represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient."

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 ESPN RISE Magazine, which works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information and lists of past winners and future announcement dates, visit gatorade.com/playeroftheyear.

ALL-TIME GATORADE NATIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

YEAR NAME HIGH SCHOOL STATUS
2008-09

2007-08

Garrett Gilbert

Matt Barkley

Lake Travis HS/Austin, TX

Mater Dei HS/Santa Ana, CA

High School Senior

High School Senior

2006-07 John Brantley Trinity Catholic HS/Ocala, FL University of Florida
2005-06 Mitch Mustain Springdale HS/Springdale, AR University of Southern California
2004-05 Greg Paulus Christian Brothers Academy/Syracuse, NY Duke University (Basketball)
2003-04 Jeff Byers Loveland HS/Loveland, CO University of Southern California
2002-03 Kyle Wright Monte Vista HS/Danville, CA NFL Free Agent
2001-02 Lorenzo Booker St. Bonaventure HS/Ventura, CA Philadelphia Eagles
2000-01 Joe Mauer Cretin-Derham Hall/St. Paul, MN Minnesota Twins
1999-00 Brock Berlin Evangel Christian Academy/Shreveport, LA St. Louis Rams
1998-99 Chris Lewis Polytechnic HS/Long Beach, CA Retired from NFL Europe
1997-98 Ronald Curry Hampton HS/Hampton, VA Oakland Raiders
1996-97 Travis Minor Catholic HS/Baton Rouge, LA St. Louis Rams
1995-96 Tim Couch Leslie County HS/Hyden, KY NFL Free Agent
1994-95 Brock Huard Puyallup HS/Puyallup, WA Retired from NFL
1993-94 Peyton Manning Isidore Newman School/New Orleans, LA Indianapolis Colts
1992-93 Ron Powlus Berwick HS/Berwick, PA University of Notre Dame (Coach)
1991-92 Chris Walsh Cretin-Derham Hall/St. Paul, MN Retired from NFL
1990-91 Marquette Smith Winter Park HS/Lake Howell, FL Osceola Ghost Riders (Coach)
1989-90 Robert Smith Euclid HS/Euclid, OH Retired from NFL
1988-89 Terry Kirby Tabb HS/Tabb, VA Retired from NFL
1987-88 Curtis Bray Gateway HS/Monroeville, PA Temple University (Coach)
1986-87 Emmitt Smith Escambia HS/Pensacola, FL Retired from NFL
1985-86 Jeff George Warren Central HS/Indianapolis, IN Retired from NFL

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