Mater Dei quarterback JT Daniels is picking-up another piece of hardware for his trophy case. The USC Trojan-to-be is the 2017 National High School Coaches Association‘s (NHSCA) National Player o the Year. The award is presented jointly with High School Football America.
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. Booker won the award a year after Tyler Bell of Ventura High School won it 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, plus they will be honored in the National High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum that the NHSCA will be building in the near future.
Past Winners of the NHSCA Senior National Football Athlete of the Year
2018 – JT Daniels – Mater HS, California
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
High School Football America began awarding the Player of the Year Award jointly with the NHSCA beginning in 2012.