Gatorade announces finalists for National Football Player of the Year award

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Cade Klubnik, quarterback of Westlake High School (Austin, Texas), the No. 2 team in the High School Football America 100 national rankings, powered by NFL Play Football, is one of three finalists for the 2021 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year Award. The other two are wide receiver/defensive back Tetairoa McMillan of Servite (California) and running back Nick Singleton of Governor Mifflin High School (Pennsylvania).

Related: High School Football America 100

Klubnik, who missed three games this year with a shoulder injury, will lead Westlake against No. 5 Katy this week in the Class 6A Division II state semifinals. Klubnik led the Chaparrals to the 6A Division I state title as a junior.

The Chaps will be seeking their third straight state title this season, the last under legendary Todd Dodge, who was an outstanding high school quarterback himself.

Despite missing time this year, Klubnik, a Clemson-recruit, has completed 155-of-217 passes for 2,619 yards, according to stats on He’s thrown 34 touchdown passes against only two interceptions. He’s also run for 6.5 yards per carry with 12 touchdowns.

McMillan had an outstanding senior season with Servite, currently No. 6 in our Top 100. The Oregon-recruit is an excellent two-way performer, who 88 balls for 1,302 yards and 18 touchdowns. On defense, he had eight interceptions, two were returned for scores.

Singleton, a Penn State-recruit, ran for 2,059 yards and scored 44 touchdowns this past season. Singleton’s been selected to play in the 2022 All-American Bowl. He’s currently ranked the nation’s No. 1 running back in the Class of 2022 by 247Sports.

The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field.

Past Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award winners have won six NFL MVP awards and appeared in 31 Pro Bowls. Six winners have been taken in the first round of the NFL Draft and two have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.