Gatorade has released the Top 3 players in the running for its 2018-19 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year Award. The Watch List features Jake Smith, a senior wide receiver/running back for Notre Dame Prep (Arizona), Derek Stingley Jr., a defensive back from the Dunham School (Louisiana) and junior quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei of St. John Bosco (California), currently ranked No. 3 in the High School Football America 100 national rankings.
Smith scored 39 touchdowns this season. Used primarily as a receiver for his team that finished runner-up in Arizona 5A classification and No. 8 in the High School Football America Arizona Top 10, Smith, a Texas verbal commit, caught 58 passes for 1,070 yards with 22 touchdowns. He also ran for 741 yards with 15 touchdowns. Smith had 2,349 all-purpose yards.
Stingley, a LSU commit, had 27 career interceptions. He also averaged 28 yards per catch as a receiver.
Uiagalelei, a 5-star recruit and the top college recruit in the Class of 2020, passed 3366 yards and 47 touchdowns this past season with only seven interceptions.
The winner will be announced next week.