SANTA ANA, Calif. - Deshaun Watson surprised a high school football player Tuesday with a national award.
JT Daniels of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., was named Gatorade National Football Player of the Year, and the announcement was delivered via video by the Texans quarterback.
“JT really deserves to be this year’s Gatorade National Football Player of the Year because he represents everything the award stands for,” Watson said. “Not only has JT excelled on the field, but he’s also a good student and a positive role model in the community. I’m excited to follow his career and watch all the things he will accomplish in the future.”
The honor recognizes athletic and academic excellence among high school football players. A national advisory panel Daniels from nearly 1 million players nationwide.
Daniels is now a finalist for Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year, which will be presented at a special ceremony before The ESPY Awards in July 2018.
The junior quarterback led his team to a 15-0 record and the CIF state championship. He completed 242 of 335 passes for 3,890 yards and 49 touchdowns and threw just four interceptions through 14 games. Daniels rushed for 513 yards and seven touchdowns on 57 carries. He is ranked as the nation’s No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2019 by Rivals.com and has verbally committed to play football at USC.
Additionally, Daniels maintains a weighted 4.18 GPA in the classroom and has volunteered as part of Mater Dei’s Monarchs for Marines program for troops and families of the First Marine Division stationed at Camp Pendleton. Daniels also serves as a youth football coach and has donated care backpacks to the homeless.
For more information on Gatorade’s awards, tap/click here.