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December 11, 2013
Brown named Gatorade National Player of the Year
Last week, Oscar Smith defensive tackle Andrew Brown was named the Gatorade State Player of the Year for football on Thursday and then he and his teammates took the field for the state semifinal game on Saturday and pitched a 17-0 shutout of Colonial Forge to advance to the Class 6A championship game.
Not a bad week. Yet, this one could be better.
The 6-foot-3, 298-pound defensive tackle was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year for football today at a ceremony held at the Chesapeake school. This weekend, he and his teammates will play for the state championship game against Centreville at Scott Stadium on the grounds of the University of Virginia where he will play his college football.
"My eyes just bulged," said Brown upon receiving the news that he was selected for the prestigious honor. "When I received the trophy from Tiki Barber, turned around and my family walked in, I was like, 'Okay, they're playing me. They knew this was happening.' It means a lot to me to tell you the truth. Without God this isn't even possible, especially coming off sadness with my mom's death date. This truly brought my spirits back up."** Audio Interview with Oscar Smith's Andrew Brown **
The five-star prospect became the second Oscar Smith player to be named Gatorade state player of the year when he joined Phillip Sims (2010) as Tigers to collect that honor. Now, he joins a list of nine other Virginians who have been awarded the National Player of the Year honors: Terry Kirby (1989, football), La'Keshia Frett (1993, girls basketball), J.R. Reid (1997, basketball), Sharif Karie (1997, track and field), Ronald Curry (1998, football), Alonzo Mourning (1998, basketball), Alan Webb (2001, track and field), Justin Upton (2005, baseball) and Luis Rendon (2011, soccer).
"This is a great sense of foreshadow, I know that much," added Brown, who aspires to make it to the professional level like many of the past recipients. "It's going to be a great journey to the NFL, and I'm praying that I make it there injury-free."
A two-way starter for the Tigers, Brown has collected 93 tackles this season, including 28 for loss along with 18 sacks, eight forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries.
"Andrew's the type of kid that he dominates up front, and a lot of times defensive players, especially linemen, don't get awards like this," remarked Oscar Smith Head Football Coach Rich Morgan.
"He destroys the other team's blocking schemes, makes you focus on blocking him with two or three guys and it just frees up so many of his teammates. Even if he doesn't make the tackle, a lot of times he helps make the play because he causes so much disruption. He truly grasped that concept of being the best that you can possibly be."
The Gatorade selection committee also keeps a close eye on how players perform in the classroom as well as on the gridiron and Brown stacks up well in that area as well as he carries a 3.64 grade point average.
"I think it speaks to the work ethic that if you want to be great in the classroom, you probably want to be great on the field, too. It all carries over and basically becomes who you are," stated Morgan on Brown's academic achievements to go with his athletic accomplishments. "He's always been very proud of his work, getting good grades and knows how important it is for him and his future. It allowed him to have so many scholarship opportunities because he could go to any school in the country with the work he put in the classroom."