In the final installment of the MaxPreps National Player of the Year Watch, two more players have been thrust into the mix after helping their teams win state championships.
DeShaun Watson, a junior quarterback from Gainesville (Ga.), became the state's all-time passing yardage leader with 9,502 after throwing for 317 yards in the state finals against Ware County
. Watson joins a growing list of Junior Player of the Year Candidates.
Also joining that junior list is Jabrill Peppers, a two-way standout for Paramus Catholic (N.J.) who earned All-State honors while leading his team to the Non-Public Group 4 championship in New Jersey.
A serious contender to Yulee's Derrick Henry for the overall National Player of the Year has yet to emerge, however.MaxPreps National Player of the Year WatchFavoriteDerrick Henry, Yulee (Fla.)
Henry ends his career with 12,122 yards on 1,387 carries, both national and Florida state records. His 4,261 yards for the season is also a Florida state record and he ranks third all-time. Henry completed his career with 47 straight 100-yard games as well and was recently named Gatorade Florida Football Player of the Year.Top ContendersMax Browne, Skyline (Sammamish, Wash.)
Browne finished the year with 277 completions in 377 attempts for 4,526 yards and 49 touchdowns. Browne, who was named the Gatorade Washington Football Player of the Year, ends his career with a state record 12,953 yards. He also holds the career record for completions with 882, and is third in career touchdowns with 146. His season yardage total ranks second all-time.Thomas Tyner, Aloha (Beaverton, Ore.)
Tyner finished his senior season with 3,415 yards rushing on 299 carries with 42 touchdowns.Kelvin Taylor, Glades Day (Belle Glade, Fla.)
Taylor ended the season with 2,380 yards rushing and 41 touchdowns. He finishes his career with a Florida career rushing record of 12,033 yards. On the official National Federation of High Schools Record Book career rushing list, Taylor has 10,475 yards.Deshaun Watson, Gainesville (Ga.)
In leading Gainesville to the Georgia AAAAA state championship with a 49-13 win over Ware County, Watson, who is only a junior, became the state's all-time leader in career passing yardage with 9,502 yards. He also has 108 career touchdown passes. For the season, Watson completed 305 passes in 435 attempts for 4,024 yards and 50 touchdowns. Keep an Eye OnTrey Quinn, Barbe (Lake Charles, La.)
Quinn had a huge season for Barbe, catching 111 passes for 2,094 yards and 26 touchdowns in helping Barbe to a runner-up finish in Class 5A in Louisiana. For his career, the junior already has 245 catches for 4,552 yards and 47 touchdowns. His best effort came against Evangel Christian, when he caught nine passes for 341 yards and five touchdowns.Jabrill Peppers, Paramus Catholic (N.J.)
In leading Paramus Catholic to a Non-Public Group 4 state title in New Jersey, Peppers rushed for 1,552 yards and 18 touchdowns on 172 carries and also had 70 tackles and three interceptions on defense.Connor Mitch, Wakefield (Raleigh, N.C.)
Mitch ended the season with 306 completions in 497 attempts for 4,701 yards and 63 touchdowns. He had a single-game high of 667 yards and nine touchdowns this year.Austin Kafentzis, Jordan (Sandy, Utah)
For the season, Kafentzis completed 200 of 313 passes for 3,018 yards and 32 touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,884 yards on 237 carries with 26 touchdowns. In his first two varsity seasons, Kafentzis has thrown for 6,206 yards and he has run for 3,261 yards. He was chosen as the Gatorade Utah Football Player of the Year.Shuler Bentley, Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.)
Bentley finished the season with 299 completions in 462 attempts for 4,718 yards and 59 touchdowns. He was named the Gatorade South Carolina Football Player of the Year.
Jake Browning, Folsom (Calif.)
Browning finished the season second in the nation in yardage with 5,248 yards. He completed 391 of 605 passes for 5,248 yards and 63 touchdowns. His 605 attempts are a state record and rank seventh in national history. His 391 completions are also a state record and rank sixth in national history.Cody Thomas, Heritage (Colleyville, Texas)
Thomas completed his senior year with 267 completions in 421 attempts for 4,203 yards and 46 touchdowns.Will Grier, Davidson Day (N.C.)
Grier completed his junior year with 324 completions in 414 attempts for 5,785 yards and 69 touchdowns. Grier was also named the Gatorade Football Player of the Year in North Carolina.Drake Harris, Christian (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
For the season, the junior, had 91 catches for 2,016 yards and 25 touchdowns.Mark Dodson Jr., Whitehaven (Memphis, Tenn.)
Dodson finished the season with 3,295 yards rushing and 37 touchdowns. He was named the Gatorade Football Player of the Year for Tennessee.Kenny Hill, Carroll (Southlake, Texas)
Hill ended the season with 3,369 yards (205 of 306) with 27 touchdowns. Rushing, he had 1,421 yards on 188 carries with 33 touchdowns.