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December 18, 2012 at 14:30 PM EST
Gatorade® National Football Player of the Year: Max Browne
Seattle Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson Surprises Winner for Local Ceremony

SAMMAMISH, Wash., Dec 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In its 28th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, recently announced Max Browne of Skyline High School (Sammamish, Wash.) as its 2012-13 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year.  Browne, a two-time Gatorade Washington Player of the Year, was surprised with the news by Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson during school.

"It felt great to surprise Max with the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award and welcome him into one of the most prestigious legacy programs in high school sports," said Wilson.  "Gatorade has been on the sidelines fueling athletic performance for years, so to be recognized by a brand that understands the game and truly helps athletes perform is a huge honor for these kids."

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Browne as the nation's best high school football player.  A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Browne from more than 1.1 million high school football players nationwide. Browne is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special afternoon ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.

The 6-foot-5, 218-pound senior quarterback led the Spartans to a 14-0 record and the Class 4A state championship this past season. Browne passed for 4,526 yards and 49 touchdowns, completing 277-of-377 attempts while throwing just five interceptions. The 2011-12 Gatorade Washington Football Player of the Year, Browne threw for 12,953 career passing yards and has broken the state record for career completions with 882, eclipsing the mark of 787 set by 2006-07 Gatorade Washington Football Player of the year and current Detroit Lions quarterback Kellen Moore.

Browne has maintained a 3.50 GPA in the classroom. A devoted member of his church community, he has volunteered locally on behalf the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and Generation Joy.

"He is one of the best talents I've ever seen," said Scott Pelluer, former New Orleans Saints linebacker and longtime Pac-12 defensive coach. "His footwork, mobility, decision-making and accuracy are incredible. He never forces it. I coached at Boise State, University of Washington and University of Arizona and I'm a defensive guy. I've seen a lot of QBs. He has that knack. That feel. Truly amazing. Plus, he's such a wonderful kid and great leader. No ego. A class act. And so competitive. He'll play in the NFL someday."

Browne has verbally committed to play football on an athletic scholarship at the University of Southern California beginning in the fall of 2013.

"Without question, Max is deserving of recognition as the nation's best high school football player based on his statistics on the field and the impact his accomplishments have had on Skyline's success," said Gatorade Vice President, Brand Marketing Morgan Flatley.  "But he is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young athletes of what a leader and a student-athlete should be.  He represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient."

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by USA TODAY High School Sports and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Former notable Gatorade National Players of the Year include:

  • Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning
  • WNBA all-time leading scorer and rebounder Lisa Leslie
  • NFL all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith
  • Kansas City Royals Cy Young award-winner Zach Grienke

For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of former winners, and future announcement dates, visit the Gatorade Player of the Year Web site at http://playeroftheyear.gatorade.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.

ALL-TIME GATORADE NATIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

YEAR

NAME

HIGH SCHOOL

STATUS





2012-13

2011-12

2010-11

2009-10

2008-09

2007-08

Max Browne

Johnathan Gray

Justin Worley

Malcolm Jones

Garrett Gilbert

Matt Barkley

Skyline HS/Sammamish, WA

Aledo High School/Aledo, TX

Northwestern HS/Rock Hill, SC

Oaks Christian School/Westlake Village, CA

Lake Travis HS/Austin, TX

Mater Dei HA/Santa Ana, CA

High School Senior

University of Texas

University of Tennessee

UCLA

Southern Methodist University

University of Southern California

2006-07

John Brantley

Trinity Catholic HS/Ocala, FL

NFL Free Agent

2005-06

Mitch Mustain

Springdale HS/Springdale, AR

Bristol (TN) White Sox

2004-05

Greg Paulus

Christian Brothers Academy/Syracuse, NY

Ohio State (Coordinator)

2003-04

Jeff Byers

Loveland HS/Loveland, CO

Carolina Panthers

2002-03

Kyle Wright

Monte Vista HS/Danville, CA

NFL Free Agent

2001-02

Lorenzo Booker

St. Bonaventure HS/Ventura, CA

Chicago Bears

2000-01

Joe Mauer

Cretin-Derham Hall/St. Paul, MN

Minnesota Twins

1999-00

Brock Berlin

Evangel Christian Academy/Shreveport, LA

Retired from NFL

1998-99

Chris Lewis

Polytechnic HS/Long Beach, CA

Retired from NFL Europe

1997-98

Ronald Curry

Hampton HS/Hampton, VA

NFL Free Agent

1996-97

Travis Minor

Catholic HS/Baton Rouge, LA

NFL Free Agent

1995-96

Tim Couch

Leslie County HS/Hyden, KY

Retired from NFL

1994-95

Brock Huard

Puyallup HS/Puyallup, WA

Retired from NFL

1993-94

Peyton Manning

Isidore Newman School/New Orleans, LA

Denver Broncos

1992-93

Ron Powlus

Berwick HS/Berwick, PA

University of Akron (Coach)

1991-92

Chris Walsh

Cretin-Derham Hall/St. Paul, MN

Retired from NFL

1990-91

Marquette Smith

Winter Park HS/Lake Howell, FL

Osceola Ghost Riders (Coach)

1989-90

Robert Smith

Euclid HS/Euclid, OH

Retired from NFL

1988-89

Terry Kirby

Tabb HS/Tabb, VA

Retired from NFL

1987-88

Curtis Bray

Gateway HS/Monroeville, PA

Iowa State (Coach)

1986-87

Emmitt Smith

Escambia HS/Pensacola, FL

Retired from NFL

1985-86

Jeff George

Warren Central HS/Indianapolis, IN

Retired from NFL

About Gatorade
The Gatorade Company, a division of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), provides sports performance innovations designed to meet the needs of athletes at all competitive levels and across a broad range of sports. Gatorade Thirst Quencher® is backed by more than 40 years of research and is scientifically formulated and athletically proven to quench thirst, replace fluids and electrolytes, and provide carbohydrate energy to enhance athletic performance. The company's product portfolio is built around the G Series™, a 1-2-3 approach to athlete nutrition and hydration before (Gatorade Prime 01™), during (Gatorade® Perform 02 and G2® Perform 02), and after (Gatorade Recover 03™) training or competition. For more information, please visit www.gatorade.com

About PepsiCo
PepsiCo offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 18 different product lines that each generate more than $1 billion in annual retail sales.  Our main businesses – Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade – also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in over 200 countries.  With more than $43 billion in 2008 revenues, PepsiCo employs 198,000 people who are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose.  By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide.  For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.

About USA TODAY Sports Media Group
The USA TODAY Sports Media Group encompasses all sports initiatives across USA TODAY Sports and Gannett's more than 100 well-known local media brands. It also includes the sports photography wire service USA TODAY Sports Images, USA TODAY High School Sports and the hundreds of sites within USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties such as thebiglead.com and mixed martial arts site MMAjunkie.com, among others. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI).

SOURCE Gatorade

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