Rome’s Grif­fin named Ga­torade Geor­gia POTY

The Catoosa County News - - SPORTS - From staff re­ports

In what is likely to be the first of many post­sea­son ac­co­lades to come his way, Rome High’s Jamious Grif­fin was re­cently an­nounced as the 2018-1019 Ga­torade Geor­gia Foot­ball Player of the Year, mak­ing it the first time a Rome player has been cho­sen for the honor.

The award, which rec­og­nizes not only out­stand­ing ath­letic ex­cel­lence but also aca­demic achieve­ment and ex­em­plary char­ac­ter on and off the field, is pre­sented by The Ga­torade Com­pany and makes Grif­fin a fi­nal­ist for the pres­ti­gious Ga­torade Na­tional Foot­ball Player of the Year award.

The list of past award win­ners at the state level in­clude Em­mitt Smith, Pey­ton Man­ning and Matthew Stafford, while re­cent Geor­gia Play­ers of the Year are Cartersville’s Trevor Lawrence — now the start­ing quar­ter­back at Clem­son — and Univer­sity of Geor­gia quar­ter­back Jake Fromm.

The 5-foot-9, 205-pound se­nior was named a fi­nal­ist for the Touch­down Club of At­lanta’s Mr. Geor­gia Foot­ball Award ear­lier this month. The win­ner will be an­nounced at the club’s year-end awards ban­quet Jan. 24, 2019, in At­lanta.

Grif­fin rushed for 2,815 yards and 38 touch­downs on 288 car­ries this sea­son, lead­ing Rome (13-1) to the Class 5A semi­fi­nals and be­com­ing the most pro­lific run­ning back in Class 5A.

His rush­ing to­tal places him fifth on Geor­gia’s list of top sin­gle-sea­son rush­ing per- for­mances, and his ca­reer to­tal of 104 rush­ing touch­downs puts him fifth all-time in Geor­gia foot­ball his­tory and ahead of Univer­sity of Geor­gia leg­end Her­schel Walker.

A de­voted mem­ber of his church com­mu­nity, Grif­fin has vol­un­teered on be­half of area ele­men­tary schools.

“Jamious Grif­fin is a spe­cial player on the field,” said Billy Shack­elford, head coach at East Pauld­ing High, which has been in Rome’s re­gion the last three sea­sons. “He runs with power and speed, and also does a great job block­ing and catch­ing the ball out of the back­field.”

Grif­fin has main­tained a 3.04 GPA in the class­room. He has ver­bally com­mit­ted to play foot­ball on schol­ar­ship at North Carolina State next fall.

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 and field, and awards one Na­tional Player of the Year in each sport.

From the 12 na­tional win­ners, one male and one fe­male ath­lete are each named Ga­torade High School Ath­lete of the Year. In all, 607 ath­letes are hon­ored each year.

As a part of Ga­torade’s cause mar­ket­ing plat­form “Play it For­ward,” Grif­fin has the op­por­tu­nity to award a $1,000 grant to a lo­cal or na­tional youth sports or­ga­ni­za­tion of his choos­ing.

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