Tennessee Volunteers commitment Justin Worley received a Gatorade shower on Thursday, as he was named Gatorade National Football Player of the Year.
The 6'5", 195-pound senior quarterback from Rock Hill, SC led the Northwestern Trojans to a 15-0 record and the South Carolina Class 4A-II state title.
Worley threw for 5,315 yards and 64 touchdowns while completing 429 of 590 passes with only 11 interceptions on his way to claiming the prestigious award.
The annual award, founded in 1985 and given to the nation's best high school player, combines both athletic and academic achievement as well as exemplary character demonstrated both on and off the field.
Worley's athletic achievements have been well documented, but the student-athlete has also excelled both in the classroom and off the field, achieving a 4.07 GPA and assisting in multiple charitable functions in his home state.
"Justin Worley has been one of the nation's most prolific quarterbacks since his sophomore season," said ESPN Rise Director of Recruiting Greg Biggins. "He has a lot of tools that should help him succeed at the next level. He's a big kid with a nice frame and better-than-average athleticism for the position. He's a very accurate quarterback, shows good poise in the pocket and has a high football IQ as well. Worley is definitely a guy with a nice upside and should do very well at Tennessee."
"Without question, Justin 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 Northwestern's success, 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."—Gatorade Senior VP of Sports Marketing Jennifer Storms
Worley, who is expected to enroll at Tennessee for the spring semester, joins an illustrious group with the award, which includes Vol legend Peyton Manning, Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith, current USC quarterback Matt Barkley and former NFL quarterback Jeff George.
The award also makes Worley eligible as a finalist for the Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award to be handed out in July 2011 before the ESPY Awards.