• 26-MAY-2021

Jaxson Dart Named Gatorade 2020-21 Gatorade® National Football Player of the Year

2020-21 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year Award Winner Jaxson Dart

Draper, Utah. [May 26, 2021] – In its 36th year of honoring the nation’s most elite high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Jaxson Dart of Corner Canyon High School in Draper, Utah is the 2020-21 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year. Dart won the prestigious award for his accomplishments on and off the field, joining an impressive group of former Gatorade National Football Player of the Year winners who have combined for six NFL MVPs awards, 31 Pro Bowl appearances, six NFL first round draft picks and two became Hall of Famers.

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence virtually surprised Dart with the news, while his family, coaches and teammates showed up with the trophy at school. Check out a video of the announcement here.

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 Dart as the nation’s best high school football player. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Dart from more than one million high school football players nationwide.

Competition for the national award was fierce. Dart topped the list of state winners in football who collectively boast an incredible list of accomplishments, including 36 with signed National Letters of Intent to play football at Division I colleges/universities, 20 First Team All-State selections (including two 2019 selections due to coronavirus pandemic season cancellations) and 13 with a GPA of 4.0 and above.

“I can’t really recall a quarterback improving from junior to senior year to the degree of Jaxson Dart, who took his game to an elite level this past fall,” said Steven Wiltfong, director of recruiting for 247Sports. “A four-year starter, he made the game look like everyone else was moving in slow motion as he racked up nearly 6,000 yards of total offense and 79 total touchdowns, 67 of them coming through the air. Accurate to all levels of the field, he’s a strong-armed passer with a high football IQ. He added a running element to his game this past season, breaking teams down when he pulled the ball down as well. I think Dart is a national championship-caliber quarterback at the next level, and I’m excited to see what he does at USC.”

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior quarterback passed for 4,691 yards and 67 touchdowns this past season, leading the Chargers to a 14-0 record and the Class 6A state championship. Dart completed 240 of 345 passes, throwing just four interceptions, while also rushing for 1,195 yards and 12 TDs on 128 carries. The MaxPreps National Player of the Year, he was also selected Mr. Football by the Deseret News. Dart was ranked as the nation’s No. 19 recruit in the Class of 2021 by ESPN.         

Dart has assisted elderly members of his community and has volunteered locally on behalf of a food bank and clothing donation drives.

Dart has maintained a 3.98 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play football on scholarship at the University of Southern California this fall.

“Time and again, we see Gatorade National Players of the Year go on to great things, such as playing on professional teams, winning National Championships, as well as becoming coaches and role models for future generations of athletes,” Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager Brett O’Brien. “Jaxson Dart joins a list of impressive student-athletes who have won the prestigious award and we are confident he is headed for a lifetime of similar accomplishments.”

Each year a selection committee evaluates the nation’s top talent in the District of Columbia and all 50 states, choosing national winners in 12 different sports: football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball, boys and girls soccer, and boys and girls track and field.

Gatorade is dedicated to recognizing, supporting and keeping athletes in the game because of the lifelong skills sports instill on and off the field. Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators. Previous winners include a distinguished list of athletes, such as Peyton Manning, Abby Wambach, Jayson Tatum, Derek Jeter, Elena Delle Donne and many other sports icons.

To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.

PREVIOUS GATORADE NATIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR WINNERS

YEAR

NAME

HOMETOWN

STATUS

2019-20

Arik Gilbert

Marietta, GA

Louisiana State University

2018-19

Jake Smith

Scottsdale, AZ

University of Texas, Austin

2017-18

JT Daniels

Santa Ana, CA

University of Georgia

2016-17

Tate Martell

Las Vegas, NV

Played at Ohio State and University of Miami

2015-16

Jacob Eason

Lake Stevens, WA

Indianapolis Colts

2014-15

Kyler Murray

Allen, TX

Arizona Cardinals

2013-14

Andrew Brown

Chesapeake, VA

Indianapolis Colts

2012-13

Max Browne

Sammamish, WA

Played at USC and University of Pittsburgh

2011-12

Johnathan Gray

Aledo, TX

Played at University of Texas, Austin

2010-11

Justin Worley

Rock Hill, SC

Retired from Chicago Bears

2009-10

Malcolm Jones

Westlake Village, CA

Played at UCLA

2008-09

Garrett Gilbert

Austin, TX

Dallas Cowboys

2007-08

Matt Barkley

Santa Ana, CA

NFL Free Agent

2006-07

John Brantley

Ocala, FL

Retired from Baltimore Ravens

2005-06

Mitch Mustain

Springdale, AR

Retired from San Antonio Talons (AFL)

2004-05

Greg Paulus

Syracuse, NY

Played at Syracuse University and Duke University

2003-04

Jeff Byers

Loveland, CO

Retired from Carolina Panthers

2002-03

Kyle Wright

Danville, CA

Retired from San Francisco 49ers

2001-02

Lorenzo Booker

Ventura, CA

Retired from Chicago Bears

2000-01

Joe Mauer

St. Paul, MN

Retired from Minnesota Twins

1999-00

Brock Berlin

Shreveport, LA

Retired from Detroit Lions

1998-99

Chris Lewis

Long Beach, CA

Played for Stanford University

1997-98

Ronald Curry

Hampton, VA

Retired from St. Louis Rams

1996-97

Travis Minor

Baton Rouge, LA

Retired from St. Louis Rams

1995-96

Tim Couch

Hyden, KY

Retired from Cleveland Browns

1994-95

Brock Huard

Puyallup, WA

Retired from Seattle Seahawks

1993-94

Peyton Manning

New Orleans, LA

Retired from Denver Broncos

1992-93

Ron Powlus

Berwick, PA

Retired from Philadelphia Eagles

1991-92

Chris Walsh

St. Paul, MN

Retired from Minnesota Vikings

1990-91

Marquette Smith

Lake Howell, FL

Retired from Carolina Panthers

1989-90

Robert Smith

Euclid, OH

Retired from Minnesota Vikings

1988-89

Terry Kirby

Tabb, VA

Retired from Oakland Raiders

1987-88

Curtis Bray

Monroeville, PA

Deceased (played at University of Pittsburgh)

1986-87

Emmitt Smith

Pensacola, FL

Retired from Arizona Cardinals

1985-86

Jeff George

Indianapolis, IN

Retired from Oakland Raiders