As the Valley gets set to host three semifinal opponents Friday night, one can see that there is a lot of firepower across the board.
This includes seven–count ’em–seven Mr. Football finalists taking the field, including three of the Valley’s very own and several statistical wonders and hot college prospects. Hunter Davenport, Hunter McClain, and Alex Kirkendoll are names well known around the area, but some other faces seen Friday may not be including: Tykee Kellogg (Alcoa), Darius Harper (Austin-East), Kayne Roberts (Greenback), and Josh Silvey (Greenback).
Some finalists are even slated to match up with other finalists on the same playing field, which could alter who is voted Mr. Football in that classification. One example is Tykee Kellogg, who may not match up against Hunter Davenport directly during the night. Whichever player has a bigger impact on the game could get the nod going forward.
So, here are some quick profiles of all the Mr. Football finalists being featured in the Semifinals throughout the Valley this week.
Categories: Class 3A Back of the Year
The Rundown: Hunter Davenport has been an integral part of the Sequatchie County Indians’ 10-0 season with a major line of statistics on both sides of the ball. He’s scored 20 touchdowns this season including 16 on the ground, 3 through the air and one interception return to the house. He is second on the team in the rushing category with 841 yards and an average of 6.5 yards per carry. Davenport has also racked up 92 total tackles on the defensive side of the ball, including 9 for a loss, 2 sacks, and 63 solo tackles. The two-way player also has two interceptions to his name this season while forcing three fumbles.
Category: 2A Lineman of the Year
The Rundown: On the defensive side of the ball, Kirkendoll is not stranger to the Mr. Football awards as he was a semifinalist during the 2015 season. After a monster performance last year, Kirkendoll has stepped his game up even more during his senior season. On the season, Kirkendoll has amassed 118.5 tackles, 85 on his own and 71 assists. Also included in his totals are 12 tackles for a loss and a sack.
Category: 2A Lineman of the Year
The Rundown: Although McClain has been nominated more for his duties at linebacker, his work on both sides of the ball is impressive, even for a player at a powerhouse program. McClain joins his teammate, Alex Kirkendoll, in the Lineman of the Year category as one of two duos to be nominated in the same category from the same team. McClain has rushed for 797 yards on 101 attempts this season for 7.9 yards per carry and eight touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, he has 63–41 solo and 44 assists–to his name, including 3 sacks and 11 tackles for a loss.
Category: 3A Back of the Year
The Rundown: Kellogg is probably the most next-level ready when it comes to play on the gridiron as he’s been a huge part of Alcoa’s success this season. He’s currently uncommitted but ranked 75th nation-wide at the wide receiver position and 14th overall in the state of Tennessee. Kellogg has offers from schools like Tennessee, South Carolina, Memphis, Clemson, and Louisville. Austin Peay, Middle Tennessee, and Texas-San Antonio are also in the running for Kellogg. With an elite quarterback in Jaylen Myers, he has a lot of leeway catching the ball and making plays.
Category: 2A Back of the Year
The Rundown: Sometimes quarterbacks are underrated when it comes to recruiting, especially when that quarterback is competing in a smaller classification. Harper has all the potential a dual-threat can have at a 2A program. That being said, Harper had offers from several schools, including Austin Peay, UTC, ETSU, Eastern Kentucky, Gardner-Webb, Mercer, and Tennessee Tech, but he committed well before his senior season started. Back in June, Harper was considered a hard commit to Coastal Carolina in Conway, South Carolina (which is near Myrtle Beach in case you were wondering).
Category: 1A Back of the Year
The Rundown: Roberts has made a name for himself on the offensive side of the ball, running the ball well enough to be nominated for Back of the Year. Listed at 6’3″ and 195 pounds, the senior running back is listed as a two-star athlete on rivals.com. Roberts has offers from Coastal Carolina and Tennessee Tech but has not committed yet to either one. He’s sure to be a threat for the Pirates Friday night, but can he still solidify his spot as Mr. Football regardless?
Category: 1A Lineman of the Year
The Rundown: Coming off knee surgery this past offseason, Silvey has 93 tackles, 18 tackles for loss and 11 sacks. On the offensive line, he graded out at 95 percent according to coaches. Silvey, though, is probably one of the more interesting finalists due to his dual role of lineman and team kicker. He’s sure to help the Cherokees against South Pittsburg, but will his heroics be on in the trenches or on a game-pending field goal?