Running back Johnathan Gray, who led Aledo to a second consecutive state title, was named ESPN RISE Mr. Football USA national player of the year Thursday.
The 5-10, 195-pound junior rushed for 3,221 yards on 351 carries and set a Texas single-season record for rushing touchdowns with 59. He scored 368 points.
In Aledo’s 69-34 rout of La Marque in the Class 4A Division II championship game, Gray rushed for 323 yards and eight touchdowns.
“Every season, my goal is to get faster, stronger and better,’’ said Gray. “And encourage my teammates to do the same.’’
Said Aledo coach Tim Buchanan: “I don’t know that I’ve ever been around a kid that was so darn modest.’’
Gray is the second Texan in three years to be chosen for the award. Quarterback Garrett Gilbert of Lake Travis (Austin, Texas) and now the Texas Longhorns was the 2008 winner.