Johnathan Gray named Mr. Football USA

Running back Johnathan Gray, who led Aledo High School to a second consecutive Texas state title, was named ESPN RISE Mr. Football USA national player of the year Thursday.

The 5-foot-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.

The previous record was 57, set in 1953 by Kenneth Hall of Sugar Land, Texas.

"Every season, my goal is to get faster, stronger and better,'' Gray said. "And encourage my teammates to do the same.''

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.

"Some of my teammates were talking about the record before the game, but all I was thinking about was winning the game," Gray said. "We really wanted to show what we could do in that game.''

Gray becomes the first junior to win the award.

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.

Information from ESPNDallas.com's Randy Jennings and ESPN RISE senior editor Mark Tennis was used in this report.