NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Vanderbilt commitments Barrett Gouger and Brian Kimbrow were among the 33 players announced as finalists for the Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Awards on Tuesday. The awards are handed out each year to some of the top high school football performers in the state of Tennessee's five classifications under the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association governing body.
The event is scheduled for Monday, November 28th at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Murfreesboro.
Gouger, a 6-foot-5, 285-pound offensive tackle, is nominated for the Division II-AA Lineman of the Year award. The standout senior has anchored a powerful offense at the Baylor School in Chattanooga this season. The Red Raiders rank as one of the top offenses in Division II-AA football, and that attack has Baylor poised to make a repeat run to the state championship final.
Gouger, ranked No. 74 among the nation's offensive tackle prospects by Rivals.com, is up against some stiff competition for the award in Brentwood Academy teammates Woody Baron and Graham Shuler.
Baron, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound defensive lineman, led the Eagles with eight sacks and 15 tackles for loss this season.
Shuler, a 6-foot-4, 265-pound offensive lineman, has a blocking grade of 91 percent and 25 pancake blocks on the season for the Eagles. He's also helped the Eagle offense average 32 points a game.
Kimbrow, a 5-foot-9, 165-pound running back, is nominated for the Class 3-A Back of the Year Award. Regarded by many as the state's top overall college prospect, Kimbrow lead East High in Memphis to a 7-3 regular season record in 2011.
He rushed for a career-high 1,900 yards in 10 games and accounted for 23 total touchdowns. Overall the Rivals100 prospect accounted for nearly 2,300 yards of total offense for the Mustangs.
East lost in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs last weekend, with Kimbrow limited to only one snap due to a severe ankle injury.
Kimbrow is also up for some stiff competition for the Class 3A award in Blackman running back I'Tavius Mathers and Maryville quarterback Patton Robinette.
Like Kimbrow, Mathers is considered one of the state's top running backs. The Murfreesboro standout has rushed for over 2,200 yards and 25 touchdowns on the season and has the Blaze in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs.
Robinette is considered one of the state's top overall passers and has led the proud Maryville Rebel program to another unblemished campaign. The three-star prospect has completed over 75-percent of his passes this season resulting in 1,100 yards and 15 touchdowns. He's also rushed for over 500 yards and nine touchdowns.
There are 10 Mr. Football Awards that will be given on November 28th. The categories are separated into backs and linemen and will go to players from TSSAA classifications A, AA, AAA, Division II-A and Division II-AA. For the tenth straight year there will also be a kicker award with the candidates comprised of all classifications.
A committee of statewide sports writers selected winners based on performance in the 2011 regular season. Academics and character were also taken into consideration. High school head coaches and members of the media nominated the finalists.
"We're very thankful to Mr. Bud Adams and the Tennessee Titans for their continued commitment to high school athletics in serving as the title sponsor for these awards," Bernard Childress, Executive Director of the TSSAA said in a statement on Tuesday.
"We are obviously excited and appreciative about being involved with the Tennessee Titans. They have helped make the recognition of the 33 student-athletes, their families, and schools possible," added Childress.
This is the twenty-seventh year that the Mr. Football Awards have been presented to Tennessee's best high school football players. Plaques will be presented to 22 other finalists.
Mike Keith, play-by-play voice of the Tennessee Titans, will emcee the awards presentation. Live videostream of the awards will be provided for free by the TSSAA Network. Those interested can watch the awards by going to www.TSSAANetwork.com.
2011 Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Finalists
CLASS A LINEMAN
Coltin Blevins, South Pittsburg
Tyler Coen, Gordonsville
Boston Ray, Wayne County
CLASS AA LINEMAN
Jamel Hall, Greeneville
Jarod Henderson, Austin-East
Terrell Rollins, Greeneville
CLASS AAA LINEMAN
Brett Dillard, Mt. Juliet
Jay Guillermo, Maryville
Andrew Jelks, Henry County
Brewer Congleton, Knoxville Webb
Chase Hensley, USJ
Brandon Hill, St. George's
Woody Baron, Brentwood Academy
Barrett Gouger, Baylor
Graham Shuler, Brentwood Academy
CLASS A BACK
Jajuan Lankford, South Pittsburg
Jacob Tucker, Perry County
Tyler Warbritton, Huntingdon
CLASS AA BACK
Dalton Boles, West Greene
Charlie High, CAK
Ladarius Vanlier, Maplewood
CLASS AAA BACK
Brian Kimbrow, Memphis East
I'Tavius Mathers, Blackman
Patton Robinette, Maryville
Caleb Blance, Knoxville Webb
Josh Kimberlin, SBEC
Lee Mayhall, USJ
C.J. Beathard, BGA
Cornelius Elder, Ensworth
Jordan Wilkins, St. Benedict
KICKER OF THE YEAR
George Bullock, Knoxville West
Landon Foster, Independence
Henrique Ribeiro, Baylor