published Friday, November 9th, 2012

Five Mr. Football finalists from area

2012 Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Finalists

CLASS A LINEMAN

Malik Brewer, Boyd Buchanan

Tyler Coen, Gordonsville

Tanner Martin, Friendship Christian

CLASS AA LINEMAN

Brett Kendrick, CAK

Thomas Loy, Alcoa

Brandon Walters, Howard

CLASS AAA LINEMAN

Frank Herron, Memphis Central

Austin Sanders, Bradley Central

Logan Teichmann, Brentwood

DIVISION II-A LINEMAN

Chase Hensley, USJ

Walker Jones, ECS

Dylan Young, St. George's

DIVISION II-AA LINEMAN

Derek Barnett, Brentwood Academy

Peyton Klawinski, MUS

Michael Sawyers, Ensworth

CLASS A BACK

Demetric Johnson, South Pittsburg

Will McKamey, Grace Christian

Jacob Warbritton, Huntingdon

CLASS AA BACK

Al Cobb, Giles County

Charlie High, CAK

Johnston White, Covington

CLASS AAA BACK

Mark Dodson, Whitehaven

Jalen Hurd, Beech

Brent Stockstill, Siegel

DIVISION II-A BACK

Todd Kelly, Webb School of Knoxville

Brent Rooker, ECS

Powers Spencer, USJ

DIVISION II-AA BACK

Cornelius Elder, Ensworth

Jalen Ramsey, Brentwood Academy

Jordan Rodgers, MUS

KICKER OF THE YEAR

Rafael Gaglianone, Baylor

Jonathan King, Farragut

C.J. Stafford, Houston

Just about a month before the football season kicked off, Brandon Walters still had basketball on his mind. The 6-foot-8 Howard senior was coming off an all-state hoops season and was still playing summer AAU tournaments, believing his college future would come on the court.

But after a season in which he was dominant at times, Walters began catching the eyes of college football recruiters, and Wednesday became the third player in program history to be named a finalist for the TSSAA's Mr. Football award.

Walters is one of five Chattanooga-area players to earn finalist honors. Three are up for Lineman of the Year in their schools' respective classification.s Joining him are Boyd-Buchanan lineman Malik Brewer (Class A), Bradley Central lineman Austin Sanders (AA), South Pittsburg's Demetric Johnson as a Back of the Year finalist (in Class A) and Baylor's Rafael Gaglianone is one of three finalists for overall Kicker of the Year.

The award winners will be announced Nov. 26 at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center in Murfreesboro.

Walters leads the area with 27 tackles for loss and had 11.5 sacks, as well as playing offensive tackle for the Hustlin' Tigers. The other two finalists from Howard were Tremayne Hudson and Darius McDonald, who won the award in 2005.

"This means a lot to the program and our community," Howard coach Michael Calloway said. "I'm glad that the coaches in our district and area nominated him. That tells you they have respect for him. He's worked hard in school and on the field to get this.

"He had a future in both sports, but at some point he's recognized he has a bigger future in football. Basketball came easy for him because he was bigger than everybody. He had to learn to work in football. That's his long-term future."

Brewer is a 6-foot-4, 320-pound four-year starter at tackle for the Bucs. This season he has 65 tackles, 10 for loss, two sacks and three fumble recoveries, as well as grading out as an 80 percent blocker on offense. Sanders (6-6, 300) is a University of Tennessee commitment who graded out at 91 percent this year and also had 47 pancake blocks. He is a U.S. Marine All-American.

"This is a product of what our program at Boyd-Buchanan produces. It's a team effort first," Brewer said. "I was surprised when I first found out, and it really hasn't hit me yet. But I'm really proud and honored.

"It's something special to put on my resume and say that I've accomplished. And hopefully this will say a lot about what type of player and all-around guy I am as I'm being recruited for college."

Gaglianone is the second straight Baylor kicker to become a finalist for Kicker of the Year, following last year's winner and current UT-Chattanooga kicker Henrique Ribeiro. A junior, Gaglianone has made 12 of 15 field-goal attempts, with a long of 51, another from 50 and three others from more than 40 yards. He has put 98 percent of his kickoffs into or through the end zone.

Johnson averages 21.5 yards every time he touches the ball and scores a touchdown every fourth time he has it. He leads the Pirates in both rushing (1,687 yards and 30 touchowns) and receiving (303 yards, four more TDs) and also has four interceptions and nine pass breakups to go with 36 tackles on defense.

about Stephen Hargis...

Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 23 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including nine in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers in the nation at the Associated ...

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