Malik Brewer, Boyd Buchanan
Tyler Coen, Gordonsville
Tanner Martin, Friendship Christian
Brett Kendrick, CAK
Thomas Loy, Alcoa
Brandon Walters, Howard
Frank Herron, Memphis Central
Austin Sanders, Bradley Central
Logan Teichmann, Brentwood
Chase Hensley, USJ
Walker Jones, ECS
Dylan Young, St. George's
Derek Barnett, Brentwood Academy
Peyton Klawinski, MUS
Michael Sawyers, Ensworth
Demetric Johnson, South Pittsburg
Will McKamey, Grace Christian
Jacob Warbritton, Huntingdon
Al Cobb, Giles County
Charlie High, CAK
Johnston White, Covington
Mark Dodson, Whitehaven
Jalen Hurd, Beech
Brent Stockstill, Siegel
Todd Kelly, Webb School of Knoxville
Brent Rooker, ECS
Powers Spencer, USJ
Cornelius Elder, Ensworth
Jalen Ramsey, Brentwood Academy
Jordan Rodgers, MUS
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.