Whitaker named Tennessee Titans Mr. Football semifinalist
Cornersville senior all-purpose player Cameron Whitaker was named one of the five semifinalists for the Class A Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Award by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association today.
“I am very proud of this young man,” Cornersville coach Gerard Randolph said. “I think he is truly deserving of this, and I am happy for Cameron, his family, the football team, and the community of Cornersville.”
The Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Awards will be presented to the top football players in nine classifications of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association on Sunday, November 25, 2018, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.
Five semifinalists are announced in this release for each classification and the Kicker of the Year category. There are six classifications in Division I and three in Division II. Three finalists for each category will be announced by Mike Keith on the Titans website at www.titansonline.com on Monday, November 12 at 2:00 p.m. CST / 3:00 p.m. EST. The three finalists for each award will be the ones invited to attend the awards luncheon at Nissan Stadium, where the winner of each award will be announced.
“This is a true testament of pushing through adversity and reaping the benefits in the end,” Randolph said. “This group of seniors were thrown in the fire early in their high school careers. They had to play against seniors that had been in the weight room for four years, and they took a pounding. They all stuck it out and good things have been happening for them.”
Whitaker and the number-two ranked and undefeated Bulldogs finished as Class A runnerup last season and are looking to win one more game than last year.
“Hopefully this will show the younger guys coming through the program that this is possible, and with hard work and dedication these type of acknowledgements can be achieved,” Randolph stated. “I'm so happy for this football program and community to be a part of this, and I know Cameron would agree one hundred percent about that.”
The 2018 graduating class has been playing together since pee wee football and have melded into the best team in the history of Frog Bottom football.
“Several of the guys in this senior class have been playing football together since youth league and they know each other and they feed off each other,” Randolph said. “They want the best for each other, and this is one of the reasons why this group is so special.”
“They are so competitive and Cameron will tell anyone that this does not happen without the support of his teammates.”
Whitaker is the true definition of a Mr. Football candidate with his versatility, desire, team spirit, and knowledge of the game.
“This is huge for our team, school, and for this community,” Randolph said. “To my knowledge I don't think this has ever happened here at Cornersville High School to have a player chosen as a semifinalist for Mr. Football. I honestly think it is well-deserving not only for Cameron, but for this team, school, and community.”
Whitaker has amassed 1,164 total yards on the season with 584 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, 154 yards receiving and two TDs, 232 punts return yards with two scores, one interception, and two fumble recoveries for touchdowns.
“Cameron brings a very competitive nature to the game every Friday night,” Randolph said. “He wants to do well and he wants to do any and everything to help his teammates be successful.”
“Cameron will be the first to tell you that he feels that he has to prove himself each and every time he gets the opportunity to touch the field because of his size and I definitely think with that mentality that he has made some believers out of several people by bringing a skill set to this game that is tough and competitive.”
Whitaker’s career numbers are 2,746 yards rushing and 43 touchdowns, 408 receiving yards and four touchdowns, 1,282 return yards and six touchdowns, nine fumble recoveries and two touchdowns, and eight interceptions.
“I think he will continue to be humble about this and he will give his teammates a ton of credit for this nomination,” Randolph said, “As far as his play, I think he will continue to come out with his mentality of playing tough and being explosive. In our scheme on offense and defense it is a total team effort, and I know he will continue to buy in to this approach and let everything else take care of itself.”
A committee of statewide sports writers selected winners based on performance in the 2018 regular season. Academics and character were also taken into consideration. High school head coaches and members of the media nominated the finalists.
"We are very excited and appreciative about being involved with the Tennessee Titans for the 12th consecutive year,” stated Bernard Childress, Executive Director of the TSSAA. “They have helped make the recognition of these 50 student-athletes, their families, and schools possible. The sponsorship of the Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Awards and numerous contributions to high schools across the state since the team moved to Tennessee have meant a great deal to the member schools of the TSSAA.”
This is the 34th year that the Mr. Football Awards have been presented to Tennessee’s best high school football players. A Mr. Football trophy will be presented to the winners of each category. A Mr. Football plaque will be presented to the other two finalists in each category. The other semi-finalists will each receive a certificate.
More than 400 people, including the 30 finalists, their families, coaches, school administrators and members of the media from all parts of the state, are expected to attend the 2018 luncheon.
Mike Keith, play-by-play voice of the Tennessee Titans, will emcee the awards presentation. A live videostream of the awards will be provided at www.titansonline.com.
2018 Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Semifinalists
DIVISION I, CLASS 1A
Zyshon Alderson, Mt. Pleasant
Bryce Hanley, Greenback
Dezmon Johnson, Lake County
Hudson Petty, Whitwell
Cameron Whitaker, Cornersville
DIVISION I, CLASS 2A
Jeremiah Batiste, Tyner
Ethan Cobb, Eagleville
J.D. Dixon, Waverly
Aaron Swafford, Meigs County
Terry Wilkins, Fairley
DIVISION I, CLASS 3A
Kam Harris-Lusk, Fairview
Marcus Hayes, Covington
Calvin Jackson III, Red Bank
Walker Russell, Alcoa
Xavier Shepherd, Pearl Cohn
DIVISION I, CLASS 4A
Cade Ballard, Greeneville
Bobo Hodges, Maplewood
Dayron Johnson, Springfield
Stanton Martin, Anderson County
Chris Russell, Dyersburg
DIVISION I, CLASS 5A
Herbert Booker, Oak Ridge
Michael Burdick, Page
Cade Larkins, David Crockett
Deshawn Page, Fulton
Grayson Tramel, Shelbyville
DIVISION I, CLASS 6A
A.J. Davis, Maryville
Xavier Myers, Oakland
T.J. Sheffield, Independence
Devon Starling, Cane Ridge
Jaleal “Woodi” Washington, Oakland
DIVISION II, CLASS A
Da’Joun Hewitt, Davidson Academy
Darius Hylick, Mt. Juliet Christian
Kemari McGowan, MTCS
Stone Norton, Davidson Academy
Rube Scott Rhea, Fayette Academy
DIVISION II, CLASS AA
Eric Gray, Lausanne
Noah Henderson, CPA
Tymon Mitchell, FRA
Kane Patterson, CPA
Cameron Wynn, Notre Dame
DIVISION II, CLASS AAA
Maurice Hampton, MUS
Jackson Hannah, MBA
DeAngelo Hardy, McCallie
Bill Norton, Christian Brothers
Omari Thomas, Briarcrest
KICKER OF THE YEAR
Mason Lafollette, East Hamilton
Job Matossian, William Blount
Garrett Taylor, Oakland
Marshall Ware, Germantown
Zaden Webber, Rossview