MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Some of the best high school football players from around the state gathered in Montgomery for the ASWA annual Player of the Year Awards luncheon, and one of them earned the title of Mr. Football for Alabama.
Asa Martin is now at Auburn as an early enrollee, but last fall he was still running past and through high school defenses. At Tuesday's luncheon, he was named 2017 Mr. Football by the Alabama Sports Writers Association.
With his 170 points and 10 first-place votes, Martin became the 36th recipient of the award and the fifth running back to win the award in the last seven years.
Martin, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound back from Austin High School in Decatur, Alabama, rushed for over 2,200 yards and 33 touchdowns in his senior campaign. He also caught 20 passes out of the backfield for 399 yards, as his team enjoyed a 12-1 season despite falling 51-50 in the AHSAA quarterfinals to eventual champion Pinson Valley.
On top of being named Mr. Football for the state, Martin was also named the Class 6A Back of the Year.
Speaking of Pinson Valley, and Auburn, Pinson Valley junior quarterback and Auburn commit, Bo Nix, finished second in the race with 144 points. Nix led Pinson Valley to a 6A State Championship victory over Wetupmka.
Thompson quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa finished third in the race with 143 points. Tagovailoa was named the Class 7A Back of the Year.
Central-Phenix City wide receiver Justin Ross finished fourth with 111 points despite having two first-place votes, more than Nix and Tagovailoa.
The 2016 Mr. Football, La'Damian Webb of Beauregard, finished in seventh place with 64 votes. Webb did take home a notable honor, as he was named the Class 5A Back of the Year.
Players were there for more than just the announcing of Mr. Football. Other awards were given out as well.
Park Crossing offensive lineman Tank Jenkins earned Class 6A Lineman of the Year, Houston County defensive lineman earned the Class 1A Lineman of the Year award.
The ASWA Super 12 was also announced. Martin, Nix, Tagovailoa, Ross, Webb, Jenkins, Ahmad Edwards (Thompson), Pierce Quick (Hewitt-Trussville), Jermaine Brown (St. Luke's Episcopal), Clay Webb (Oxford), Cardavion Myers (Piedmont), and J.D. Martin (Wetumpka) comprised the 12.
Martin became the first player from north Alabama to earn the title of Mr. Football since, now former Auburn running back, Kerryon Johnson did so in 2014.