Six Outstanding Student Athletes Selected in Week 1 of Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week Program
- Class 6A – Kyler Murray, Sr., Quarterback, Allen High School
- Class 5A – Jackson Allen, Sr., Quarterback, Whitehouse High School
- Class 4A – Tobyn Tannehill, Sr., Quarterback, Big Spring High School
- Class 3A – Austin Skinner, Sr., Quarterback, Teague High School
- Class 2A – Christian Hammett, Jr., Quarterback/Safety, Mount Enterprise High School
- Private Schools – Rawleigh Williams III, Sr., Running Back, Bishop Lynch High School
PLANO, Texas, Sept. 3, 2014 – Six Texas high school football stars have been recognized in the first week of the 2014 Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week program.
In its ninth consecutive year, Ford Motor Company’s Player of the Week program is again honoring six outstanding student-athletes each week of the 2014 regular season, recognizing one player in each of the state’s six athletic classifications. The winners are chosen for athletic achievements on the field, as well as for outstanding scholarship and community involvement. These players are the embodiment of Ford’s Go Further commitment.
This week’s winning athletes join a long list of remarkable players recognized for their exceptional efforts.
Week 1 winners
CLASS 6-A: Kyler Murray, Sr., Quarterback, Allen:
The bigger the game, the better Kyler Murray seems to perform. Last weekend in the Tom Landry Classic, the All-American signal caller was on cue with a spine-tingling performance during Allen’s 55-41 triumph over state power Denton Guyer (two-time Class 4A, Division I champions). Murray’s arms and legs were the difference when the Eagles jumped to a comfortable 27-0 lead en route to their 28th straight victory. “Kyler set the tone on the first play,” says Coach Tom Westerberg of Murray’s 78-yard TD jaunt. Kyler, the reigning Built Ford Tough Class 5A co-Player of the Year—shared with DeSoto’s Desmon White, now at TCU—clicked for 499 yards of offense and six touchdowns. In the air, he completed 19 passes for 393 yards and three scores of 35, 12 and 64 yards. He carried seven times for 106 yards (15.1 yards per attempt) and three more TDs. It’s no surprise the two-time defending state champion Eagles are ranked No. 1 in Texas 6-A and No. 2 nationally.
Kyler, one of the nation’s top five-star recruits, has committed to his father’s alma mater, Texas A&M. Last December, Murray led Allen to a second straight Class 5A, Division I crown, taking home all-state honors. Holder of a B+ academic average, he’s an all-district second baseman who also participates in the Reading with the Eagles program, directed at Allen’s elementary school kids. He became the first prep athlete to be selected for the Under Armour All-American games in football and baseball.
“Kyler pretty much picked up where he left off last season,” says Coach Westerberg. “Anytime you have a three-year starter at quarterback, his leadership and maturity levels increase and there’s more confidence every Friday night on the field.”
CLASS 5-A: Jackson Allen, Sr., Quarterback, Whitehouse:
If Whitehouse coach Aaron Cook heard it once, he heard it 1,000 times this summer. “How are you possibly going to replace Patrick Mahomes?” Losing an all-everything (including 2013 Built Ford Tough Texas High School Player of the Year) quarterback is never easy. But it looks like Coach Cook has the answer. Jackson Allen, Mahomes’ long-time back-up opened his season as the Wildcats’ quarterback with a very Mahomes-like performance. In a come-from-behind road victory over Texarkana Texas High School, the rangy 6-3, 190-pound Allen hit on 27 of 49 passes for a whopping 378 yards and three TDs, including leading a game-winning drive in the final two minutes. “A lot of folks might have been surprised at Jackson’s performance,” said Coach Cook. “But not me. He’s the hardest-working quarterback I’ve ever had, and that includes a pretty good bunch. And to do it in Texarkana, where the Tigers rarely lose, was really special.”
A straight-A student who, according to his teachers, works as hard in the classroom as he does on the gridiron, Allen played soccer just to work on his running and his footwork. A member of Whitehouse’s Adopt-a-Player program, he works with an assigned group of kids in an elementary school, reading to them and teaching them to make good decisions.
“He has an amazing work ethic,” says Coach Cook. “Every summer his dad came to me to borrow a bag of balls and Jackson just threw and threw and threw. It’s hard to replace a legend. But a lot like Kenny Hill last week at A&M, Jackson is the guy for us. We’ve got some really excellent players and Allen is a leader they look up to.”
CLASS 4-A: Tobyn Tannehill, Sr., Quarterback, Big Spring:
In a good ol’ West Texas shootout—114 points in 48 minutes—the Big Spring Steers were down to their last play on Friday. “Everyone in the stadium knew what the play was going to be,” Coach Phillip Ritchey says. Enter senior signal caller Tobyn Tannehill, who used his legs to avoid the all-out rush and his powerful right arm to reach the end zone from 40 yards out. The “Hail Mary” prayer to teammate Hunter Hill was answered--off a deflection, no less! The result was a pulsating 58-56 victory over Kerrville Tivy as time expired. Tobyn was spectacular, accounting for 540 yards and six TDs—20 completions for 282 yards and five TDs (three to Hill) and 258 yards rushing on 21 carries (12 yards a pop!) including an 80-yard scoring run. If the last name sounds familiar, it should. His older brother, Ryan, quarterbacks the Miami Dolphins and middle brother Tyler was named a Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week in 2009.
At 6-1, 170 pounds, Tobyn is perfect for Big Spring’s spread option offense. He gained his fancy footwork from playing basketball and his speed as a member of the school’s 4 x 400 relay team. For good measure, he also long jumps. In the classroom, Tannehill is ranked in the top 6% of his class with an A average and is a member of the National Honor Society. Schools such as Texas State, Sam Houston and North Texas are calling. Tobyn also answers the call for youth ministry at Trinity Baptist Church and participates in Steers in the Street, a volunteer program.
“Tobyn is a quiet leader and is always available for our volunteer programs,” says Coach Ritchey. “On the field, he made big plays in crunch time last week and kept the last play alive with his scrambling ability. He’s a great kid to coach!”
CLASS 3-A: Austin Skinner, Sr., Quarterback, Teague:
The manager in charge of keeping the record books at Teague always uses a pencil. On any given night, the Lions’ quarterback, Austin Skinner, is liable to set a new mark. In last week’s opening night 76-3 win over Lexington, the super-accurate Skinner completed 24 of 32 passes for an astounding 439 yards and another school-record eight touchdowns (nine of the passes and two of the TDs went to his favorite receiver, Aaron Mitchell). The eight scores raise Skinner’s career totals to 89 TDs, 48 of them in his sophomore year and 33 more last year when Teague featured a more balanced attack. The opener was decided early. Teague scored three touchdowns, including a 78-yard Skinner to Mitchell strike, in the first 1:20 of the opening quarter before Lexington’s offense ever took the field.
Owner of a sparkling 4.25 GPA, Austin ranks second in his class of 85. He also plays baseball and runs track. A member of the National Honor Society, he participates in Teague’s new mentorship program working with elementary school youngsters. He also visits a local nursing home regularly, helping to care for the elderly.
“This kid is what you want your own kids to be like,” says Coach Donnie Osborn. “His teachers absolutely love him and so do his teammates, who voted him captain. Though he takes football and classwork very seriously, he’s a real fun kid to be around. He leads by example and nobody does it better.”
CLASS 2-A: Christian Hammett, Jr., Quarterback/Safety, Mount Enterprise:
Mount Enterprise fans may have become spoiled last week when Christian Hammett debuted under center. The junior quarterback/safety became an instant hero on both sides of the ball during a nail-biting 52-46 win at Warren. Hammett, a backup QB last year, fired five TDs passes of 90, 73, 60, 33, and 31 yards (on 10 completions for 416 yards!) and helped seal the victory when he intercepted a last-ditch heave on the goal line on the last play of the game. When he wasn’t avoiding defenders, Christian chipped in with seven tackles from the secondary. Talk about a memorable debut!
The holder of a solid B-average, Christian’s mom is a teacher at Mount Enterprise. Hammett is a four-sport standout and competes in track (relays, hurdles), basketball (all-district point guard), and baseball (all-district shortstop). He’s Mount Enterprise’s fourth Built Ford Tough award winner. The most recent was Josh Leadon in Week 9 last season. When time permits, he stays involved with his church youth group and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“Christian is a natural leader; the kids gravitate to him,” says Coach Holzhauer. “He makes the tough plays look easy and stays in the pocket and can take a hit. He’d have thrown for another 150 yards were it not for a few drops and some penalties. But Christian is a team guy and will take the W any night.”
PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Rawleigh Williams III, Sr., Running Back, Dallas Bishop Lynch
Being “the third” seems to work out well in Texas football. There’s Emmitt Smith III and Robert Griffin III. And here comes running back Rawleigh Williams III of Dallas Bishop Lynch, who helped engineer the Friars’ surprisingly easy 55-8 victory over public 4-A Dallas Carter, coming off a 10-1 season last year. The powerful 5-10, 215-pound Williams only got nine carries before Coach Ben Dasch offered him a seat on the Bishop Lynch bench early in the second quarter. But he converted those limited opportunities into 206 yards and four TDs. The future Arkansas Razorback was “the best player on the field,” according to Coach Dasch. “Our offensive line is much improved over 2013, which should only make Rawleigh that much more effective.”
A stellar 3.89 GPA student, Williams devoted himself to track last spring, winding up as a state finalist in the 100-meters and 4 x 100 meter relay. That experience has made him a lot faster on the football field as well. He’s a member of the student council and the BL Ambassadors, an outreach program to future Friars. His family has a long history of public service, which Rawleigh III is continuing.
“To give you an idea what kind of kid Rawleigh is,” says Coach Dasch, “68 players voted for team captain and 63 of them voted for him. He’s our unquestioned team leader. Everybody knows when the going is tough, they can just get behind Rawleigh and he’ll show them the way. There’s simply no better kid.”
Nominate your elite student-athlete at PlayeroftheWeek.com
Students recognized by Ford Motor Company, Texas Ford dealers and the Built Ford Tough media advisory board as Players of the Week excel in three categories:
- Individual performance on the field, including significant game statistics
- Contribution to the team’s success through individual leadership abilities
- Performance off the field, including academic success and good community citizenship
Fans, coaches and media can nominate athletes at PlayeroftheWeek.com, as well as catch up with winners, view video clips of players in action and get the latest program details.
Additionally, fans can catch all the action on Fox Sports Southwest. The network is again teaming with Ford and Texas Ford dealers to keep up with award winners through its weekly television show. Each week, television crews will travel to communities across Texas, spotlighting players who excel on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. The half-hour Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week program, which began Aug. 30, airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. for 12 weeks.
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 186,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.