5 Knoxville-area athletes bring home Mr. Football honors

NASHVILLE – Five area athletes brought home Mr. Football awards on Monday.

The TSSAA honored 34 athletes at the Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Awards luncheon on Monday at Nissan Stadium.

Oak Ridge wide receiver Tee Higgins, Catholic wide receiver Amari Rodgers, Catholic lineman Cade Mays, Alcoa wide receiver Tykee Ogle-Kellogg and Greenback lineman Josh Silvey were all named Mr. Football in their classifications.

Maryville linebacker T.D. Blackmon (Class 6A Lineman), Catholic wide receiver Chase Kuershen (Class 4A Back), Austin-East quarterback Darius Harper (Class 2A Back) and Greenback running back Kayne Roberts (Class 1A Back) earned runner-up honors.

Higgins, a 6’5” Clemson commit, won the Class 5A Mr. Football Back of the Year award for the second consecutive season. He totaled 65 receptions for 1,044 yards and 17 touchdowns for Oak Ridge (8-3) this season. The senior wideout also had four interceptions on defense, one of which he returned for a score.

Catholic, who had three athletes up for Mr. Football this season, swept the awards in Class 4A.

Mays, a Tennessee commit, was named Lineman of the Year while Amari Rodgers brings the Back of the Year Award back to Knoxville for the second consecutive year. Rodgers, a Clemson commit, totaled 1,206 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns on 38 receptions this season. He averaged 120 receiving yards per game in 2016.

Alcoa’s Ogle-Kellogg, who has recorded 30 receptions for 590 yards and nine touchdowns this season, earned the Mr. Football Class 3A Back of the Year Award. The junior will look to guide the Tornados to a Class 3A state title on Friday at 3 p.m. against Liberty.

Greenback senior Josh Silvey is a four-year starter and team captain for the Cherokees. The senior has totaled 86 tackles, 11 sacks and 17 tackles for loss this season. Silvey will wrap up his high school career in the Class 1A state championship game where Greenback will meet Dresden Friday at 11 a.m. in Cookeville.

Class 6A 

Lineman: Aubrey Miller, Whitehaven

Back: JaCoby Stevens, Oakland

Class 5A

Lineman: Trevis Hopper, Memphis Central

Back: Tee Higgins, Oak Ridge

Class 4A

Lineman: Cade Mays, Catholic

Back: Amari Rodgers, Catholic

Class 3A

Lineman: Jacob Phillips, East Nashville

Back: Tykee Ogle-Kellogg, Alcoa

Class 2A

Lineman: Alex Kirkendoll, Marion County

Back: Cordarrian Richardson, Trezevant

Class 1A

Lineman: Josh Silvey, Greenback

Back: Preston Rice, Wayne County

Division II-A

Lineman: Trey Smith, USJ

Back: Eric Gray, Lausanne

Division II-AA

Lineman: Dorian Hopkins, MUS

Back: Ty Chandler, MBA

Mr. Football Kicker

Jacob Smith, Siegel

A committee of statewide sports writers selected winners based on performance in the 2016 regular season. Academics and character were also taken into consideration.

The awards were presented to the top back and lineman in each of the eight classifications of the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association. The top kickers in the state were also recognized. There were three finalists in this category, regardless of their school’s classification.

The Titans became sponsors of the Mr. Football Awards in 2007.

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