With the offseason shifts in TSSAA Classifications, Division II-AA wound up with a nice talent pool of Mr. Football prospects.
One happens to be a Mr. Football winner from last season (when he was a part of Division II-A). Another happens to be a freshman with a season of varsity football under his belt.
But what you'll notice most is how many big-time college football prospects are in this league.
Here are our 2017 Division II-AA predicted winners and semifinalists. We even threw in a few sleeper picks.
*** EDITOR'S NOTE (Aug. 15, 2017): The TSSAA announced changes to the Mr. Football format on Aug. 14, 2017, after the release of this article.****
DIVISION II-AA MR. FOOTBALL BACK
Predicted Winner: Eric Gray (Lausanne, junior, RB, 5-10, 185):Gray is a reigning Mr. Football winner with offers from Michigan, Stanford, Tennessee, LSU, Miami and Nebraska, among others. He led Lausanne to a state title a season ago with more than 2,500 all-purpose yards and more than 40 touchdowns.
Elijah Howard (Webb, freshman, ATH, 5-11, 170):One of the fastest players in the state, Howard starred as an eighth-grader at Webb last season, rushing for 1,055 yards and 11 touchdowns and 440 receiving yards on 15 catches. He was a Mr. Football semifinalist last season.
Lance Wilhoite (FRA, junior, WR, 6-3, 180):A four-star wideout with offers from the likes of Ohio State, Tennessee and LSU, Wilhoite should benefit statistically from the return of an experienced quarterback.
Cameron Wynn (Notre Dame, junior, ATH, 5-11, 190):Wynn has blazing speed (4.41 in the 40), and the Tennessee commitment will be utilized in various facets of Notre Dame’s offense.
SLEEPER SEMIFINALIST:Drew Martin (BGA, senior, QB, 6-2, 190): Martin, a 3-star prospect, threw for 2,500 yards last season and completed nearly 62 percent of his passes. He’ll essentially have the same receiving corps this fall.
Also Considered:Jacob Buie (USJ, senior, QB, 6-5, 205) and Jack Grissom (FACS, senior, QB, 6-0, 180)
DIVISION II-AA MR. FOOTBALL LINE
Predicted Winner: Will Lawrence (Harding Academy: 6-4, 285, senior, OT):Lawrence was a finalist for Mr. Football a season ago. A 3-star recruit with offers from across the nation, Lawrence chose Virginia over offers from the likes of Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State and USC.
Kane Patterson (CPA, junior, LB, 6-1, 200):Huge fan of Patterson’s play. If you aren’t doing anything right now (other than reading this), look up Patterson’s Hudl film. Even as a sophomore last year, you rarely saw him take a wrong angle chasing a speedy back out of the backfield. He had 18 tackles for loss and seven sacks last year. Easy to see why he’s been offered by LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Duke, UNC, Vandy, Cincinnati and Memphis.
Tymon Mitchell (FRA, junior, DT, 6-3, 300):Double team? What double team? Doesn’t matter what is in front of Mitchell, the dude just bulldozes it over and makes a play. Louisville, Vandy, Purdue and Iowa State are the early birds to offer this soon-to-be star.
Sam Stovall (Notre Dame, senior, OT, 6-4, 285):Chattanooa-area players can oftentimes get overlooked in the Mr. Football Awards, but Stovall won’t. Guy makes plays all over the field and spring a touchdown run some 15- or 20-yards away from the original line of scrimmage. The Western Kentucky commitment also had offers from Memphis, MTSU, Appy State and Florida Atlantic.
SLEEPER SEMIFINALIST:Joe More (CPA, senior, OL/DL, 6-5, 270): An excellent right tackle and Navy football commitment, More will definitely be a strong consideration for Mr. Football if CPA lives up to preseason expectations and makes a run at state.
Also Considered:Morgan Ernst (Webb School of Knoxville, senior, LB, 6-0, 200), Ben Arnold (Grace Christian, senior, OL/DL, 6-4, 265) Nathan Tatko (Northpoint Christian, senior, LB, 6-2, 220), Eli Chinique (CAK, senior, OL/DL, 6-3, 290)
IN CASE YOU MISSED THEM ...
Class 1A Mr. Football Predictions ... http://prepweekly.com/stratos-rocketlauncher_j31/index.php/east-tn/866-2017-class-1a-mr-football-predictions
Class 2A Mr. Football Predictions... http://prepweekly.com/stratos-rocketlauncher_j31/index.php/east-tn/867-class-2a-mr-football-predictions
Class 3A Mr. Football Predictions ... http://prepweekly.com/stratos-rocketlauncher_j31/index.php/east-tn/868-class-3a-mr-football-predictions-2
Class 4A Mr. Football Predictions ... http://prepweekly.com/stratos-rocketlauncher_j31/index.php/east-tn/869-2017-class-4a-mr-football-predictions
Class 5A Mr. Football Predictions ... http://prepweekly.com/stratos-rocketlauncher_j31/index.php/east-tn/870-2017-class-5a-mr-football-predictions-2
Class 6A Mr. Football Predictions ... http://prepweekly.com/stratos-rocketlauncher_j31/index.php/middle-tn/871-2017-class-6a-mr-football-predictions