A key running back for Class 5A state semifinalist Muscle Shoals and a Class 1A quarterback who put up video game-type numbers are among the finalists in the classifications for the prestigious Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Back or Lineman of the Year.
Muscle Shoals tailback Tyler Jackson and Phillips High quarterback Rodney Camp are among the 42 players named finalists Friday. The list also contains one reigning winner and two previous finalists.
The ASWA selects three finalists for backs and linemen in each of the six classes in the Alabama High School Athletic Association as well as all teams in the Alabama Independent Schools Association.
Jackson, a senior, rushed for 1,380 yards and 18 touchdowns as part of a tandem with Jamarcus Nance that finished with nearly 3,000 yards and 42 touchdowns.
Jackson also caught five touchdown passes.
Camp, a senior, put up some staggering numbers at Phillips. He threw for 2,829 yards and 33 touchdowns while rushing for 1,191 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Fultondale quarterback ArDarius Stewart is the lone returning winner, taking honors last year as the group’s Class 2A Back of the Year. Two other finalists from the 2011 season will return as Lineman of the Year nominees in their respective classes again — McIntosh linebacker Damien Davenport in Class 1A and Dadeville defensive lineman Rod Crayton in Class 4A.
Class 2A champion Tanner High has a 2A Lineman of the Year finalist in linebacker Fred Rich. The senior UAB commitment had 55 solo tackles among his 72 total tackles and also intercepted two passes. Rich was one of the leaders on a defense that recorded five shutouts in 14 games, and he also rushed for more than 1,500 yards.
Five schools had multiple finalists — Spanish Fort in Class 5A with quarterback Joel Poe and defensive back Johnny Cook; Oneonta in Class 4A with wide receiver Alvin Scott and defensive lineman Blake Bean; Midfield in Class 3A with athlete Courtney Foy and defensive lineman Torrandine Harris; Reeltown in Class 2A with running back Tywone Stewart and defensive lineman Jestavia Norris; and the AISA’s Tuscaloosa Academy with running back Jaevon Walton and offensive lineman Terrell Bush.
The finalists were voted on earlier this month at the ASWA’s all-state meeting by a panel of high school writers from across the state. Winners in each class — as well as the Mr. Football Award — will be announced at the ASWA’s annual Player of the Year banquet Jan. 16 in Montgomery.
Some of the high-profile college prospects are also finalists, including Carver-Montgomery quarterback Jeremy Johnson, Auburn linebacker Reuben Foster and Huntsville offensive lineman Grant Hill.