National Football Foundation Announces 2020 Team Of Distinction

82 High School Seniors Honored As Scholar-Athletes

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

IRVING, Texas  – From a pool of 3,500 scholar-athletes, the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced today the 82 members of the 2020 NFF Team of Distinction. As part of its mission to promote the scholar-athlete ideal, the initiative allows the NFF to honor the top high school scholar-athletes from around the country as the best and the brightest at the local level while highlighting the work of the NFF Chapter Network.

The members of the team all played their final high school football season during the 2019-20 school year.

As part of the award, all of the honorees will be part of a permanent digital display at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

Criteria to make the team include but are not limited to academic achievement, athletic accolades and community involvement. Each chapter is limited to one honoree, distinguishing them as the top scholar-athlete from all the high schools covered by the chapter.

“This initiative allows us to shine a national spotlight on some of the most deserving high school student-athletes honored at the local level by our expansive Chapter Network,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “This honor is one of the most prestigious national awards that a high school player can receive, and it really brings into focus the phenomenal work that our chapters do in identifying the most outstanding young leaders in their communities. We would like to congratulate all 82 honorees, holding them out as examples for future generations to emulate.”

Since 1954, the NFF Chapters have played an integral role in supporting and promoting the game of football at the amateur level while honoring the top scholar-athletes in their local areas. With more than 12,000 members, the nationwide NFF Chapter Network impacts more than 500,000 student-athletes at 5,000 high schools across the country each year. The centerpiece of the Chapter Network’s efforts are the annual chapter awards banquets, which recognize more than 3,500 of the nation’s top scholar-athletes and distribute more than $1 million in scholarships.

2020 NFF Team of Distinction Notes

·        82 Honorees

·        37 States Represented

·        4.0 Average GPA

·        64 Team Captains

·        35 All-State Selections

·        13 Valedictorians

·        58 National Honor Society Members

·        4 National Merit Honorees

East Region Honorees

·        Israel Abanikanda – RB/DB, Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, New York. Submitted by the NFF New York City Chapter.

·        88 average grade

·        Two-year captain and Gatorade New York State Player of the Year

·        Member of the National Honor Society and NYC All-Academic Team

 

·        Deven Bollinger – QB, Northwestern Lehigh High School in New Tripoli, Pennsylvania. Submitted by the NFF Lehigh Valley (PA) Chapter.

·        4.00 GPA

·        Two-year captain and two-time all-state selection

·        Member of the National Honor Society and student council

 

·        Chris Daleo – C/DE, Westhampton Beach High School in Westhampton Beach, New York. Submitted by the Suffolk County (NY) Chapter.

·        96 average grade

·        Team captain and first team all division selection

·        Class president and AP Scholar with Distinction

 

·        Drew DeMorat – HB/LB, Mainland Regional High School in Linwood, New Jersey. Submitted by the NFF South Jersey Chapter.

·        4.96 GPA

·        Team captain and first team all division honoree

·        Member of the National Honor Society and football team’s leadership committee

 

·        Austin Fisher – WR/LB, Penns Valley Area High School in Spring Mills, Pennsylvania. Submitted by the NFF Central Pennsylvania Chapter.

·        4.10 GPA

·        Team captain and first team all-conference selection at two positions

·        National Honor Society member

 

·        Ian Franzoni – RB, The Hun School of Princeton in Princeton, New Jersey. Submitted by the NFF Delaware Valley (NJ) Chapter.

·        3.80 GPA

·        Team captain and 12th Man Touchdown Club Prep Player of the Year

·        Recipient of the William McQuade Scholar-Athlete Award

 

·        Bardhyl Gashi – OL/DL, West Essex High School in North Caldwell, New Jersey. Submitted by the NFF Essex County (NJ) Chapter.

·        3.90 GPA

·        Team captain, first team all-state selection and three-time all-league honoree

·        Student Council president who ranks in the top 10% of his class

 

·        Matthew Hegi – QB/TE/LB, Mepham High School in Bellmore, New York. Submitted by the NFF Nassau County (NY) Chapter.

·        98 average grade

·        Two-year team captain and all-county selection

·        Member of the National, Italian and Math honor societies

 

·        Calvin Jackson – DL/TE, New Rochelle High School in New Rochelle, New York. Submitted by the NFF Westchester (NY) Chapter.

·        4.00 GPA

·        Team captain and first team all-state honoree who led team to a state title

·        National Honor Society president ranks in the top 3% of his class

 

·        Gabriel Kuhn – DT, Wayne Hills High School in Wayne, New Jersey. Submitted by the NFF Passaic County (NJ) Chapter.

·        3.65 GPA

·        Team captain and two-time first team all-county selection

·        Student ambassador and National Honor Society member

 

·        Danny Lawrence – QB/DB/P, Mahanoy Area High School in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania. Submitted by the NFF Schuylkill/Pottsville (PA) Chapter.

·        102.25 average grade

·        Team captain and first team all-division and all-area selection

·        Salutatorian, student council president and National Honor Society member

 

·        John Readlinger – DE, Delbarton School in Morristown, New Jersey. Submitted by the NFF Greater Morris County (NJ) Chapter.

·        4.25 GPA

·        Two-time second team all-division selection

·        National Honor Society member and Rensselaer Medal Merit Scholarship recipient

 

·        John Salliard – OL/DL, Bernards High School in Bernardsville, New Jersey. Submitted by the NFF Bill Denny/Rutgers Football Letterwinners (NJ) Chapter.

·        3.50 GPA

·        First team all-state and all-division honoree

·        National Honor Society member and AP Scholar in history

 

·        Evan Warren – K/P, Westminster High School in Westminster, Maryland. Submitted by the NFF Greater Baltimore Chapter.

·        4.57 GPA

·        Team captain and second team all-state selection

·        National Merit Commended Scholar and National Honor Society member

 

Midwest Region Honorees

·        Ayden Ayres – RB/S, Carroll High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Submitted by the NFF Joe Tiller/Northwest Indiana Chapter.

·        4.20 GPA

·        Two-year team captain and academic all-state selection

·        Valedictorian and National Honor Society member

 

·        Oscar Benson – RB/LB, Hillsboro/Central Valley High School in Hillsboro, North Dakota. Submitted by the NFF Roughrider State (ND) Chapter.

·        3.99 GPA

·        North Dakota Gatorade Player of the Year who helped team win two state titles

·        National Honor Society president and two-year team captain

 

·        Stephen Betts – DB, Saint Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights, Minnesota. Submitted by the NFF Minnesota Chapter.

·        4.20 GPA

·        Team captain and first team all-state selection

·        National Merit Commended Scholar

 

·        Bryce Boyer – TE/LB/DE, Anthony Wayne High School in Whitehouse, Ohio. Submitted by the NFF Wistert/Toledo (OH) Chapter.

·        4.30 GPA

·        Team captain and first team all-state selection

·        Member of the National Honor Society and academic all-conference team

 

·        Sam Carson – NT, John Glenn High School in Walkerton, Indiana. Submitted by the NFF Moose Krause/South Bend (IN) Chapter.

·        4.29 GPA

·        Team captain

·        Valedictorian and National Honor Society member

 

·        Alex DeLong – RB/DB, Stephen T. Badin High School in Hamilton, Ohio. Submitted by the NFF Greater Cincinnati Chapter.

·        3.80 GPA

·        Team captain and first team all-state honoree

·        Senior class president and National Honor Society member

 

·        Jevyon Ducker – RB, Bellevue West High School in Bellevue, Nebraska. Submitted by the NFF Nebraska Chapter.

·        3.85 GPA

·        Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year who guided team to the state title

·        Team captain received Greater Omaha Sports Committee FB Scholar-Athlete Award

 

·        Martin Hoban – OL, Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort, Illinois. Submitted by the NFF Chicago Metro Chapter.

·        5.00 GPA

·        Team captain and all-conference selection who led team to two state titles

·        Member of the National Honor Society and academic all-state team

 

·        Dawson Hurley – WR/DB, Reitz Memorial High School in Evansville, Indiana. Submitted by the NFF Southern Indiana Chapter.

·        3.84 GPA

·        Team captain who led team to two state titles

·        Class president and National Honor Society member

 

·        Max Kalny – OL, St. James Academy in Lenexa, Kansas. Submitted by the NFF Coach Bill Snyder Family/Sunflower (KS) Chapter.

·        4.30 GPA

·        Team captain and first team all-state honoree

·        Student council president and National Honor Society member

 

·        Cole Lindaman – DE/RB, Clarion-Goldfield-Dows High School in Clarion, Iowa. Submitted by the NFF Iowa Chapter.

·        4.00 GPA

·        Team captain and all-district selection

·        Eagle Scout and National Honor Society member

 

·        Cullen Martin – OT, Cleveland Heights High School in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Submitted by the NFF Mike Cleary/Northeastern Ohio Chapter.

·        4.72 GPA

·        Team captain and all-conference honoree

·        National Honor Society member boasting highest GPA on the team

 

·        Jacob Meaders – WR/PR, Bryant High School in Bryant, Arkansas. Submitted by the NFF Arkansas Chapter.

·        4.24 GPA

·        First team all-state selection who led team to two state titles

·        National Honor Society member ranks in the top five of his class of 600

 

·        Riley Nowakowski – LB/RB, Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Submitted by the NFF Wisconsin Chapter.

·        3.84 GPA

·        First team all-state received John Anderson Award as top linebacker in Wisconsin

·        Member of the Spanish Honor Society

 

·        Luke Schuermann – TE/LB, St. Louis University High School in St. Louis, Missouri. Submitted by the NFF Tom Lombardo/St. Louis Chapter.

·        4.36 GPA

·        Team captain and first team all-conference selection

·        National Honor Society member taking all AP courses

 

·        Brett Wethington – RB/LB, Western Boone Junior-Senior High School in Thorntown, Indiana. Submitted by the NFF Central Indiana Chapter.

·        4.19 GPA

·        Team captain and academic all-state selection who won two state titles

·        National Honor Society member ranked ninth in his class

 

·        Curtis Young – QB/LB/P, Lancaster High School in Lancaster, Ohio. Submitted by the NFF Columbus (OH) Chapter.

·        4.64 GPA

·        Team captain and first team all-conference honoree

·        Member of the Ohio University Student Dean's List

 

Northeast Region Honorees

·        Ryan Bakken – QB, Waterford High School in Waterford, Connecticut. Submitted by the NFF Southeastern Connecticut Chapter.

·        4.04 GPA

·        All-state selection and division player of the year

·        Member of National, Science and French honor societies

 

·        Elijah Barnard – QB/WR, Greece Arcadia High School in Rochester, New York. Submitted by the NFF Rochester (NY) Chapter.

·        98.4 average grade

·        Two-year team captain and special teams player of the year

·        President of the National Honor Society

 

·        Edward Blessing – QB/S/P, Narragansett High School in Narragansett, Rhode Island. Submitted by the NFF Emo DiNitto/Rhode Island Chapter.

·        4.50 GPA

·        First team all-state punter and first team all-division quarterback

·        Member of the National and Spanish honor societies

 

·        Josh Brunelle – OL/DE, Doherty Memorial High School in Worcester, Massachusetts. Submitted by the NFF Joe Mewhiney/Central Massachusetts Chapter.

·        4.67 GPA

·        Team captain and three-time league all-star

·        Class vice president and National Honor Society member

 

·        Cole Cleary – QB, Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts. Submitted by the NFF Jack Grinold/Eastern Massachusetts Chapter.

·        3.40 GPA

·        All-New England selection and conference all-star

·        Honor student and student activities officer

 

·        Ryan Connors – RB/K/CB, Kennebunk High School in Kennebunk, Maine. Submitted by the NFF State of Maine Chapter.

·        100 average grade

·        Team captain and all-state selection owns school PAT record

·        National Honor Society member ranked in the top 5% of his class

 

·        Michael Consorte – WR/S, Notre Dame High School in West Haven, Connecticut. Submitted by the NFF Casey-O'Brien/New Haven (CT) Chapter.

·        4.43 GPA

·        Soderman Bowl Defensive MVP

·        National Merit semifinalist and National Honor Society member

 

·        Mitchell Gadapee – TE/DE, Colchester High School in Colchester, Vermont. Submitted by the NFF Vermont Chapter.

·        3.92 GPA

·        Team captain and two-time all-state selection

·        High Honor Roll member

 

·        Connor Garrahy – OL/DL, Kent School in Kent, Connecticut. Submitted by the NFF Doc Boisoneau/Northern Connecticut Chapter.

·        4.70 GPA

·        Two-year team captain received the Mitchell Award as Team MVP

·        Senior Council board member and head tour guide at the school

 

·        Maxwell Garvin – OT/DE, South Hadley High School in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Submitted by the NFF Western Massachusetts Chapter.

·        4.28 GPA

·        All-Western Mass and all-league selection

·        National Honor Society member

 

·        Evan Haskins – C/LB, Pelham High School in Pelham, New Hampshire. Submitted by the NFF Joe Yukica/New Hampshire Chapter.

·        4.65 GPA

·        Team captain and all-conference selection

·        Valedictorian and National Merit Scholarship finalist

 

·        Henry Minnick – WR/DB, Masuk High School in Monroe, Connecticut. Submitted by the DeSantis-McDougall/Fairfield County (CT) Chapter.

·        3.85 GPA

·        Team captain and all-conference honoree

·        Member of the National, Science and Business honor societies

 

·        Christopher Ramundo – OL/DE, Bethlehem Central High School in Delmar, New York. Submitted by the NFF Capital District (NY) Chapter.

·        96 average grade

·        Three-year captain and section all-purpose player of the year

·        National Honor Society member and student government participant

 

·        Nick Wamp – WR/S, Skaneateles High School in Skaneateles, New York. Submitted by the NFF Central New York Chapter.

·        92.53 average grade

·        Two-year team captain and first team all-state honoree owns state record for career receiving yards

·        National Honor Society member and AP Scholar

 

South Region Honorees

·        Barclay Briggs – OL/DL, Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston, Texas. Submitted by the NFF Touchdown Club of Houston Chapter.

·        4.29 GPA

·        Team captain and three-time all-district selection

·        Eagle scout and member of the principal’s honor roll

 

·        Bryson Daily – QB/LB, Abernathy High School in Abernathy, Texas. Submitted by the NFF Texas Tech Chapter.

·        5.10 GPA

·        Team captain and honorable mention all-state selection was two-time district MVP

·        Member of the National Honor Society and academic all-state first team

 

·        Cade Edwards – LB, Cedar Creek High School in Cedar Creek, Texas. Submitted by the NFF Greater Austin (TX) Chapter.

·        4.00 GPA

·        First team all-state selection and district player of the year

·        Member of the National Honor Society and the student council

 

·        Michael Fangman – C, Naples High School in Naples, Florida. Submitted by the NFF Collier County (FL) Chapter.

·        4.11 GPA

·        Team captain and two-time first team all-state honoree

·        Member of the FCS Leadership club and the high honor roll

 

·        Gabriel Feliciano-Munoz – LB, Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Submitted by the NFF Brian Piccolo/Ft. Lauderdale (FL) Chapter.

·        5.17 GPA

·        Team captain and conference all-star who helped team to a state title

·        President of the National Math Honor Society

 

·        Jonathan Gage Glover – DE, Forrest County Agricultural High School in Brooklyn, Mississippi. Submitted by the NFF Mississippi Gulf Coast Chapter.

·        3.67 GPA

·        Team captain and first team all-district selection

·        Four-year honor roll member and volunteer at Civitan Camp

 

·        Gabriel Hollingsworth – QB, Ronald W. Reagan High School in Pfafftown, North Carolina. Submitted by the NFF Corrigan/Faircloth (NC) Chapter.

·        4.02 GPA

·        County player of the year and three-year team captain

·        Member of the National and Latin honor societies

 

·        Robert Hudson III – DB, De La Salle High School in New Orleans, Louisiana. Submitted by the NFF Allstate Sugar Bowl (LA) Chapter.

·        4.75 GPA

·        Team captain and two-time academic all-state honoree

·        Salutatorian of his class and member of the National Honor Society

 

·        Will Kaylor – RB/S, Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, Tennessee. Submitted by the NFF Middle Tennessee Chapter.

·        4.36 GPA

·        Two-year letterman helped team finish as state runner-up

·        Class valedictorian and member of the National Honor Society

 

·        Carrington Kelsey – DB, Briarcrest Christian School in Eads, Tennessee. Submitted by the NFF Memphis Chapter.

·        5.36 GPA

·        Two-year team captain and three-time all-region selection

·        Student body president, AP Scholar and National Honor Society member

 

·        Ty Russell Lolley – RB/DB/K, Cedar Creek School in Ruston, Louisiana. Submitted by the NFF S.M. McNaughton (LA) Chapter.

·        4.00 GPA

·        First team all-district kicker and honorable mention defensive back

·        Class valedictorian and National Honor Society member

 

·        Cole McBrayer – QB, Tennessee High School in Bristol, Tennessee. Submitted by the NFF Mountain Empire (TN) Chapter.

·        4.00 GPA

·        Team captain and conference offensive player of the year

·        Valedictorian was a member of the student council and National Honor Society

 

·        Jared Nation – OL, Callaway High School in Hogansville, Georgia. Submitted by the Touchdown Club of Atlanta-NFF Chapter.

·        4.64 GPA

·        Four-year letterman received school’s High School Heisman Scholarship

·        Valedictorian, National Honor Society member and Presbyterian College Junior Fellow Scholar

 

·        Clarke Pino – WR/LB, Trinity Christian Academy in Addison, Texas. Submitted by the NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas Chapter.

·        4.29 GPA

·        Team captain, all-state selection and district defensive co-MVP

·        National Honor Society member and academic all-state honoree

 

·        Zeke Rankin – K/P, Alcoa High School in Alcoa, Tennessee. Submitted by the NFF East Tennessee Chapter.

·        4.00 GPA

 


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