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Skyline's Max Browne Named Player of the Year, Highlighted in USA Today

The Sammamish senior and Spartan QB was "ambushed" by Seattle Seahawks rookie Russell Wilson with the Gatorade honor yesterday.

Skyline senior Max Browne grabbed a national spotlight along with the honor of being named Gatorade National Football Player of the Year yesterday.

Browne, was surprised with the award by Russell Wilson, a Seahawks rookie, USA today reports.

The No. 1 ranked player is recognized on the Player of the year website in this news release:

Athletic Excellence: The 6-foot-5, 218-pound senior quarterback led the Skyline High School Spartans to a 14-0 record and the Class 4A Washington state championship this past season. Browne passed for 4,526 yards and 49 touchdowns, completing 277 of 377 attempts, while throwing just five interceptions. The 2011-12 Gatorade Washington Football Player of the Year, Browne threw for 12,947 career passing yards and has broken the state record for career completions with 882, eclipsing the mark of 787 set by 2006-07 Gatorade Washington Football Player of the year and current Detroit Lions quarterback Kellen Moore. Browne has verbally committed to play football on an athletic scholarship at the University of Southern California beginning in fall 2013.

Academic Achievement: Browne has maintained a 3.50 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary Character: A devoted member of his church community, he has volunteered locally on behalf the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and Generation Joy.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Browne as the nation’s best high school football player. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Browne from more than 1.1 million high school football players nationwide. Browne is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special afternoon ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.

"He is one of the best talents I’ve ever seen," said Scott Pelluer, former New Orleans Saints linebacker and longtime Pac-12 defensive coach. "His footwork, mobility, decision-making and accuracy are incredible. He never forces it. I coached at Boise State, University of Washington and University of Arizona and I’m a defensive guy. I’ve seen a lot of QBs. He has that knack. That feel. Truly amazing. Plus, he's such a wonderful kid and great leader. No ego. A class act. And so competitive. He’ll play in the NFL someday."

Browne has verbally committed to play football on an athletic scholarship at the University of Southern California beginning in the fall of 2013.

“Without question, Max is deserving of recognition as the nation’s best high school football player based on his statistics on the field and the impact his accomplishments have had on Skyline’s success,” said Gatorade Vice President, Brand Marketing Morgan Flatley. “But he is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young athletes of what a leader and a student-athlete should be. He represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient.”

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by USA TODAY High School Sports and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Former notable Gatorade National Players of the Year include:

  •   Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning

  •   WNBA all-time leading scorer and rebounder Lisa Leslie

  •   NFL all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith

  •   Kansas City Royals Cy Young award-winner Zach Grienke

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