COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association has announced the finalists for the 2022 Ohio Mr. Football Award. The winner will be announced next Thursday afternoon in Canton prior to the start of the OHSAA football state championships.
The OPSWA district chairpersons and officers have selected seven outstanding student-athletes as finalists for the 2022 Ohio Mr. Football Award. The voting process is nearly identical to that used to determine the Heisman Trophy winner in college football.
Voting is currently underway for the 218 registered OPSWA members and will end at noon on Monday, Nov. 28.
Ohio’s Mr. Football was selected by the Associated Press from 1987-2016. Since 2017 it has been presented by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association.
The OPSWA All-Ohio teams will begin being released on Monday, December 5.
2022 Ohio Mr. Football Nominees
Finalists listed in alphabetical order.
OPSWA membership voting ends at noon Monday, November 28.
Winner announced Thursday, December 1.
Darreon Fair, Cleveland Heights, 5-11, 175, sr., QB
The Northeast Lakes District Division I Offensive Player of the Year scored 40 total TDs and led the Tigers to a 9-1 record. He rushed for 1,318 yards and 29 TDs on 116 attempts and threw for 644 yards and 11 TDs on 41-of-75 passing.
CJ Hester, Wyoming, 5-11, 190, SR, RB/DB
Three-time Southwest District Division IV Offensive Player of the Year carried the ball 228 times for 2,081 yards (9.1 yards per carry) and 33 TDs in the regular season as the Cowboys finished undefeated and No. 2 in the final AP Poll. Currently has 2,967 yards and 46 TDs on 331 carries for a top-seeded D-IV state semifinalist. Among the school records he set this year were most rushing yards in a game (351), most rushing TDs in a game (7) and most points scored in a game (42). The Western Michigan recruit has rushed for 6,951 yards in his career and has 110 total TDs.
Diore Hubbard, Gahanna Lincoln, 5-11, 185, jr., RB.
Through 14 games the Central District Division I Offensive Player of the Year has rushed for 2,306 yards on 309 carries (7.5 average), has 287 yards receiving on 22 receptions and has 29 total TDs for a top-seeded Division I state semifinalist.
Jordan Marshall, Moeller, 5-11 200, jr., RB
Carried the ball 161 times for 1,290 yards (7.9 yds per carry) and 20 TDs and caught 16 passes for 278 yards and four TDs in the regular season. Currently has 1,796 yards and 27 TDs on 217 carries for a top-seeded Division I state semifinalist. Named GCL South Player of the Year and Southwest District Division I Offensive Player of the Year. Four-star recruit and one of the country’s Top 10 junior running back prospects according to 247sports.com.
Lamar Sperling, Akron Archbishop Hoban, 5-10, 190, sr., RB
The Northeast Inland District Division II Offensive Player of the Year has logged 339 carries, 3,348 rushing yards and 51 rushing touchdowns in 14 games. The Buffalo recruit ran for 2,934 yards and 41 TDs in 16 games last year.
Connor Walendzak, Perrysburg, 5-11, 195, sr., RB
Toledo recruit and Northwest District Division I Offensive Player of the Year ran 166 times for 1,320 yards and 18 touchdowns in the regular season. Also finished with 102 tackles (14.5 for loss), 3.5 sacks, one interception and three forced fumbles. Was named Northern Lakes League Player of the Year and first team at running back and linebacker. Selected All-Ohio first team running back in 2020 and second team in 2021.
Mason Wolfe, Millersburg West Holmes, 6-3, 190, sr., QB
The East District Division IV Offensive Player of the Year completed 137-of-195 passes (70.3% completion) for 2,511 yards, 34 TDs and only 2 INTs. Added another three rushing TDs for the Knights who finished the regular season 10-0 and ranked No. 3 in Division IV state poll. Directed an offense that averaged 51 ppg.
Information about the OPSWA is available at: https://www.ohsaa.org/news/OPSWA
Ohio Mr. Football Winners (including college choice):
1987: Buster Howe, RB-DB-K-P, Zanesville, Ohio State
1988: Robert Smith, RB, Euclid, Ohio State
1989: Robert Smith, RB, Euclid, Ohio State
1990: Bobby Hoying, QB, St. Henry, Ohio State
1991: Derek Kidwell, QB-DE, Fostoria, Bowling Green
1992: Marc Edwards, RB-LB, Norwood, Notre Dame
1993: Curtis Enis, RB-LB, Mississinawa Valley, Penn State
1994: Charles Woodson, DB-RB, Fremont Ross, Michigan
1995: Andy Katzenmoyer, LB, Westerville South, Ohio State
1996: Derek Combs, RB-DB-KR, Grove City, Ohio State
1997: Tony Fisher, RB, Euclid, Notre Dame
1998: Ryan Brewer, RB, Troy, South Carolina
1999: Bam Childress, DB-WR-KR, Bedford St. Peter Chanel, Ohio State
2000: Jeff Backes, RB-DB, Upper Arlington, Northwestern
2001: Maurice Clarett, RB, Warren G. Harding, Ohio State
2002: Ben Mauk, QB, Kenton, Wake Forest/Cincinnati
2003: Ray Williams, RB, Cleveland Benedictine, West Virginia
2004: Tyrell Sutton, RB, Archbishop Hoban, Northwestern
2005: Delone Carter, RB, Copley, Syracuse
2006: Brandon Saine, RB, Piqua, Ohio State
2007: Bart Tanski, QB, Mentor, Bowling Green
2008: Erick Howard, RB, North Canton Hoover, Akron
2009: Erick Howard, RB, North Canton Hoover, Akron
2010: Akise Teague, RB-DB-KR, Youngstown Ursuline, Cincinnati
2011: Maty Mauk, QB, Kenton, Missouri/Eastern Kentucky
2012: Mitch Trubisky, QB, Mentor, North Carolina
2013: Dante Booker Jr., LB, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, Ohio State
2014: Joe Burrow, QB, Athens, Ohio State, Louisiana State
2015: Keishaun Sims, RB-DB, Massillon Perry, Ashland University
2016: Michael Warren, RB, Toledo Central Catholic, University of Cincinnati
2017: Joey Baughman, QB, Wadsworth, Elon University
2018: Cade Stover, SS-RB, Lexington, Ohio State University
2019: Evan Prater, QB, Cincinnati Wyoming, University of Cincinnati
2020: Corey Kiner, RB, Cincinnati Roger Bacon, Louisiana State
2021: Drew Allar, QB, Medina, Penn State