MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WRCB) -- Five Chattanooga area football players were named Thursday as finalists for the 2012 TSSAA Mr. Football Awards.
Three of the five finalists, Boyd-Buchanan's Malik Brewer (Class A), Howard's Brandon Walters (Class AA) and Bradley Central's Austin Sanders (Class AAA), are up for Lineman of the Year.
South Pittsburg's Demetric Johnson is a finalist for Class 1A Back of the Year, while Baylor's Rafael Gaglianone is one of three overall finalists for Kicker of the Year.
Brewer, a 6-foot-3, 320-pound two-way tackle, has anchored a Boyd-Buchanan offensive line that has opened holes for quarterback Jim Cardwell and running back Rance Harden to the tune of more than 1,700 yards rushing this season. The senior has also been a disruptive force along the defensive front for a unit that has pitched three shutouts and allowed less than 12 points a game.
At 6-foot-8 and 280 pounds, Walters enjoyed most of his early prep success on the hardwood. However, the Howard senior had a breakout year this fall on the gridiron, earning recruiting interest from several SEC schools, including Tennessee. Walters leads the Chattanooga area with 27 tackles for a loss, and is among the area leaders with 98 total tackles (83 solo) and 11.5 sacks.
Bradley Central's Sanders has been the area's biggest lineman prospect since verbally committing to Tennessee last August. The 6-foot-6, 290-pound senior was the main bulldozer on an offensive line that opened holes for dual-threat quarterback Bryce Copeland and running back Logan Fetzner during the Bears' run to the Class 6A playoffs.
Johnson, who goes by the nickname "Little Man," has been one of the area's most electrifying players in each of the last three years. The senior running back boasts some truly eye-popping numbers, including a ridiculous average of nearly 15 yards per carry. Through 11 games, Johnson has racked up 1,688 yards and an area-best 29 rushing touchdowns.
Gaglianone is the latest in Baylor's line of Brazilian imports at kicker. The junior is following the footsteps of University of Tennessee at Chattanooga signee and Baylor grad Henrique Ribeiro, who was named the TSSAA Kicker of the Year in 2011.
Gaglianone is 12-for-15 on field goal attempts this season, including two from 50-plus yards, and has picked up heavy interest from BCS conference schools in recent weeks, including LSU, Ohio State, BUY and Duke.
This year's Mr. Football winners will be announced at the TSSAA's annual award banquet on Monday, November 26 in Murfreesboro.
2012 Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Finalists
CLASS A LINEMAN
Malik Brewer, Boyd Buchanan
Tyler Coen, Gordonsville
Tanner Martin, Friendship Christian
CLASS AA LINEMAN
Brett Kendrick, CAK
Thomas Loy, Alcoa
Brandon Walters, Howard
CLASS AAA LINEMAN
Frank Herron, Memphis Central
Austin Sanders, Bradley Central
Logan Teichmann, Brentwood
Chase Hensley, USJ
Walker Jones, ECS
Dylan Young, St. George's
Derek Barnett, Brentwood Academy
Peyton Klawinski, MUS
Michael Sawyers, Ensworth
CLASS A BACK
Demetric Johnson, South Pittsburg
Will McKamey, Grace Christian
Jacob Warbritton, Huntingdon
CLASS AA BACK
Al Cobb, Giles County
Charlie High, CAK
Johnston White, Covington
CLASS AAA BACK
Mark Dodson, Whitehaven
Jalen Hurd, Beech
Brent Stockstill, Siegel
Todd Kelly, Webb School of Knoxville
Brent Rooker, ECS
Powers Spencer, USJ
Cornelius Elder, Ensworth
Jalen Ramsey, Brentwood Academy
Jordan Rodgers, MUS
KICKER OF THE YEAR
Rafael Gaglianone, Baylor
Jonathan King, Farragut
C.J. Stafford, Houston