For the first time ever, FloridaHSFootball.com is giving fans a chance to vote for Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and Coach of the Year in each classification as part of our 2021 All-State honors.
From now until 9 p.m. ET on Thursday, Feb. 17, you can vote once per hour, per device to keep the integrity of the poll legitimate and fair for everyone.
Here are the nominees for each category and polls for you to vote in for Class 7A. Please remember to click the share buttons above to share this with your friends and family so they can participate in the fan polls as well.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR NOMINEES
RB Cedric “C.J.” Baxter, Jr., Orlando Edgewater
One of the most explosive playmakers for the Eagles, Baxter rushed 202 times on the ground for 1,718 yards and found the endzone 26 times while leading Edgewater to the Class 7A Regional Semifinals during the 2021 season.
RB Jaylon Glover, Sr., Lakeland Lake Gibson
A very explosive running back, Glover dominated opposing offenses at will with the ball with 312 carries for 2,377 yards rushing and 29 touchdowns in the 12 games he played in during the 2021 season, all the while helping lead the Braves to the Class 7A State Semifinals.
UTL Quan Lee, Sr., Gainesville Buchholz
A Mr. Do Everything for the Bobcats, Lee certainly stood out once again in the 2021 campaign for the 12-2 Bobcats hauling for 48 catches for 928 yards and 12 touchdowns, while carrying the ball 25 times for 226 yards and 4 more touchdowns. If that were not enough for Lee’s resume, he added four punt return touchdowns on special teams to his 2021 total of Mr. Do Everything, helping lead Buchholz to the Class 7A State Semifinals for the first time since the 1991 season.
QB Zion Turner, Sr., Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas
The leader of the Raiders’ offensive for the last three seasons, his senior year campaign turned out to be the best for Turner, going 130-of-191 passing for a 68% completion percentage for 2,103 yards, 25 touchdowns, and only throwing 5 interceptions in all 15 games played. Turner also carried the ball 77 times for 382 yards rushing and 12 more touchdowns, leading the Raiders to their third straight Class 7A State Championship.
QB Xavione’ Washington, Jr., Tampa Bay Tech
Only in his junior year, Washington was hugely instrumental for the Titans in reaching their first-ever state championship game appearance in school history, going 159-of-227 passing for 2,464 yards, 24 touchdowns, and having only 9 passes intercepted in all 15 games played. Washington also rushed 149 times for 526 yards and 8 touchdowns.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR NOMINEES
ATH Ben Bogle, Sr., Ponte Vedra Nease
Playing primarily at the linebacker position, Bogle was a contributor in multiple spots on the field for the Panthers as they made their deepest playoff run since reaching the Class 4A State Championship game in 2007. Bogle finished the season with a state-leading 202 tackles, which 150 of those tackles were made solo, collected 19 sacks, made 33 tackles for a loss, intercepted 2 passes, forced 6 fumbles while recovering 5 fumbles, blocking one punt, and then blocking three kicks in consecutive weeks during the postseason, two of them proving to help win games on the road over Spruce Creek and Niceville in the Class 7A Regional playoffs.
DL Keyon Clark, Sr., Tampa Bay Tech
An instrumental leader for the Titans defense, Clark wreaked havoc on opposing offenses recording 17 sacks and 36 tackles for loss while collecting 75 tackles. Clark also forced 2 fumbles while recovering 2 fumbles during the 2021 season that led them to the Class 7A State Championship game.
DL Nyjalik Kelly, Sr., Fort Lauderdale Dillard
Although injuries forced Kelly to miss a few games this season, he made up for it with a great campaign to finish his senior year with 58 total tackles, 20 tackles for loss while collecting 12 sacks in helping lead the Panthers to the Class 7A Regional Semifinals.
DB King Mack, Jr., Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas
Only in his junior year, Mack made his presence known to opposing offenses that the Raiders went up against racking 54 tackles, 4 interceptions, batting down three more passes, forcing a fumble, and recovering a fumble as the Raiders won their third straight Class 7A State Championship.
DL Kyrie Samuel, Sr., Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas
Samuel is a disruptive tackle and made his presence known all season long for the Raiders, racking up 43 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and collecting up 6 sacks, 1 quarterback hurry, batting down a pass, forcing a fumble, and recovering a fumble that helped lead to a third straight Class 7A State Championship.
COACH OF THE YEAR NOMINEES
Keith Barefield Jr., Lakeland Lake Gibson
In his first season as head coach for the Braves, Barefield guided his team through a very tough schedule that resulted in a 5-3 record, clinching the District 7A-5 Championship and claiming wins over Lakeland twice this season, and reaching the Class 7A State Semifinals before falling to eventual Class 7A State Runner-up, Tampa Bay Tech.
Collin Drafts, Ponte Vedra Nease
Drafts helped orchestrated one of the most improbable playoff runs in the entire state during the 2021 season as the No. 7 seed in the Class 7A-Region 1 bracket, upsetting No. 2 seed Port Orange Spruce Creek and No. 3 seed Niceville before falling to No. 1 seed Buchholz in the Class 7A Regional Finals. Nease finished the 2021 season with a 9-4 overall record and just missed out on the District 7A-3 Championship by just one point.
Roger Harriott, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas
In his seventh season as the head coach of the Raiders, the St. Thomas Aquinas alum has guided the Raiders to a state championship game in six of those seasons winning five of those state championships including the last three Class 7A State Championships. The only loss for the Raiders this season came on a last-second scheduled game with Class 6A State Champion, Tampa Jesuit, finishing the 2021 season with a 14-1 overall record. The Raiders now have 13 overall football state championships in school history, the most by any school in the state.
Jayson Roberts, Tampa Bay Tech
After three misses of not advancing to the state semifinals in 2014, 2017, and 2020, Roberts finally got his team over the hump on the fourth try reaching the state semifinals for the first time in school history, guiding the Titans to a victory of Lakeland Lake Gibson to reach the team’s first-ever state championship in school history. Although the Titans fell in the Class 7A State Championship game to Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas, their 14-1 record goes down as the best in school history and cements Roberts’ name as one of the best in Hillsborough County and in the state as of now.
Mark Whittemore, Gainesville Buchholz
Whittemore is a legacy coach meaning he is coaching where he played high school football as a Buchholz alum. Back in 1990, Whittemore was a wide receiver on the team that led the Bobcats to their first and only state championship in school history. However, now as head coach, he did something that no coach has been able to do since 1991 and that was to get Buchholz back in contention for a state championship, guiding them to their first state semifinal appearance in 30 years. Buchholz played a tough schedule that included only one loss in the regular season to back-to-back Class 4A State Champion Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons while collecting big wins over Class 4A Jacksonville Bolles and Class 8A St. Johns Bartram Trail while winning the District 7A-2 Championship. The Bobcats finished the 2021 season with a 12-2 overall record.