Six of Mississippi's top players will be recognized as "Mr. Football" in their respective classifications in a partnership with the New Orleans Saints, Mississippi Association of Coaches and Mississippi High School Activities Association.
The New Orleans Saints "Mr. Football" selections from Class 6A, 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A will be recognized at a banquet in Starkville on Thursday, Dec. 1. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Gridiron Classic State Football Championships are set for Dec. 2-3 at Davis Wade Stadium on the campus of Mississippi State University in Starkville.
"As proponents of youth football, we are thrilled to participate in the recognition of the top players in the state of Mississippi," said Saints President Dennis Lauscha. "Annually, we are very active with numerous youth program visits all across the state of Mississippi. We also recognize that many high school coaches from Mississippi participate in the various coaching clinics that we host throughout the year and it's very natural that we are supportive of the missions of the Mississippi Association of Coaches and Mississippi High School Activities Association. We are very proud of our long history of having some of the very finest men, both professionally and personally, that Mississippi high schools have produced, including Archie Manning, Freddie McAfee, Deuce McAllister and so many other fine players, as members of the Saints family and we look forward to the next generations following in their footsteps."
The inaugural winners will be announced Nov. 10.
"We are extremely excited to join with our Mississippi Association of Coaches and the New Orleans Saints to recognize our outstanding players in the sport of football," said Don Hinton, executive director of the Mississippi High School Activities Association. "Every year our state produces some of the best players in the country and this is a great way to recognize them for their accomplishments on the gridiron. The banquet, in conjunction with our six state football championship games, will be a great week to celebrate the close of a terrific football season."
Mississippi's Mr. Football recipients will be chosen by a committee made up of coaches and media from around the state and will be based entirely on regular season games. Following preliminary discussions in October, the committee will gather next week to make their selections of the six winners.
"I thought the process of using coaches and media from around the state would give us a good barometer on assessing the players from each classification," said Johnny Mims, executive director of the Mississippi Association of Coaches, which oversees the selection process. "We want people to know coaches from around the state and from each classification were involved. I think the MAC's familiarity with the selection of our All-Star teams gives us a good start with coming up with this process to choose the best player in each class. With the involvement of the New Orleans Saints and the support of everyone involved, I think this award is going to be as prestigious as it gets for high school football players in Mississippi."