A national player of the year award. A surprise visit by former Virginia and NFL running back Tiki Barber. That's how incoming UVa recruit Andrew Brown spent his Wednesday morning.
Brown was named the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year at a ceremony at Oscar Smith High School Wednesday morning. Barber was on hand to present Brown -- a 6-4, 290-lb. defensive tackle who will enroll at UVa next semester -- with the award.
"I never would have thought I would be right here, right now," Brown said after the ceremony. "Plus this is like a surprise. Nobody told me this was going to happen. So it's all just happening at one time, and I'm taking it all it."
Brown has racked up 93 tackles (including 28 for a loss, and 18 sacks), with eight forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries for 14-0 Oscar Smith this season. The Tigers face unbeaten Centreville for the 6A state championship on Saturday at UVa's Scott Stadium.
Brown is regarded as a five-star recruit, and the top defensive tackle prospect in the country in the class of 2014. He committed to UVa last summer, and will enroll at the school for the upcoming spring semester.
"I'm filling out my applications now to get my housing and meal plan straight right now. And I just can't wait," Brown said. "I'm embarking on a new journey in my life, and it's going to be a great one."
Previous Gatorade National Player of the Year winners include big-name NFL stars like Emmitt Smith and Peyton Manning, as well as former UVa running back Terry Kirby.
Brown is just the second defensive player to win the award, joining linebacker Curtis Bray, who won in 1987.
"Oh, man. It feels special," Brown said. "I feel like I'm cut from a different cloth right now."
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