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NFF Proudly Announces 2022 TEAM OF DISTINCTION

by | Jun 23, 2022 | Football Blogs, Headlines | 0 comments

IRVING, Texas (June 23, 2022) – From a pool of 3,500 scholar-athletes from a nationwide Chapter Network, the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced today the 82 members of the 2022 NFF Team of Distinction. As part of its mission to promote the scholar-athlete ideal, the initiative allows the NFF to honor the top high school scholar-athletes from around the country as the best and the brightest at the local level while highlighting the work of the NFF Chapter Network.

The members of the team all played their final high school football season during the 2021-22 school year. As part of the award, all of the honorees will be part of a permanent digital display at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

Criteria to make the team include but are not limited to academic achievement, athletic accolades and community involvement. Each chapter is limited to one honoree, distinguishing them as the top scholar-athlete from all the high schools covered by the chapter.

“This initiative allows us to shine a national spotlight on some of the most deserving high school student-athletes honored at the local level by our expansive Chapter Network,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “This honor is one of the most prestigious national awards that a high school player can receive. We would like to congratulate all 82 honorees for their success on and off the field, especially with the challenges caused by the pandemic during their senior year. We also want to salute all of our NFF Chapters who continue to play an important role in promoting football in their communities.”

Since 1954, the NFF Chapters have played an integral role in supporting and promoting the game of football at the amateur level while honoring the top scholar-athletes in their local areas. With more than 12,000 members, the nationwide NFF Chapter Network impacts more than 500,000 student-athletes at 5,000 high schools across the country each year.

The centerpiece of the Chapter Network’s efforts are the annual chapter awards banquets, which recognize more than 3,500 of the nation’s top scholar-athletes and distribute more than $1 million in scholarships.

2022 NFF Team of Distinction Notes
82 Honorees
35 States Represented
4.0 Average GPA
68 Team Captains
46 All-State Selections
6 Valedictorians
53 National Honor Society Members
6 National Merit Finalists and Honorees

East Region Honorees

LeQuint Allen – RB, Millville High School in Millville, New Jersey. Submitted by the NFF South Jersey Chapter.
3.26 GPA
Two-year team captain and first team all-state was New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year
Volunteered at the Millville Midget Football League

Andrew Bardak – LB, St. Anthony’s High School in South Huntington, New York. Submitted by the NFF Suffolk County Chapter (NY).
97.00 average grade
Team captain and first team All-Long Island
National English Honor Society member

Henry Belin IV – QB, Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, New York. Submitted by the NFF New York City Chapter.
91.00 average grade
Team captain and first team all-state was two-time Gatorade POY
Member of the National Honor Society and member of the Student Council

Zaheem Crawford-Patterson – WR/DB, Irvington High School in Irvington, New Jersey. Submitted by the NFF Essex County Chapter (NJ).
3.70 GPA
All-conference and Super Football Conference Young Man of the Year
Member of the National Honor Society and NJSIAA scholar-athlete award recipient

Jake Hall – RB/WR/LB, North Schuylkill High School in Ashland, Pennsylvania. Submitted by the NFF Schuylkill/Pottsville Chapter (PA).
101.90 average grade
Two-year team captain and Mr. Pennsylvania Football Finalist
Member of the National, Math, English, Science and History honor societies

Jahsin Jacobs – DT/E, Paterson Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey. Submitted by the NFF Passaic County Chapter (NJ).
3.60 GPA
Three-time team captain and two-time all-state selection
Member of the National Honor Society and ranked 12th in his graduating class

Patrick LePoidevin – QB/S, Bound Brook High School in Bound Brook, New Jersey. Submitted by the NFF Bill Denny/Rutgers Letterwinners Chapter (NJ).
3.80 GPA
Team captain and all-state selection
Member of the National Honor Society

James Marinello – QB/DB, Morristown-Beard School in Morristown, New Jersey. Submitted by the NFF Greater Morris County Chapter (NJ).
3.84 GPA
Team captain and all-conference selection
Member of the National Honor Society and Class President

Bobby McClosky – QB/S, East Stroudsburg South High School in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Submitted by the NFF Lehigh Valley Chapter (PA).
5.34 GPA
Team captain and EPC North first team offense and defense
Member of the National Honor Society and AP Scholar

Bisi Owens – QB/DB, Glenelg High School in Glenelg, Maryland. Submitted by the NFF Greater Baltimore Chapter.
4.75 GPA
Team captain and all-state selection
Member of the National Honor Society and AP scholar with distinction

Shane Reynolds – RB/LB, Garnet Valley High School in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. Submitted by the NFF Philadelphia Chapter.
3.70 GPA
Team captain and first team all-central league
Member of the National Honor Society who received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy

Brendan Staub – OL/DE/LB, Garden City High School in Garden City, New York. Submitted by the NFF Nassau County Chapter (NY).
102.00 average grade
Team captain and All-Long Island linebacker
Member of the National Honor Society and National Merit Commended Scholar

Joshua Waite – OL/DL, Central High School in Martinsburg, Pennsylvania. Submitted by the NFF Central Pennsylvania Chapter.
96.93 average grade
Team captain and two-time all-state guard and tackle
Member of the National Honor Society and High Honor Roll four years

Danny Wersching – QB, Hightstown High School in Hightstown, New Jersey. Submitted by the NFF Delaware Valley Chapter (NJ).
3.80 GPA
Two-time team captain and second team all-conference
Member of the National Honor Society and 14-time honor roll

Caden Whaling – RB, Rye High School in Rye, New York. Submitted by the NFF Westchester Chapter (NY).
4.27 GPA
Two-time team captain and first team all-state
Honor Roll every semester

Midwest Region Honorees

Drew Allar – QB, Medina High School in Medina, Ohio. Submitted by the NFF Mike Cleary/Northeast Ohio Chapter.
3.50 GPA
Team captain and Max Preps Ohio Player of the Year
Medina Honor Roll every semester and graduated early

Carter Bibler – OT/DE, Summit Country Day School in Cincinnati, Ohio. Submitted by the NFF Greater Cincinnati Chapter.
4.59 GPA
Team captain and two-time first team all-league
Member of the National Honor Society and AP Scholar with distinction

Jet Dineen – QB/S, Lawrence Free State High School in Lawrence, Kansas. Submitted by the NFF Bill Snyder Family/Sunflower Chapter (KS).
4.00 GPA
Two-time team captain and Kansas Defensive Player of the Year
Honor Roll member

Zach Gloudeman – OLB/WR, River Valley High School in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Submitted by the NFF Wisconsin Chapter.
3.92 GPA
Team captain and Southwest Wisconsin Conference Offensive Player of the Year
Member of the National Honor Society and senior class president

Patrick Heitert – QB, Christian Brothers College High School in Saint Louis, Missouri. Submitted by the NFF Tom Lombardo/St. Louis Chapter.
4.20 GPA
Team captain and first team all-state
Member of the National Honor Society and member of the Student Council

Blake Horvath – QB, Hilliard Darby High School in Hilliard, Ohio. Submitted by the NFF Columbus Chapter (OH).
4.55 GPA
Team captain and first team all-conference
Member of the National Honor Society and four-year Honor Roll selection

Will Hubert – LB, Papillion High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Submitted by the NFF Nebraska Chapter.
3.90 GPA
Two-time team captain and first team All-Nebraska
Member of the National Honor Society and Leadership Academy

Patrick Isom – DT, Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort, Illinois. Submitted by the NFF Chicago Metro Chapter.
4.91 GPA
Played in State Championship and week nine Defensive Player of the Game
Member of the National Honor Society and perfect 36 on the ACT

Cooper Koers – OL, Indianapolis Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. Submitted by the NFF Central Indiana Chapter.
4.33 GPA
Team Captain and two-time state champion
Member of the National Honor Society and academic all-state

Sam Lee – WR/TE, Toledo Central Catholic High School in Toledo, Ohio. Submitted by the NFF Wistert-Toledo Chapter (OH).
4.20 GPA
First team All-Ohio and first team all-district
Member of the Honor Roll

Jack Nichols – FB/LB, Reitz Memorial High School in Evansville, Indiana. Submitted by the NFF Southern Indiana Chapter.
4.00 GPA
Academic all-state and two-time academic all-city
Member and President of the National Honor Society Chapter

Clay Nielsen – OL/DL, Randolph High School in Randolph, Minnesota. Submitted by the NFF Minnesota Chapter.
97.56 average grade
Two-time team captain and District Lineman of the Year
Valedictorian and Academic and Merit Scholarship recipient

Scott Pearson – QB/RB/LB, Underwood High School in Underwood, Iowa. Submitted by the NFF Iowa Chapter.
3.99 GPA
Two-time team captain and team defensive MVP
Valedictorian and President’s Award for Academic Excellence recipient

Brady Preston – QB, Lafayette Jefferson High School in Lafayette, Indiana. Submitted by the NFF Joe Tiller/Northwest Indiana Chapter.
4.35 GPA
Two-time team captain and top ten in school history passing yards
Member of the National Honor Society and Recipient of the Principal’s Award

Matthew Zhang – WR/P/K, Penn High School in Mishawaka, Indiana. Submitted by the NFF Moose Krause Chapter (IN).
4.45 GPA
Team captain and academic all-state honoree
Member of the National Honor Society and National Merit Scholar Finalist

Northeast Region Honorees

Sam Bawden – OL/DL, Rush-Henrietta High School in Henrietta, New York. Submitted by the NFF Rochester Chapter (NY).
4.00 GPA
Team captain and first team all-county
Member of the National Honor Society and ranks in the top 5% of his class

Logan Briggs – WR/DB, Stafford High School in Stafford Springs, Connecticut. Submitted by the NFF Doc Boisoneau/Northern Connecticut Chapter.
3.90 GPA
Two-time team captain and all-state collection
Member of the National Honor Society and academic all-state

Jacob Calabro – QB/CB, Homer High School in Homer, New York. Submitted by the NFF Central New York Chapter.
98.00 average grade
Team captain and all-state selection
Member of the National Honor Society and high honors in math and science

Andre DePina-Gray – QB/S, St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Submitted by the NFF Emo DiNitto/Rhode Island Chapter.
4.30 GPA
Two-time team captain and Gatorade Player of the Year finalist
Member of the National Honor Society and Young Writer’s Creativity Award recipient

Ben Epstein – LB, Weston High School in Weston, Connecticut. Submitted by the NFF DeSantis/McDougall Fairfield County Chapter (CT).
4.00 GPA
Starting linebacker and Met. Independent Champion
Member of the National Honor Society and AP Scholar Award recipient

Thomas Horton – OL/DL, Bonny Eagle High School in Standish, Maine. Submitted by the NFF State of Maine Chapter.
3.94 GPA
Team captain and first team all-state selection
Member of the National Honor Society and STEM endorsement diploma recipient

Matthew Hughes – OL/DL, Narragansett Regional High School in Templeton, Massachusetts. Submitted by the NFF Joe Mewhiney/Central Massachusetts Chapter.
103.75 average grade
Team Captain and Division 8 all-star
Member of the National and English Honor Societies

Jakob Jackson – OL/DL, South Hadley High School in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Submitted by the NFF Western Massachusetts Chapter.
3.97 GPA
Team captain and Suburban League Defensive Player of the Year
Member of the National Honor Society

Kevin Ma – G/NT, Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts. Submitted by the Jack Grinold/Eastern Massachusetts Chapter.
3.56 GPA
Team captain and NEPSAC New England all-star
AP Scholar with honors and member of the National Latin Exam-Maxima Cum Laude recipient

John O’Keeffe – C, Christian Brothers Academy in Albany, New York. Submitted by the NFF Capital District Chapter (NY).
102.00 average grade
Team captain and Suburban Council League Excellence in Leadership Award recipient
Member of the National Honor Society and National Merit Scholarship program letter of commendation recipient

Slade Postemski – WR/DB, Rutland High School in Rutland, Vermont. Submitted by the NFF Vermont Chapter.
3.69 GPA
Team captain and Vermont Gatorade Player of the Year
Member of the National Honor Society and high honor roll

Colby Ramshaw – TE/WR/LB, Londonderry High School in Londonderry, New Hampshire. Submitted by the NFF Joe Yukica/New Hampshire Chapter.
3.82 GPA
Team captain and first team all-conference honoree
Member of the National and Spanish Honor Societies

Tate Scherer – LB, Robert E. Fitch High School in Groton, Connecticut. Submitted by the NFF Southeastern Connecticut Chapter
4.00 GPA
Team captain and ECC Scholar-Athlete Award recipient
Member of the National Honor Society and three-time Academic Excellence Award recipient

David Wright Jr. – RB, Xavier High School in Middletown, Connecticut. Submitted by the NFF Casey-O’Brien/New Haven Chapter (CT).
4.00 GPA
Connecticut High School Coaches Association Class L All-State and all-state academic team
Member of the National, English, Math, Spanish and Social Studies Honor Societies

South Region Honorees

Caleb Aillet – OL, C.E. Byrd High School in Shreveport, Louisiana. Submitted by the NFF S.M. McNaughton Chapter (LA).
4.00 GPA
All-district selection and LHSAA Academic All-State
Member of the National Honor Society and Mendelevium Society Club

Carter Barksdale – S, Westlake High School in Austin, Texas. Submitted by the NFF Greater Austin Chapter (TX).
99.60 average grade
Team captain, Under Armour All-American and three-time state champion
First team academic all-state and three time academic all-district

Travis Bates – RB, Berkeley Preparatory in Tampa, Florida. Submitted by the NFF Tampa Chapter.
3.80 GPA
Team captain and 2021 Prime Time Preps Offensive Player of the Year
Member of the Dean’s List and Headmaster Honor Roll

Jacob Berven – LB, Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Submitted by the NFF East Tennessee Chapter.
4.35 GPA
Team captain and two-time all-state selection
Member of the National Honor Society and academic award for his class all four years

Chase Blackburn – WR/S, Shallowater High School in Shallowater, Texas. Submitted by the NFF Texas Tech Chapter.
4.12 GPA
All-State Elite Team and all-district safety
Salutatorian and academic all-state

Caleb Cousins – TE/LB, Palmetto Ridge High School in Naples, Florida. Submitted by the NFF Collier County Chapter (FL).
3.30 GPA
Team captain and all-area defensive team
Member of the honor roll and volunteer Pop Warner coach

Joel Crawford – RB, Strake Jesuit College Prep in Houston, Texas. Submitted by the NFF Touchdown Club of Houston Chapter.
4.45 GPA
Team captain and academic all-district
Member of the National Honor Society and student body president

Demetrius Hunter – OL, West Orange Stark High School in Orange, Texas. Submitted by the NFF Golden Triangle Chapter (TX).
4.30 GPA
Team captain and Under Armour All American
Member of the Superintendent and Principal’s Honor Roll and Texas UIL Academic All-State

James Paxton Junkin – QB/DB, Cathedral High School in Natchez, Mississippi. Submitted by the NFF Miss-Lou Chapter (MS).
3.98 GPA
Team captain and defensive Player of the Year
Member of the National Honor Society and Eagle Scout

Jaeden Kinlock – LB, American Heritage High School in Plantation, Florida. Submitted by the NFF Brian Piccolo/Ft. Lauderdale Chapter (FL).
4.58 GPA
Team captain and first team all-state honoree
High academic honors for four years and member of the Black Student Union

George Moretz – LB, Enloe High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. Submitted by the NFFCHOF Bill Dooley Chapter (NC).
4.45 GPA
Team captain and all-conference linebacker
Member of the National Honor Society and an Academic All-American

Pernell Paige II – DB, Miami Killian Senior High School in Miami, Florida. Submitted by the NFF Miami Touchdown Club Chapter.
3.25 GPA
Team captain and played in the Georgia vs. Florida All-Star Game
Member of the National Honor Society

Lance Patterson – WR/SB/R, Mount Tabor High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Submitted by the NFF Corrigan-Faircloth Chapter (NC).
3.66 GPA
Two-time team captain and all-state selection
Member of the National Technical Honor Society and the Black Achievers Club

Colin Peek – S, Frisco Wakeland High School in Frisco, Texas. Submitted by the NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas Chapter.
5.63 GPA
Second team all-district safety and two year letter-winner
Valedictorian and National Merit Finalist

Benjamin James Pledger – University School of Jackson in Jackson, Tennessee. Submitted by the NFF Memphis Chapter.
3.76 GPA
All-state kicker and punter and Kohl’s Honorable Mention All-American
Highest GPA in class and received honors in French

Peyton Powell – OL, Hart County High School in Hartwell, Georgia. Submitted by the NFF University of Georgia Chapter.
3.90 GPA
Two-time team captain and first team all-region AAA
Member of the National Honor Society and AP Academic Award recipient

Jake Roberts – WR/CB, Elizabethton High School in Elizabethton, Tennessee. Submitted by the NFF Mountain Empire Chapter (TN).
4.00 GPA
State Championship MVP and all-state selection
Member of the Honor Roll and top 10% Award recipient

Gunner Schierling – OL/LB, Donelson Christian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee. Submitted by the NFF Middle Tennessee Chapter.
4.40 GPA
Team captain and academic all-state selection
Distinguished Scholar Award recipient and member of the Student Council

Liam Sitz – WR/S/OL, Druid Hills High School in Atlanta, Georgia. Submitted by the Touchdown Club of Atlanta-NFF Chapter.
4.14 GPA
Two-time team captain and two-time team leading tackler
Member of the National Honor Society and AP Scholar with Distinction

Caleb Tolbert – WR/CB, Jesuit High School in New Orleans, Louisiana. Submitted by the NFF Allstate Sugar Bowl Chapter (LA).
4.30 GPA
Three-year varsity starter and led Jesuit to a State Championship
Member of the National Honor Society and the Honor Roll

West Region Honorees

John Addison – LB/FB, Liberty High School in Brentwood, California. Submitted by the NFF Northern California Chapter.
4.00 GPA
Team captain and Bay Valley League Sportsmanship Award recipient
Member of the National Honor Society and College Board National Hispanic Recognition

Aiden Angor – RB/LB, Quartz Hill High School in Lancaster, California. Submitted by the NFF San Fernando Valley Chapter (CA).
4.70 GPA
Team captain and first team All-Golden League Defense
Valedictorian and Principal’s Award recipient

Teddy Beaver – WR/DB, Skyview High School in Vancouver, Washington. Submitted by the NFF Clark County Chapter (WA).
3.95 GPA
Two-time team captain and first team all-league
Member of the Honor Roll and student body vice president

Max Clark – QB, Capital High School in Boise, Idaho. Submitted by the NFF Southern Idaho Chapter.
4.10 GPA
First team all-state and Southern Idaho Conference Offensive Player of the Year
Member of the Honor Roll and All-Conference Academic team

Kyle Crum – QB, Norco High School in Norco, California. Submitted by the Riverside County Chapter (CA).
4.47 GPA
Two-time team captain and Big 8 Offensive MVP
Four-year Honor Roll member and achieved the highest GPA in Riverside County

Thomas DeChesaro – S, Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. Submitted by the NFF Valley of the Sun Chapter (AZ).
4.00 GPA
Team captain and first team all-state selection
Four-year Honor Roll member

Isaiah Dunn – QB, St. Paul High School in Santa Fe Springs, California. Submitted by the NFF Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley Chapter (CA).
4.50 GPA
Three-time team captain was named league MVP
Member of the National Honor Society and National Society of High School Scholars

Connor Goff – DB/WR, Bonney Lake High School in Bonney Lake, Washington. Submitted by the NFF Tacoma-Pierce County Chapter (WA).
3.95 GPA
Two-time team captain and two-time first team all-league defensive back
Member of the National Honor Society and served as class president

Toran Graham – FB/LB, Powell High School in Powell, Wyoming. Submitted by the NFF Wyoming Chapter.
4.03 GPA
Two-time team captain and 3A State Defensive Player of the Year
National Honor Society Chapter vice president

Cody Hagen – WR, Corner Canyon High School in Draper, Utah. Submitted by the NFF Utah Chapter.
4.00 GPA
Team captain and Utah Mr. Football
Valedictorian and academic all-state selection who is fluent in Chinese

Marques Johnson – WR, Liberty High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. Submitted by the NFF Bill Ireland/Las Vegas Chapter.
3.70 GPA
Team captain and Max Preps All-League wide receiver
Member of the National Honor Society and National Society of High School Scholars

Roman Marchetti – LB, Foothill High School in Santa Ana, California. Submitted by the NFF Orange County Chapter (CA).
4.61 GPA
Two-time team captain and All-Orange County first team selection
Member of the National Honor Society and Principal’s Honor Roll every semester

Dominic Montiel – QB, Marshfield High School in Coos Bay, Oregon. Submitted by the NFF Oregon Chapter.
4.00 GPA
Three-time team captain earned first team all-state honors
Valedictorian and student body president

Keegan Patterson – QB, Longmont High School in Longmont, Colorado. Submitted by the NFF Colorado Chapter.
4.00 GPA
Team captain and all-state honoree
4.0 Principal’s award recipient and academic all-state selection

Leighton Tarke – SS, Sutter Union High School in Sutter, California. Submitted by the NFF Sacramento Valley Chapter (CA).
4.00 GPA
Team captain and Butte View League MVP
Class president and president of 4-H Youth Development chapter

Trey White – LB, Eastlake High School in Chula Vista, California. Submitted by the NFF Walter J. Zable/San Diego Chapter.
4.13 GPA
Two-time team captain and 2021 Metro-Mesa Defensive Player of the Year
Honors classes in physics and social sciences and volunteers on campus

Sam Yoon – OL, Loyola High School in Los Angeles, California. Submitted by the NFF Los Angeles Chapter.
4.60 GPA
Team captain and two-time First Team All-Angeles
Class president who received the Summa Cum Laude award on National Latin Exam

About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters in 47 states, NFF programs include the selection and induction of members of the College Football Hall of Fame; the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta; Future For Football; The William V. Campbell Trophy®; the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class Presented by Fidelity Investments; the NFF National High School Academic Excellence Award; and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Catapult, Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Jostens, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the New York Athletic Club, the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation and the Sports Business Journal. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @NFFNetwork and learn more at footballfoundation.org.