Positional/Regional State FB POYs

State DB of the Year Clark Phillips of La Habra tied a state record as a sophomore and never looked back. At right is NorCal Player of the Year Shamar Garrett of Concord De La Salle. Photos: Jim McCormack / For OC Sports Zone & David Gershon / SportStars.

The final three posts for the 41st annual Cal-Hi Sports All-State Football Teams are still being worked on, but in advance of that we are getting out the winning names of several honors that that have been added to our archives and reflect the most outstanding players in the state according to position (QBs, RBs, Ends, Linemen, LBs & DB) plus region (NorCal & SoCal). Thanks to managing editor Ronnie Flores, we also have done the research to have positional players of the year going back to the 1950s.

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To order a commemorative, official All-State Football patch for those who’ve been named to one of our all-state teams for the 2019 season, go to this link from our friends at Billy Tees, which has been the official merchandiser of the CIF for many years.

2019 State Quarterback of the Year & 2019 SoCal Player of the Year:
D.J. Uiagalelei (St. John Bosco, Bellflower) Sr.

This just matches the already announced Mr. Football State Player of the Year selection for D.J., who flew out to California from his college town (Clemson, S.C.) just this weekend to attend Bosco’s annual team banquet. It’s unfortunate in a way that neither of these two listings can go to Santa Ana Mater Dei’s Bryce Young, who was sensational during the 2019 season as well. It’s just that it wouldn’t make sense to go against the Mr. Football honor for the top QB or top SoCal award. Young already is enrolled at Alabama. D.J. also was the QB of the Year for 2018 since he was considered Bosco’s No. 1 player for that season as well. Mater Dei’s Bru McCoy was the Mr. Football winner. The Monarchs also had the State QB of the Year in 2016 and 2017 with J.T. Daniels. The last time the SoCal Player of the Year was not Mr. Football was 2015 when it went to junior running back Najee Harris of Antioch.

For all-time list of SoCal Players of the Year, CLICK HERE.
For all-time list of State QBs of the Year, CLICK HERE.

2019 NorCal Player of the Year:
Shamar Garrett (De La Salle, Concord)

DLS has often had the NorCal player of the year and Garrett certainly holds up to the best of the famed program’s leading players if you go back through the years. He’s actually more of a true two-way standout on offense and defense than many of the Spartans’ recent all-state first team picks going back to their best teams during the 151-game winning streak (1998 to 2003). Following up LB-RB Henry To’oto’o from last year as the top NorCal player, Garrett led De La Salle to another CIF North Coast Section D1 title and to another appearance in the CIF Open Division state final. In that loss to St. John Bosco, Garrett ran for 113 yards and three TDs and he had 12 tackles with a forced fumble on defense. For the season, he also rushed for 1,141 yards and 19 TDs and he caught 16 passes for 258 yards and two other scores. He will play next at San Jose State.

For all-time list of NorCal Players of the Year, CLICK HERE.

Kendall Milton’s first honor from Cal-Hi Sports came for the 2016-17 year as State Frosh Athlete of Year. Photo: Mark Tennis.

2019 State Running Back of the Year:
Kendall Milton (Buchanan, Clovis)

There were other backs that had a lot more yards and touchdowns than Kendall this season, but he did well in Buchanan’s toughest games and also missed a couple of games with an injury. Bottom line, though, is that with his size and speed that Milton has been one of the most impressive RBs for the Class of 2020 in the nation. Milton also had a stellar four-year career playing for the Bears. After averaging more than 10 yards per carry and 157 yards in the games he played, Milton had 1,261 yards and 20 TDs rushing. The University of Georgia recruit wrapped up his career with 70 rushing TDs and more than 4,000 yards. Milton is the second State RB of the Year from the CIF Central Section in three years following Kazmeir Allen of Tulare for 2017. You have to go back to Steve Wofford of Bakersfield for 1994 to find the next one on the list.

For all-time list of State RBs of the Year, CLICK HERE.

2019 State End of the Year:
John Humphreys (Corona del Mar, Newport Beach)

We’re calling it “End” of the Year because tight ends would count for it along with receivers and ironically Corona del Mar probably would have the state’s Tight End of the Year as well for the 2019 season with teammate Mark Redman. Humphreys would be the second straight winner in this category from Orange County following Mr. Football Bru McCoy from last season. The previous OC winner before that, though, would be Thomas Duarte of Mater Dei for 2012. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound Humphreys set the state record with 78 career TD catches, nearly tied the state record this season with 32 TD catches and he ended in the top five all-time for career receiving yards (5,118) and career catches (287). And oh yes, he played for a Sea Kings’ team that went 16-0 and won the CIF Division 1-A state title. John will play next at Stanford.

For all-time list of State Ends of the Year, CLICK HERE.

2019 State Lineman of the Year:
Myles Murao (Mater Dei, Santa Ana)

For coming back strong this school year after suffering a season-ending knee injury last year during a game against JSerra (San Juan Capistrano), we’re going with Myles for this honor. He was a starter on the offensive line as a sophomore and was sophomore all-state two years ago on the other side of the offensive line from Tommy Brown, who is now listed as the 2017 Lineman of the Year. The Monarchs were unbeaten that season, of course, and were No. 1 in the nation. Murao does an exceptionally great job pass blocking and should do the same next at the University of Washington. Note that defensive linemen can also win this one and last year it would have gone to Kayvon Thibodeaux of Westlake Village Oaks Christian.

For all-time list of State Linemen of the Year, CLICK HERE.

Justin Flowe has been the most highly regarded linebacker from California nationally since D.J. Williams was playing at De La Salle of Concord from 1999 or Vontaze Burfict of Corona Centennial from 2008. Photo: Hudl.com.

2019 State Linebacker of the Year:
Justin Flowe (Upland)

Another really easy one to list since Justin already has been named as the State Defensive Player of the Year. He also was named to our All-Decade Team for the 2010s, joining D.J. Uiagelelei and Bryce Young as the only members of that team from the 2019 season. Flowe, who has signed with Oregon, also has already been picked as the winner of the Dick Butkus Award given to the nation’s best high school linebacker. The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder produced on the field, too, and wasn’t just a reputation guy. He had 145 tackles as a junior and 123 as a senior (with one less game). Over the two seasons, Justin also had 35 tackles for loss.

For all-time list of State LBs of the Year,

2019 State Defensive Back of the Year:
Clark Phillips (La Habra)

Orange County gets another one with Phillips to go with Humphries and Murao. We first started following the power-packed 5-foot-10, 180-pound cornerback as a sophomore when he tied a state record with three interception return TDs in one game. Phillips had six interceptions (two returned for scores), three kick return scores and he caught 10 TD passes this season for the Highlanders. He already has been chosen as the OC Varsity Defensive Player of the Year (pretty hard to do with Mater Dei players in the mix). Up next for Clark will be playing time at the University of Utah. He’s the first positional DB of the Year ever from La Habra, but is the second in a row from Orange County, following Akili Arnold in 2018 and Olaijah Griffin in 2017 (both from Mission Viejo)

For all-time list of State DBs of the Year, CLICK HERE.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports

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