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Nick Singleton Named 2021-22 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year

Nick Singleton, a senior running back out of Governor Mifflin High School in Shillington, PA, was named the 2021-22 Gatorade National Football High School Player of the Year.

New York Giants running back and fellow Pennsylvania native Saquon Barkley delivered the news virtually to Singleton and a room full of teammates and supporters on Dec. 14, 2021. Next fall, Singleton will follow in Barkley's footsteps to Pennsylvania State University. 

The award, which recognizes athletic excellence, academic achievement, and exemplary character on and off the field, distinguishes Singleton as the nation’s best high school football player.

The Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which includes coaches, scouts, and media, selected Singleton from the over one million high school football players nationwide. Among Gatorade State Players of the Year, 34 have signed National Letters of Intent to play Division I football, 36 boast a GPA of 3.5 and above, and 36 have volunteered for two or more organizations.

Singleton, a 6-foot, 215-pound senior running back, rushed for 2,043 yards and 41 touchdowns on 165 carries this past season, leading the Mustangs (10-1) to the district championship game. Singleton also caught four passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns and returned a kickoff for another score. He averaged 13.2 yards per touch in 2021 and scored every 3.89 touches.

Singleton is ranked as the top running back recruit in the Class of 2022 by 247Sports. An All-State honoree, he has been selected to play in the 2022 All-American Bowl. 

"Nick Singleton has every single desirable trait at the running position," said Steve Wiltfong, Director of Football Recruiting for 247Sports. "His combination of size, elite speed, elusiveness, and power is rare. There’s a reason he’s our top-ranked prospect at the position. He has the ability to get tough yards and also hit the home run. He’s the type of athlete who could win the 100-meter dash and the shot put in the same track meet."

Off the field, Singleton maintains a 3.51 GPA and has volunteered extensively. He works as a volunteer coach for Bronco’s "Little Kids" football camps and practices, is an avid participant in Mifflin’s elementary school literacy outreach program, and has participated in community cleanup initiatives.

"Nick is mature, focused, hard-working, and has all the attributes coaches covet as a student and leader," Wiltfong said. "Tangibles. Intangibles. This young man has it all."

Past Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award winners have won six NFL MVP awards and appeared in 31 Pro Bowls. Six winners have been taken in the first round of the NFL Draft and two have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"There’s a reason the Gatorade Player of the Year award is the most prestigious award in high school sports," said Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager Brett O’Brien. "Winners have to be just as impressive on the field as they are in the classroom and in their community, so it’s no surprise Nick Singleton has earned this honor as he continues to go above and beyond in all three pillars of the award."

Previous Gatorade National Football Player of the Year Winners






Jaxson Dart

Draper, UT

University of Southern California


Arik Gilbert

Marietta, GA

University of Georgia


Jake Smith

Scottsdale, AZ

University of Southern California


JT Daniels

Santa Ana, CA

University of Georgia


Tate Martell

Las Vegas, NV

University of Nevada Las Vegas


Jacob Eason

Lake Stevens, WA

Seattle Seahawks


Kyler Murray

Allen, TX

Arizona Cardinals


Andrew Brown

Chesapeake, VA

Los Angeles Chargers


Max Browne

Sammamish, WA

Played for University of Pittsburgh


Johnathan Gray

Aledo, TX

Frisco Fighters


Justin Worley

Rock Hill, SC

Retired from Chicago Bears


Malcolm Jones

Westlake Village, CA

Played for University of California Los Angeles


Garrett Gilbert

Austin, TX

New England Patriots


Matt Barkley

Santa Ana, CA

Tennessee Titans


John Brantley

Ocala, FL

Retired from Baltimore Ravens


Mitch Mustain

Springdale, AR

Retired from San Antonio Talons (AFL)


Greg Paulus

Syracuse, NY

Played for Syracuse University


Jeff Byers

Loveland, CO

Retired from Carolina Panthers


Kyle Wright

Danville, CA

Retired from San Francisco 49ers


Lorenzo Booker

Ventura, CA

Retired from Chicago Bears


Joe Mauer

St. Paul, MN

Retired from Minnesota Twins


Brock Berlin

Shreveport, LA

Retired from Detroit Lions


Chris Lewis

Long Beach, CA

Played for Stanford University


Ronald Curry

Hampton, VA

Retired from St. Louis Rams


Travis Minor

Baton Rouge, LA

Retired from St. Louis Rams


Tim Couch

Hyden, KY

Retired from Cleveland Browns


Brock Huard

Puyallup, WA

Retired from Seattle Seahawks


Peyton Manning

New Orleans, LA

Retired from Denver Broncos


Ron Powlus

Berwick, PA

Retired from Philadelphia Eagles


Chris Walsh

St. Paul, MN

Retired from Minnesota Vikings


Marquette Smith

Lake Howell, FL

Retired from Carolina Panthers


Robert Smith

Euclid, OH

Retired from Minnesota Vikings


Terry Kirby

Tabb, VA

Retired from Oakland Raiders


Curtis Bray

Monroeville, PA



Emmitt Smith

Pensacola, FL

Retired from Arizona Cardinals


Jeff George

Indianapolis, IN

Retired from Oakland Raiders

Photo courtesy of Gatorade


  • High School Football