The American Family Insurance ALL-USA high school football team was chosen by USA TODAY Sports’ Jim Halley in consultation with high school coaches and recruiting analysts, including Tom Lemming of CBS College Sports, Brandon Huffman of Scout.com and JC Shurburtt of 247Sports.com.
American Family Insurance ALL-USA Offensive Player of the Year
Height, weight: 6-5, 218
School: Skyline (Sammamish, Wash.)
College choice: Southern California
Details: Brown passed for 4,526 yards and 49 touchdowns this season, completing 73.5% of his passes, to lead Skyline to its second consecutive Class 4A state title. He finished his high school career with a state-record 12,953 passing yards.
Gets fired up by: “Watching a Ray Lewis video and by just getting ready for a game. I get fired up just putting the uniform on, because I know it is game time.”
Superstition: “I have a great pair of socks that I have to wear every week. Plus I had to look at last year’s state title trophy.”
Career highlight: “Winning state my junior and senior year. This year, we had some issues in the offseason, but we got it together by the end of the season.”
Hardest hit: “Sophomore year, I got hit on a corner blitz and had to wait a bit until I got my wind back.”
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American Family Insurance ALL-USA Defensive Player of the Year
Position: Defensive back
Height, weight: 6-1, 205 pounds
School: Vista Murrieta (Murrieta, Calif.)
College choice: Southern California
Details: Cravens led Vista Murrieta to a 13-1 record. He had 97 tackles (47 solo), four interceptions (three for touchdowns), eight sacks and three blocked punts (two for touchdowns). While playing running back part time, Cravens he ran for six touchdowns and had 26 catches and eight touchdowns. Brother Siaki is a senior defensive lineman at Hawaii.
Favorite teacher: “Mr. (Dale) Sawyers (social science), because he keeps everything real and is funny.”
Best concert: Kendrick Lamar
Pro athlete I would like to meet: Arizona Cardinals defensive back Patrick Peterson
People don’t know: “I love to play Monopoly.”
Second-favorite sport: Basketball
Last book I liked: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.”
Could play me in my life story: “Will Smith.”
Season highlight: “My one-handed touchdown grab on fourth-and-goal against our rival, Chaparral (Temecula, Calif.).”
Post-football ambition: Be a broadcaster on ESPN
First car: Chevy Impala
Best H.O.R.S.E player in family: My older brother (Siaki). He doesn’t miss.
Most overplayed on my iPod: “When I Come Around” by Dom Kennedy
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American Family Insurance ALL-USA Coach of the Year
School: John Curtis Christian (River Ridge, La.)
Details: Coached team to the No.1 spot in the Super 25 football rankings, a 14-0 season and the 2A state championship. Second in career wins for a high school football coach with a n all-time record of 520-54-6 career record. Has won 25 state titles. He also is the headmaster of the school, which his father founded.
Favorite mentor: “Other than my dad, who was a tremendous influence in my life in a lot of different ways, I had a tremendous high school football coach in Bob Whitman at East Jefferson. He went on to coach at Tulane and then worked with the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers as their chief scout. He was a big influence as far as the discipline, the work ethic, the commitment to young people and strong faith-based values that were a reinforcement of what I learned at home. I was also fortunate to play college football for Frank Broyles at Arkansas. He was a guy who was ahead of his time in terms of organizational skills and how he ran his program.”
Best concert: “Bill and Gloria Gaither have really taken religious music to another level. We will travel several hours to go to one of their concerts. It’s not only inspiring spiritually, but it’s an uplifting experience. They could perform at any level. They’ve chosen to direct their talents to God.”
Recent read: I’m reading the Book of James, which is in the Bible. He’s the half-brother of Jesus. Reading his perspective of Jesus is totally different than anyone else. He saw him as a physical brother. It has been enjoyable.
Reason for team’s success: “It’s a consistency of teaching. Leon Curtis (his brother) and Mike Robertson are two of the mainstay guys who have been with me since the early beginning. The additions to our staff have been guys who have played here and have gone on to play college and come back. We have a very consistent teaching process in terms of calling defenses or plays. That’s extremely important. They pride each other on being students of the game. You can’t reinvent the wheel, but you can try to make it better. You can make it smoother, a little rounder.”