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QBs carry prep rivalry to NFL

POY Alumni Tracker: Mike Glennon, E.J. Manuel first squared off in Virginia’s Gatorade race


Back in 1985, Gatorade established an award honoring the nation's top high school student-athletes. Since then, the Gatorade Player of the Year award has recognized more than 12,500 state and national winners in 12 sports.

Gatorade Player of the Year alumni include household names like Kevin Love, Dwight Howard, Peyton Manning, Derek Jeter, Candace Parker, Kerri Walsh and Abby Wambach -- a distinguished group, indeed.

This week, we're catching up with Mike Glennon.

It’s hard to picture 6-foot-7 Mike Glennon catching fleet-of-foot Buffalo Bills first-rounder E.J. Manuel from behind, but that’s what Glennon did in high school and hopes to do again in the NFL.

In the fall of 2007, Manuel -- the top-rated QB in the nation and the No. 11 recruit overall according to ESPN -- was the preseason favorite to earn Virginia’s Gatorade Football Player of the Year award.

Glennon, however, surpassed Manuel on the field. Ranked as the No. 5 QB, No. 58 overall, he completed 171-of-265 attempts (64.5%) for 2,557 yards and 32 touchdowns, leading Westfield (Chantilly, Va.) to a perfect 15-0 season and the Division 6 state title (though his Gatorade honor was announced while the Bulldogs were still just 12-0).

As a senior for Bayside (Virginia Beach, Va.), Manuel completed 60.3 percent of his passes (129-of-214) for 2,085 yards and 19 scores, but the Marlins finished 7-4 and were knocked out in the first round.

The two Virginia prep stars went to ACC schools and started for two seasons -- Glennon following Russell Wilson at N.C. State, and Manuel at Florida State. Manuel’s Seminoles crushed the Wolfpack in their first meeting, 34-0, but Glennon sparked N.C. State to a shocking 17-16 win over then-No. 3 FSU in 2012, throwing two fourth-quarter TDs, including the game-winner on fourth down with 16 seconds left.

Glennon, a 3.61 GPA student in high school, also showcased his off-the-field Gatorade qualities in college, completing both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree while serving as vice president of the local chapter of Uplifting Athletes, raising money to support leukemia victims.

Manuel got a jump on Glennon once more in the NFL Draft, becoming the only quarterback selected in the first round, 16th overall by the Bills. He broke camp as Buffalo’s starting quarterback and has led the team to a 2-2 start.

Glennon was the third QB taken in the draft, 73rd overall by the Buccaneers, and it took until Week 4 before he was elevated to the starting lineup, in place of the benched Josh Freeman.

Glennon’s first start was a mixed bag. He tossed a touchdown pass to Mike Williams and had the winless Buccaneers up 10-0 through three quarters on Sunday, but also threw a pair of fourth-quarter picks in a 13-10 loss to Arizona. He completed 24-of-43 passes for 193 yards.

The presumed Bucs starter for the rest of the season, Glennon will have plenty of opportunity to catch and surpass his former Virginia schoolboy rival one more time. He’ll even get a chance to do it head-to-head, when Manuel brings his Bills to Tampa on Dec. 8.



2013-14 National Winners

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    Baseball POY

    Tullahoma (Tenn.) star baseball player Justus Sheffield named 2013-14 Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year

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    Boys T&F AOY

    Cherryville (N.C.)Trentavis Friday named 2013-14 Gatorade National Track & Field Athlete of the Year.

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    Girls T&F AOY

    Burke (Charleston, S.C.) shot put star Raven Saunders has been named the 2013-14 Gatorade National Track & Field Athlete of the Year

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    Softball POY

    Mission Viejo (Mission Viejo, Calif.) softball star Taylor McQuillin named Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year

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    Boys Soccer POY

    Dunn School (Los Olivos, Calif.) senior Abu Danladi named Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

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    Girls Soccer POY

    Jefferson Forest (Forest, Va.) soccer start Katie Cousins named the 2013-14 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year

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    Boys Basketball POY

    St. Joseph High (Metuchen, NJ) senior Karl Towns Jr. named the Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

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    Girls Basketball POY

    Manvel (Texas) senior Brianna Turner named the Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

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    Football POY

    Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.) defensive tackle Andrew Brown named Gatorade National Football Player of the Year.

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    Volleyball POY

    Assumption High (Louisville, Ky.) setter Alexa Filley named Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year.

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    Boys XC ROY

    Grand Blanc (Mich.) distance runner Grant Fisher named Gatorade National Boys XC Runner of the Year. 

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    Girls XC ROY

    Camas (Wash.) junior Alexa Efraimson named the Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year.

2013-14 State Winners