By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
Corinth head coach Doug Jones saw Ashton Shumpert on the opposing sideline once this season.
Plenty of time to form an opinion of the highly recruited running back and safety from Itawamba AHS.
Shumpert was named 2012-13 Gatorade Mississippi Football Player of the Year on Thursday.
He’s the first Gatorade winner from IAHS.
Shumpert (6-foot-2, 195) ran eight times for 236 yards and three TDs against Jones’ Warriors.
“Ashton Shumpert has been lights-out in every game he has played this year,” Jones said in a press release. “He is dangerous on the field because he changes the game on both sides of the ball. I think he takes Itawamba from a good football team to a great football team.”
Gatorade winners are recognized as the best players in each state and are finalists for the National Player of the Year award.
“I’m really happy. I didn’t really think I would get it because I didn’t play a whole season,” Shumpert said. “It was a really big deal that I was the first player from Itawamba to get it.”
Big numbers, more
Despite missing three games to open the season, Shumpert amassed 1,796 yards and 25 touchdowns on 153 carries. He also had 205 yards on 15 catches and three touchdowns and 64 tackles and two interceptions as the Indians went 12-1 and to the Class 4A state quarterfinals.
The award also honors Shumpert’s academic work and community service.
Shumpert has 10 scholarship offers, five from the SEC, and is set to meet with Vanderbilt at home today.
“Ashton is very deserving of this award not only because of his on-the-field achievements, but also the character and leadership he displays,” IAHS coach Toby Collums said.