CINCINNATI, Ohio – On Wednesday, the Ohio High School Athletic Association in coordination with the Ohio Prep Sports Writers Association announced the winner of the 33rd annual Mr. Football award and 2019 recipient is Wyoming quarterback Evan Prater.
“This means a lot to me. It means a lot to my family, but I think it means something to the whole city of Cincinnati,” Prater said. “I am so happy to bring Mr. Football back here. I’m so glad to represent Wyoming, my family and everyone in this great community.”
In 2019, Prater landed the knockout blow to his foes early and often. Of his 21 touchdown passes, 20 of them came in the first half of Cowboys games. After halftime he took care of business with his legs posting 17 of his 28 rushing touchdowns on the season in quarters three and four.
Wyoming went 13-1 and finished the regular season undefeated for a fourth year in a row. The Cowboys won a second consecutive Region 16 crown and made back-to-back final four appearances for the first time in program history.
Wyoming went 40-2 with Prater as a starter the last three years and was undefeated (15-0) en route to the 2018 Division IV state championship.
Wyoming head coach Aaron Hancock lamented on the physical and mental intangibles that Prater brings to the table.
“He’s a tough, tough kid,’ Hancock said. “He embraces the grittiness of playing the game of football. He can run with power, he can run with finesse, he can throw short, he can throw deep with accuracy. He is a very talented, overall, football player. A tremendous kid. A pleasure to coach.”
Prater becomes just the second Cincinnati-area player to be named Mr. Football. Marc Edwards from Norwood won the award 27 years ago in 1992.
Hancock who was a freshman on the Norwood scout team when Edwards was named Mr. Football in ’92, offered up this on the similarity between the two.
“On Friday nights, everyone in the entire stadium knew Marc Edwards was going to get the ball and they still couldn’t stop him,” Hancock said. “I compare that to Evan Prater. Everyone knows who the ball is going to go through. Teams just couldn’t stop him this year. There was a bullseye on his back after the state title. For him to make plays in the biggest games of the year was incredible.”
Prater’s accolades are impressive. He will play in the All-American Bowl on January 4, 2020 in San Antonio, Texas. Prater was named OPSWA Ohio Division IV Offensive Player of the Year, OPSWA Southwest District Player of the Year and Cincinnati Hills League Offensive Player of the Year in 2018 and ‘19.
The 6-foot-5,190-pound Prater has verbally committed to the University of Cincinnati. He finished his career at Wyoming with 5,699 yards passing, 4,124 yards rushing, 72 touchdown passes and 74 touchdowns on the ground.
“Being state champions in 2018 was something special,” Prater said. “We didn’t win state (this year), but (this senior class) made a lot of history.”
Other finalists for the award included Caleb Gallwitz, Howard East Knox, Sr, 6-0/195, RB; Angelo Grose, Mansfield Senior, Sr, 5-10/190, DB; Gabe Jones, West Jefferson, Sr, 5-11/170, RB; Ian Kipp, Mentor, Jr, 6-2/205, QB; Baron May, New Philadelphia, Sr, 6-2/200, QB; Ethan Wright, Akron Manchester, 6-1/195, sr.,RB and Drew Schiano, Perry, Sr, 6-0/145, QB.
Ohio Mr. Football Winners (including college choice):
1987: Buster Howe, RB-DB-K-P, Zanesville, Ohio State
1988: Robert Smith, RB, Euclid, Ohio State
1989: Robert Smith, RB, Euclid, Ohio State
1990: Bobby Hoying, QB, St. Henry, Ohio State
1991: Derek Kidwell, QB-DE, Fostoria, Bowling Green
1992: Marc Edwards, RB-LB, Norwood, Notre Dame
1993: Curtis Enis, RB-LB, Mississinawa Valley, Penn State
1994: Charles Woodson, DB-RB, Fremont Ross, Michigan
1995: Andy Katzenmoyer, LB, Westerville South, Ohio State
1996: Derek Combs, RB-DB-KR, Grove City, Ohio State
1997: Tony Fisher, RB, Euclid, Notre Dame
1998: Ryan Brewer, RB, Troy, South Carolina
1999: Bam Childress, DB-WR-KR, Bedford St. Peter Chanel, Ohio State
2000: Jeff Backes, RB-DB, Upper Arlington, Northwestern
2001: Maurice Clarett, RB, Warren G. Harding, Ohio State
2002: Ben Mauk, QB, Kenton, Wake Forest/Cincinnati
2003: Ray Williams, RB, Cleveland Benedictine, West Virginia
2004: Tyrell Sutton, RB, Archbishop Hoban, Northwestern
2005: Delone Carter, RB, Copley, Syracuse
2006: Brandon Saine, RB, Piqua, Ohio State
2007: Bart Tanski, QB, Mentor, Bowling Green
2008: Erick Howard, RB, North Canton Hoover, Akron
2009: Erick Howard, RB, North Canton Hoover, Akron
2010: Akise Teague, RB-DB-KR, Youngstown Ursuline, Cincinnati
2011: Maty Mauk, QB, Kenton, Missouri/Eastern Kentucky
2012: Mitch Trubisky, QB, Mentor, North Carolina
2013: Dante Booker Jr., LB, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, Ohio State
2014: Joe Burrow, QB, Athens, Ohio State, LSU
2015: Keishaun Sims, RB-DB, Massillon Perry, Ashland
2016: Michael Warren, RB, Toledo Central Catholic, University of Cincinnati
2017: Joey Baughman, QB, Wadsworth, Virginia (Wrestling)
2018: Cade Stover, SS-RB, Lexington, Ohio State
2019: Evan Prater, QB, Wyoming, University of Cincinnati