DEBARTOLO SPORTS UNIVERSITY ANNOUNCES MATT BARKLEY AS RECIPIENT OF THE INAUGURAL “JOE MONTANA QUARTERBACK OF THE YEAR AWARD”
TAMPA (December 26, 2007) – DeBartolo Sports University announced today that Matt Barkley of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, CA, has been named winner of the 2007 “Joe Montana Quarterback of the Year Award.” The inaugural honor, given to the nation’s best high school quarterback, will be presented to Barkley by Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana and Steve Clarkson, quarterback expert and President of DeBartolo Sports University, on January 1, 2008, at the Outback Bowl in Tampa, FL (Tennessee vs. Wisconsin).
Barkley, the only junior finalist for the award amongst six other high school quarterbacks, was graded and evaluated through DeBartolo Sports University’s scouting division, comprised of former college and NFL coaches. The top 50 quarterbacks were identified in September, narrowed down to 21, 14, and ultimately seven finalists, before the winner was selected. The seven finalists included: Matt Barkley, Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, CA; Dayne Crist, Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, CA; E.J. Manuel, Bayside High School in Virginia Beach, VA; Landry Jones, Artesia High School in Artesia, NM; John Weinke, Tuscola High School in Tuscola, IL; Braden Hanson, Charlotte Latin School in Charlotte, NC; and Matt Scott, Centennial High School in Corona, CA.
Barkley, also recently named “Gatorade National Football Player of the Year” and considered the #1 recruit in the country for 2009, was the first junior captain in Mater Dei history. The 6-foot-3, 220 pound Barkley averaged 325 passing yards and 3.2 touchdowns per game. In only 11 games he completed 63 percent of his passes for 3,576 yards, 35 touchdowns and just nine interceptions. He led his team, the Monarchs, to a 9-2 season and the quarterfinals of PAC-5 Division Southern Section 2007 Football Championships.
“I was honored to have been selected as a finalist for the Joe Montana award with such great quarterbacks like Dayne, Matt Scott, E.J. and the others,” says Barkley. “To now find out that I have won the award is unbelievable, and I am very excited. I want to thank DeBartolo Sports University for selecting me. Joe Montana was one of the greatest and toughest quarterbacks ever to play in the NFL. Winning an award named after him, and to have a chance to meet and talk to him when I receive the trophy is a lifetime experience. I also want to thank the coaches and my teammates from Mater Dei high school. There is no way that I could have had the year I had without them. They are a big part of this award.”
Says Montana, “Matt Barkley is an outstanding quarterback, and his performance on the field is exceptional. We’re pleased to give our first award to Barkley and see great things for him in the future.”
Adds Clarkson, “This is a special player who has the prototypical build of a big-time quarterback prospect. Equipped with a knowledgeable football IQ, Matt dissects defenses with ease, giving opposing secondaries an absolute fit. I don't see any reason why his ability will not eventually take him to the highest stage of competitive football.”
The “Joe Montana Quarterback of the Year Award” is the first DeBartolo Sport University award. Joe Montana is recognized by many experts as the greatest NFL quarterback of all-time and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000. Under the leadership of former San Francisco 49ers owner and DeBartolo Sports University founder Edward DeBartolo Jr., Montana led the 49ers to four Super Bowl championships in 1982, 1985, 1989 and 1990.
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