E.A. Sports Today

Foster honored to be finalist

Madison Academy RB Johnson voted Alabama Mr. Football

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Justin Foster knows a little now what those actors and athletes feel like at the Oscars or Heisman Trophy ceremony waiting for the envelope please.

The versatile Donoho senior was among the athletes anxiously awaiting the announcement of Alabama’s Mr. Football and their respective classification awards Wednesday in Montgomery. He was a finalist for Class 1A Lineman of the Year, which also made him a candidate for Mr. Football.

Madison Academy running back Kerryon Johnson was voted Mr. Football by the Alabama Sports Writers Association. The 1A Lineman award went to Maplesville linebacker Tyler Armstrong.

“It was pretty nerve-wracking, really,” Foster said of the run-up to the announcements. “You get nervous and pretty anxious about it to see who’s going to win. They call you and you stand and everybody’s staring at you, then they (announce the winner) and it’s over.

“It’s almost like sitting on top of a roller coaster just looking down on the hill and you’re thinking, ‘Man, what’s about to happen.’ I was thinking how they would be feeling in New York waiting for their name to be called for the Heisman Trophy. That’s what I was feeling like when I sitting there.”

Foster had no advance knowledge of the results of the award. He was quick to say there was no disappointment when he didn’t win.

“Not at all,” he said. “I’m just very honored to be in the room with all those guys. All the statistics they were saying, like there were 24,000 football players in the state of Alabama and it’s like a 500-to-1 chance for this. It was great odds. Just the fact I was in that room was a great honor.

“I had a lot of fun. I got to see some of my old friends from the all-star game and got to make some new friends, too, and actually got to talk to some guys who may be coming to Samford.”

Foster verbally committed to the Bulldogs Sunday.

Johnson, a 6-1, 205-pound senior committed to Auburn, helped the Mustangs go 14-1 and win a third straight Class 3A state title. Along the way, he played Calhoun County teams Piedmont and Wellborn and Glencoe on their road to the title.

He rushed for 1,659 yards and 25 touchdowns, caught 25 passes for 598 yards and eight TDs, totaled 71 tackles on defense and had six interceptions. He returned three interceptions for touchdowns.

The Class 3A Super 7 MVP set a Super 7 record with six touchdowns in the 70-34 championship win over Dale County. He also was named MVP of the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star football game won by Alabama 36-30 in December.

Johnson finished his prep career with 5,274 rushing yards on 483 carries. He caught 88 passes for 1,554 yards, made 204 career tackles, had 19 interceptions with eight more scores, and had four kick returns for TDs for 109 total touchdowns.

His brother Kerron was named ASWA Mr. Basketball following the 2009 season.

Johnson picked up 148 points and eight of the 13 first-place votes from the ASWA prep committee to capture the 2014 award. Dale County’s Jamarius Henderson, the Class 3A Lineman of the Year, and Clay-Chalkville quarterback Ty Pigrome, the 6A Back of the Year, tied for second with 137 points each.

ASWA Back of the Year winners:

Class 1A: Tyler Crumpton, Phillips, WR
Class 2A: Austin Stiefel, Fyffe, RB
Class 3A: Kerryon Johnson, Madison Academy, RB
Class 4A: Troy Dixon, UMS-Wright, RB
Class 5A: Brandon Baynes, Tallassee, RB
Class 6A: Tyrell Pigrome, Clay-Chalkville, QB
Class 7A: Grey Jackson, Fairhope, QB

ASWA Lineman of the Year winners:

Class 1A: Tyler Armstrong, Maplesville, LB
Class 2A: Deshon Kilpatrick, Sweet Water, OL
Class 3A: Jamarius Henderson, Dale County, LB/Athlete
Class 4A: Anfernee Jennings, Dadeville, DL
Class 5A: A.J. Smoot, Dora, DL
Class 6A: Tyler Carr, Southside-Gadsden, OL
Class 7A: R.J. Arnold, Hoover, LB

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