Hueytown quarterback named Gatorade Alabama Player of the Year

Sideline Offensive Player of the Year: Earl Woods
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 4:34 PM CST
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HUEYTOWN, Ala. (WBRC) - Gatorade announced Earl Woods of Hueytown High School is the 2021-22 Gatorade Alabama Football Player of the Year.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Woods as Alabama’s best high school football player. He’s now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award to be announced in December.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound junior quarterback exceeded 3,000 yards passing and 2,000 yards rushing this past season, leading the Golden Gophers (13-2) to the Class 6A state championship game. A transfer from Shades Valley High, where he was a two-time team Offensive MVP, Woods completed 171-of-302 passes for 3,072 yards and 32 touchdowns.

On the ground, Woods rushed for 2,123 yards and 35 scores on 314 carries. He had 10 games with multiple TD passes or TD runs, including six games with both.

Woods has volunteered locally at an elementary school and as a youth football coach. He has also donated his time to multiple community beautification projects. “Earl is, hands down, the best player we have seen this year,” said Aryvia Holmes, head coach of McAdory High School. “Anytime you get a QB that can beat you with his arm and legs, they are basically unstoppable. You think you can contain him, but he is so fast and elusive that he makes the first guy miss every time.”

Woods has maintained an A average in the classroom. He will begin his senior year of high school next fall.

Woods has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national organization of their choosing that helps young athletes realize the benefits of playing sports. Woods is also eligible to submit a short video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year.

To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit


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