LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - It was a big night for high school sports in Arkansas tonight. Thirteen of the top high school football players were honored during the Landers Award ceremony at the KATV studios, where the winner receives a $3,000 scholarship, the Landers trophy, and a specially made ring by Jostens. In one of the closest races ever, it was Greenwood High School's Drew Morgan who took home the coveted Landers Award.
"I put myself in situations to win this award and I think I deserved it," said Morgan. "When you see the guys that have come through and won this award," continued Morgan, "you want to live it up. And I lived it up"
And the guys that won it before Morgan is a group that is filled with current and future NFL players. A group that includes: Darren McFadden, Peyton Hillis, Brandon Allen, Damian Williams, and fellow Greenwood Bulldog Tyler Wilson. Morgan is currently committed to continue his football career at the University of Arkansas.
But the night wasn't all about the Landers Award. One of the highlights of the night was to honor the memory and legend of Paul Eels. Bryant's Ian Shuttleworth received this year's Paul Eels Award after overcoming cancer to become a leader on the Hornets football team.
When asked about the honor of winning an award like this, Shuttleworth gave credit to those around him. "I know it's more than just an award for me," said Shuttleworth. "If it was just me that had to go through it, I wouldn't have made it through it. It's a testament to my parents, to all my friends, to everyone that was behind me the whole entire time. It's kind of like a thank you to them, because of them I wouldn't have been able to get this."