Taylor Powell wins 2016 Landers Award

Fayetteville quarterback Taylor Powell received the prestigious Landers Award Wednesday night.

The award, honoring the top high school football player in the state, has often been referred to as the "Heisman of Arkansas High School Football." The winner receives a signature Jostens ring, as well as a $3,000 scholarship towards their school.

"It's a great way to end my high school career. I have to thank all my friends, family, teammates, coaches. Without those guys, I wouldn't be in this position," Powell said.

Channel 7's Steve Sullivan presented Powell with the award on a live 30 minute special Wednesday night from the KATV studios. The other 11 finalists were also honored with plaques.

"It's definitely a big-time award to win and I have to dish out the credit to everyone that's been supportive to get me to this position.

Taylor Powell is one of the most prolific passers the state of Arkansas has ever seen. The senior threw for 10,413 yards and 113 touchdowns in his career, breaking Austin Allen's 7A records. This season, in leading Fayetteville to its second straight state championship, he threw for 3,473 yards and 44 touchdowns. He is verbally committed to play at Wake Forest in the fall.

Past winners of the Landers Award include De'Arrius Howard (West Memphis, 2000), Reed McKinney (Warren, 2001), Landon Leach (Russellville, 2002), Peyton Hillis (Conway, 2003), Darren McFadden (Oak Grove, 2004), Damien Williams (Springdale, 2005), A.J. Whitmore (Nashville, 2006), Tyler Wilson (Greenwood, 2007), Spencer Keith (Pulaski Academy, 2008), Michael Dyer (Little Rock Christian, 2009), Brandon Allen (Fayetteville, 2010), Fredi Knighten (Pulaski Academy, 2011), Drew Morgan (Greenwood, 2012), Zach Launius (Cabot, 2013), Ty Storey (Greenwood, 2014), and LaDarius Skelton (Pine Bluff, 2015).

"I just want to say it is an honor with all these great athletes and everybody is deserving of this award," Powell said. "Everybody is going their separate ways in the country for football and I hope we represent Arkansas high school football in the right way."

Warren senior Hayden Lassiter was honored with the Paul Eells Award. Lassiter played quarterback, safety and punter for the state champion Lumberjacks. He also plays basketball, baseball and golf.

"This is something I'll remember for the rest of my life," Lassiter said. "It's something I can carry with me."

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