Messiah deWeaver Presented 25th-Annual Watkins Award
The former Wayne High School quarterback was selected the nation’s top African-American male scholar-athlete from the 2016 senior class.
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State freshman quarterback Messiah deWeaver, who graduated from Wayne High School in Dayton, Ohio, last December, was presented the Franklin D. Watkins Memorial Award by the National Alliance of African-American Athletes as the nation’s top African-American male scholar-athlete from the 2016 senior class. deWeaver received the trophy during the 25th-annual Watkins Award Gala in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, March 12.
deWeaver participated in the 2016 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Carson, California. A second-team Division I All-Southwest District selection in 2015, he accounted for 3,088 total yards and 35 touchdowns as a senior for Coach Jay Minton at Wayne High School. deWeaver completed 166-of-280 passes (.593) for 2,924 yards, 32 TDs and four interceptions while leading the Warriors to a 14-1 record in 2015. He recorded eight 200-yard passing games, including three 300-yard efforts, and threw at least one TD pass in 13 of 15 games. deWeaver also rushed 103 times for 164 yards and three TDs as a senior.
In the classroom at Wayne High School, he maintained a 4.0 grade-point average and was a member of the National Honor Society. He graduated early from high school and is enrolled at Michigan State University for the spring semester. deWeaver plans to major in business at Michigan State.
He also volunteered for several activities, including coaching youth football, assisting with the pep assembly and community clean-up as well as coaching in the girls’ powder puff game at Wayne High School.
“Messiah is a wonderful person and exemplifies the spirit of the Watkins Award,” The Alliance Executive Director Everette Pearsall said. “When I think about the high standard set by past winners, I know that Messiah will continue the tradition of the award and be a leader among his peers. This was one of the hardest years for our selection committee to make its choice, as all of the finalists were most deserving candidates.”
The finalists were selected based on their unweighted grade-point average, personal statement, extracurricular activities, community service and letters of recommendation.
“This is an incredible honor to be the standard bearer for this class,” deWeaver said. “I look forward to being a role model for younger kids to look up to me in the future.”
The 6-foot-4, 212-pound deWeaver spent three seasons as the starting quarterback at Trotwood-Madison before transferring to Wayne for his senior year. He threw for 7,660 career yards and 90 TDs while compiling a 49-9 record (.844) in 58 career starts. deWeaver won four regional titles while posting a 15-4 record (.789) in 19 playoff games. He accounted for 106 career TDs (90 passing and 16 rushing).
2006 Watkins Award winner and Rhodes Scholar Myron Rolle, who played three years in the National Football League and is finishing up medical school, was the Watkins Award Gala’s keynote speaker.
b>About The Alliance and Franklin D. Watkins Memorial Award
The National Alliance of African-American Athletes was founded in 1989 and its mission is to empower African-American males through athletics, education and public programs. Since 1992, The Alliance has annually presented the Watkins Award to the nation’s elite high school student-athlete. The award is named for the late Franklin D. Watkins, who coached championship football and basketball teams in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Past winners include 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, Rhodes Scholar Myron Rolle as well as several others who went on to play in the NFL.