Michigan State University recruit Messiah deWeaver named the winner of the Franklin D. Watkins Memorial Award.

Michigan State University recruit from Dayton, Ohio, selected by National Alliance of African American Athletes as the nation’s top African American male high school scholar athlete.

Washington, D.C. – The National Alliance of African American Athletes presented quarterback Messiah deWeaver of Dayton, Ohio, with the Franklin D. Watkins Memorial Award at its 25th annual Watkins Award Gala on Saturday night at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel.

deWeaver was a standout throughout his high school career, guiding his teams to a 49-9 record and back-to-back appearances in Ohio state championship games. As a senior this past season, he passed for 2,924 yards and 32 touchdowns with only four interceptions.

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.

He also volunteered for several activities, including coaching youth football, helping with Pep Assembly, the Community Clean Up and coaching in the girls’ powder puff game at Wayne High.

“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.


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, Pa. Past winners include Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston and Rhodes Scholar Myron Rolle, as well as several others who went on to play in the NFL.

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