Barkley Wins National Gatorade Award

Mater Dei HS is the home to the Gatorade National Athlete of the Year in Matt Barkley, the top football prospect in the state, and country, who became the first junior to ever win the award...

Matt Barkley became the first junior to win the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year Award in football and last week he became the first junior to win the National Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Award.

The future Trojan was among six boys nominated for the award.

In attendance were former winners Matt Leinart, Greg Oden, Candace Parker and Mia Hamm.

I asked Matt how it felt to be amongst great high school and professional athletes. "It feels great to be with so many cool people. I'm the worst around other athletes because I get excited to meet and talk to them," he said.

Being the first junior to win the award makes this Mater Dei quarterback the leading candidate to win it next year.

"No pressure!" he said laughingly. "I know I'm a big target going into the season. I don't care about rankings…I just want to win."

Barkley has won the Inaugural Joe Montana Quarterback of the Year Award, 2007 PARADE Magazine Player of the Year, 2007 LA Times Glenn Davis Award and now he can add the Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Award…but what is left to prove?

"I want to win a CIF championship and if we get a chance, a state championship! Coach Rollinson deserves that!"

Barkley seemed focused and ready for the upcoming season.

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