The final punctuation on the story of Brayden Kyle’s high school football career was made Thursday in Montgomery.
The Decatur Heritage quarterback was named the Class 1A Back of the Year for a second straight season.
Kyle received the honor at the Mr. Football banquet at the Montgomery Renaissance. He was chosen by a vote of members of the Alabama Sports Writers Association.
“This is another blessing to be thankful for,” Kyle said. “I’m glad to represent Decatur Heritage and the city of Decatur.”
Thompson receiver Ryan Peppins was named the state’s Mr. Football. The senior receiver helped his team win a third straight Class 7A championship this season. He was also the 7A back of the year, marking the fifth straight season that a Thompson player has won that award.
A senior season with monster numbers earned Kyle the 1A award. He accounted for 70 touchdowns and 4,405 yards. Kyle completed 144 of 241 passes for 39 touchdowns and 2,855 yards. He rushed 105 times for 1,550 yards and 31 touchdowns.
Decatur Heritage went 10-3 and advanced to the third round of the state playoffs.
Kyle’s talent for making big plays caught the attention each week of many football fans across the state. It really did after a 76-60 playoff win over Ragland where he accounted for 629 yards of total offense and a state record 11 touchdowns.
Next up for Kyle is determining where the start of his college career takes place. Recruiting has changed drastically in the last couple of years. One reason is because college players have received an extra season of eligibility due to COVID. Another reason is the NCAA transfer portal that allows players to move to another school without having to sit out a season to gain eligibility.
The end result is high school players finding fewer college roster spots available. Colleges looking for quarterbacks can find plenty available in the transfer portal.
“Hopefully in the next few weeks I can figure out where I want to spend my next four years playing football,” Kyle said. “I have some schools I would like to visit. We’ll see what happens. I know God has a plan for me.”
Finding success as a college quarterback can be a struggle, but sometimes perseverance pays off. The country saw evidence of that Monday night when former walk-on Stetson Bennett led Georgia to the national championship.
“What he did is definitely inspiring,” Kyle said. “It shows that if you believe in yourself and put in the hard work that you can go win a national championship.”
Thursday’s honor for Kyle puts him in an illustrious group of football talent from Morgan County to have received honors associated with the Mr. Football award banquet. Austin’s Asa Martin was Mr. Football in 2017. Austin’s Deonte Brown was the 7A Lineman of the Year in 2015.
Priceville quarterback Kaleb Barker was the 4A Back of the Year in 2015. West Morgan running back Chauncey Malone was the 3A Back of the Year in 2001. West Morgan defensive back Daryle Mosley was the 2A Player of the Year in 1988. Danville running back Ardie Orr was the 3A Player of the Year in 1984.
Kyle was named The Daily’s Class 1A-4A Player of the Year in December for a second consecutive season.