Jefferson junior Sammy Brown, a five-star linebacker who committed this week to play football at Clemson, is the MaxPreps national male athlete of the year.
Brown is a rare junior to win the award, which has been presented since 2008, and the second Georgian to win in three years. Milton’s Lebbeus Overton, also a junior, won in 2021. Overton skipped his senior high school season and is a rising sophomore defensive tackle at Texas A&M.
Brown was a three-sport star this academic year.
In football, he rushed for 1,449 yards and had more than 100 tackles despite missing multiple games and playing injured in others for a Class 5A team that finished 8-3. The AJC named him the first-team athlete on its Class 5A all-state team.
In wrestling, Brown was 27-2 and won an individual and team state championship. In track and field, placed sixth in the 100 meters (10.76 seconds) and fourth in the long jump (23 feet, 3 inches).
Brown is a consensus top-10 national football prospect among juniors.
Previous winners of the MaxPreps national award are Derrick Henry, Patrick Mahomes, Kyler Murray and Lonzo Ball. The only other non-senior to win was Dorial Green-Beckham, a sophomore, in 2010.