Max Browne, who quarterbacked Skyline High School of Sammamish to back-to-back state championships, got some more hardware to add to his trophy case on Tuesday when he was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year, given to high school football's top player.
Browne, who is set to enroll early and continue his playing-career at USC, had the award presented to him by another local QB, the Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson.
The award came as a surprise to Browne, as Gatorade did not notify the winner in advance, instead having Wilson surprise Browne in his classroom before having an assembly in the school's auditorium.
"I had no idea," Browne said afterward of the ruse. "Totally surprised. It was awesome."
Now Browne turns his attention to the Trojans.
"It's crazy," Browne said. "It hasn't really hit me. I always thought I'd stay in high school. I've loved it. It's been a fun 3 ½ years, on and off the field. It will probably hit me when I'm down at USC and see all my friends posting stuff about high school."
Wilson, who has made a splash in the NFL as a rookie starter, had plenty of praise for Browne:
"He's a tremendous person, first of all," Wilson said. "He has a great attitude, great personality, and he's worked so hard. Gatorade found the best person in the country."
"He has so many great qualities," Wilson said. "He just draws a room. He just knows how to light up a room."
Browne joins Brock Huard as the only other player from Washington to win the award, which Huard did as QB of Puyallup HS before going on to play for the Washington Huskies.
He finished his high school career with 12,951 yards and 146 TDs.