MURFREESBORO — Corn Elder has run his way to another award.
The junior at Ensworth High School won the Mr. Football Award for Division II-AA backs Monday afternoon at the Embassy Suites Hotel.
“This feels great,” the soft-spoken Elder, whose full name is Cornelius, said. “My teammates and coaches really helped me out, and winning this is great for school.
“Our team got better as the season went along.”
Elder became the second player at nine-year-old Ensworth named a Mr. Football. Quarterback Tavarres Jefferson won in 2008.
Elder, a 5-foot-10, 165-pound speedster, was a Mr. Football finalist last year as a sophomore when the Tigers won their first state football title. He was also a finalist for Mr. Basketball in March.
Asked what his thoughts were when he received the award, he said, “I really didn’t know what to think. I was very happy.”
This season, Elder has rushed for more than 2,000 yards and 2,500 all-purpose yards for the Tigers (11-1). He also has four interceptions as a defensive back.
“Corn has had a fantastic year and is very deserving,” coach Ricky Bowers said. “He has the confidence in himself and the belief in his teammates.
“He loves his teammates and, best of all, he loves competing. He can impact a game in so many ways.”
Elder and his teammates will head to Cookeville Thursday to play Baylor in hopes of winning their second straight state championship. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Tennessee Tech.
Vanderbilt commitment Barrett Gouger of Baylor won the DII-AA lineman award. He edged out two Brentwood Academy standouts, Woody Baron and Graham Shuler.
In Division I Class AAA, I’Tavius Mathers of Blackman over Brian Kimbrow of Memphis East, a Vanderbilt commitment, and Maryville quarterback Patton Robinette.
Other area finalists included Battle Ground academy quarterback C.J. Beathard (D-II-A back) and 2,000-yard rusher Ladarius Vanlier of Maplewood (Class AA back).
Mr. Football winners:
Class A lineman: Coltin Blevins, South Pittsburg
Class A back: Jacob Tucker, Perry County
Class AA lineman: Terrell Rollins, Greeneville
Class AA back: Charlie High, Christian Academy of Knoxville
Class AAA lineman: Jay Guillermo, Maryville
Class AAA back: I’Tavius Mathers, Blackman
DII-A lineman: Brewer Congleton, Knoxville Webb
DII-A back: Caleb Blance, Knoxville Webb
DII-AA lineman: Barrett Gouger, Baylor
DII-AA back: Cornelius Elder, Ensworth
Kicker: Henrique Ribeiro, Baylor
BlueCross Bowl Schedule
(at Tennessee Tech, Cookeville)
DII-A: University School of Jackson vs. St. George’s, 3:30 p.m.
DII-AA: Baylor vs. Ensworth, DII-AA, 7 p.m.
Class A: Wayne County vs. South Pittsburg, noon
Class 3A: Christian Academy of Knoxville vs. Milan, 3:30 p.m.
Class 5A: Powell vs. Henry County, 7 p.m.
Class 2A: Friendship Christian vs. Dresden, noon
Class 4A: Greeneville vs. Maplewood, 3:30 p.m.
Class 6A: Maryville vs. Whitehaven, 7 p.m.