(WAFB) - The top two rushers in Baton Rouge and three All-State defenders round out the list of nine finalists for WAFB's 2015 Warrick Dunn Award. The honor goes to the top senior football standout, recognized as the Sportsline Player of the Year.
Running backs T.J. Wisham from Episcopal and Daquan Hicks from Belaire both rushed for more than 1,800 yards. Wisham had 26 touchdowns to lead the Knights to a berth in the LHSAA's Division III playoffs, while the Bengals' Hicks had 25 touchdowns including five kick returns for touchdowns on special teams.
Southern Lab's Curtlan Williams led his team to the Division IV state title, earning All-District honors on offense, defense and special teams. Williams ran back seven punts for touchdowns during the season to make All-State on special teams. He was also named MVP in the Kittens' 36-2 victory over St. Mary's.
Riverside's Evan Veron also led his team to the Superdome as the Division III runner-up. The Rebels linebacker was a Class 2A first team All-State selection.
Lutcher lineman Sully Laiche was also in the Superdome celebrating a Class 3A state championship. The Bulldogs senior was the Class 3A MVP on defense, and also spent some time on the offensive line for a team that finished 14-1.
A fourth defender among the nine finalists for 2015 is also one of four championship quarterbacks. Shyheim Carter from Kentwood doubled as a defensive back for the Class 1A champions and took home the MVP trophy. Lindsey Scott from 5A champion Zachary, Reginald Hayes from Division II winner Parkview Baptist, and MAIS champion quarterback Zach Kelly of Silliman Institute all won title game MVP honors, in addition to their selection as Warrick Dunn Award finalists.
The winner will be announced at the Warrick Dunn Banquet scheduled for Wednesday, January 27. This is the ninth season WAFB has presented a Sportsline Player of the Year trophy. The award-winning Sportsline Friday Nite football show began in 1990, when the former Florida State and NFL star broke into the starting lineup for Catholic High as a sophomore.