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Watkins Award to be announced Saturday

2/17/2012

Six of the nation's top high school football players will be in Los Angeles on Saturday evening, when one will be announced as the winner of the prestigious Franklin D. Watkins Memorial Award. The annual honor is presented to the nation's top African-American male high school scholar athlete.

This year's finalists are:

Zach Banner

Lakes (Lakewood, Wash.), OL

Rated the nation's No. 122 recruit in the ESPNU 150, the USC-bound Banner has a 3.5 GPA, is a winner of the Distinguished Scholar Award and is a volunteer for the Tacoma Sports Association.

Alex Carter

Briar Woods (Ashburn, Va.), WR/DB

Rated the nation's No. 111 recruit in the ESPNU 150, Carter signed with Stanford and was the Gatorade State Player of the Year as a senior. He has a 4.1 GPA and has served as a volunteer in many ways , including serving as a volunteer reader for elementary school students.

Jonathan Curry

Central (Phenix City, Ala.), TE

The Purdue-bound Curry has a 4.0 GPA, is a member of the National Honor Society and is a volunteer with the Special Olympics.

Keith Marshall

Millbrook (Raleigh, NC), RB

Already enrolled at Georgia, Marshall is rated the nation's No. 2 running back by ESPNU. He was named Gatorade State Player of the Year as a senior, has a 4.3 GPA and has served as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.

Deion Williams

Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.), FB

Rated the nation's No. 7 fullback by ESPNU, Williams has signed with Duke. He is a member of the National Honor Society, has a 3.7 GPA and is a People to People Student Ambassador.

Jameis Winston

Hueytown (Ala.), QB

Rated the nation's No. 1 quarterback by ESPNU, Winston has signed with Florida State and was named Gatorade State Player of the Year and to the ESPNHS All-American first team this year. The 4.0 student has served as a community tutor and a youth baseball instructor — he's also one of the nation's top baseball prospects.

Click here for more information on the award at The National Alliance of African American Athletes website.