It's that time of year when ultra-talented high school athletes sign with major college teams. With that comes the Gatorade Player Of The Year title, which was just awarded to a student from Marietta High school. There was something a bit more special about this year's award because Atlanta Falcons QB, Matt Ryan, actually handed over the Gatorade Player of the Year 2019 trophy and the video is super sweet and inspiring.

High school senior Arik Gilbert is the lucky winner of this year's Gatorade National Football Player of the Year title and there was a thrilling bonus included in the announcement.

11-year Atlanta Falcons quarterback and team Captain Matt Ryan made an appearance. Not only did Matt Ryan surprise Arik with his presence, he actually awarded him the hard-earned trophy. 

It looks as though the high-school star is trying to hide the excitement, but the pure giddiness is still written all over his face.

In a Gatorade POY Interview, Gilbert said having his name associated with this big award makes him "want to work even harder."

Gatorade tweeted earlier today, "Doing big things on the football field. And even bigger things off it. Congrats to Arik Gilbert on being named the 2019-20 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year" with the very appropriate #GatoradePOY.

The Gatorade National Football Player of the Year isn't just about sports. It also factors in academics and character.

Arik kept up a solid 3.14 GPA and founded "Whisper," a campus-wide initiative to encourage students to put their phones down and have real, face-to-face conversations.

The 6-foot 5, 255-pound tight end has made 102 receptions, 14 touchdowns and 1,735 yards in his football career thus far, but he's just getting started. We can't wait to see him kick a** as one of LSU's rookies.

We hold our heads high with pride that a blooming athlete from our hometown was awarded this huge national award.

As an LSU commit, Arik is expected to sign with the Tigers tomorrow, so this comes as an inspiring and encouraging precursor.

In other Southern sports news, Charlotte's new soccer team marks the 30th in the MLS and fans totally saw it coming. You'll also get a kick out of Miami Heat teasing a remake of a classic Hollywood series.


There are stories everywhere! If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityUSA on Facebook and Instagram.


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