by:   12/9/2019

In its 35th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company announced Rakim Jarrett of St. John's College High School as its 2019-20 Gatorade District of Columbia Football Player of the Year. Jarrett is the seventh Gatorade District of Columbia Football Player of the Year to be chosen from St. John's College High School.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Jarrett as District of Columbia’s best high school football player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award to be announced in December, Jarrett joins an elite group of past state football award-winners, including Emmitt Smith (1986-87, Escambia High School, Fla.), Matthew Stafford (2005-06 Highland Park High School, Texas) and Christian McCaffrey (2012-13, 2013-14, Valor Christian High School, Colo.).

The 6-foot, 200-pound senior wide receiver caught 60 passes for 950 yards and seven touchdowns this past season, leading the Cadets (7-5) to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference finals. A three-time First Team All-WCAC selection, he is also a First Team Washington Post All-Met honoree and has been chosen to play in the 2020 Under Armour All-America Game. Jarrett is ranked as the nation’s No. 2 wide receiver prospect in the Class of 2020 by ESPN.

Jarrett has volunteered locally on behalf of a homeless shelter. “Rakim Jarrett is an outstanding talent and a gamechanger,” said Andy Stefanelli, head coach at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School. “He’s always been a  dynamic player on the football field.”

Jarrett has maintained a B average in the classroom. He has verbally committed to play football on scholarship at Louisiana State University next fall. 

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track and field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.

Jarrett joins recent Gatorade District of Columbia Football Players of the Year Caleb Williams (2018-19, Gonzaga College High School), Kevin Doyle (2017-18, St. John's College High School), Kasim Hill (2016-17, St. John's College High School), Terrell Hall (2015-16, St. John's College High School) and Richie Petitbon (2014-15, Gonzaga College High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.

As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Jarrett has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.

Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming
coaches, business owners and educators.