The Gatorade Player of the Year honors were announced earlier today for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Among those selected were a number of incoming Big Ten 2021 freshmen, including signees for Purdue, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Nebraska.
The Purdue Boilermakers now have the second straight Indiana Gatorade honoree with Caleb Furst winning it this year. Last year’s winner was Trey Kaufman.
One final prep award for @calebfurst before he gets on campus next weekend.— Purdue Mens Basketball (@BoilerBall) June 4, 2021
✔️: Purdue now has the last two Indiana @Gatorade Players of the Year in the same signing class (Trey Kaufman-Renn; 2020). pic.twitter.com/4w0nlsMwPE
Furst is a 247Sports composite four-star listed as a 6-foot-8 and 215-pound power forward. He had offers from Michigan State, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Northwestern, Ohio State, Butler, Notre Dame, Marquette, California, Louisville, and Virginia, among others. Furst was the No. 2 player in the 2021 class in Indiana and the No. 62 nationally.
Also among those chosen was South Dakota native and Wisconsin signee Matthew Mors. A three-star composite, Mors is a 6-foot-7 and 22-pound power forward.
Along with Wisconsin, Mors also had offers from programs including Colorado, Creighton, Iowa, and Iowa State among others. He is rated as a four-star prospect by 247Sports and as the best player in the state.
The Michigan State Spartans led the pack this year as two signees of MSU’s 2021 class were named their respective home states’ Gatorade Player of the Year. Max Christie of Illinois and Pierre Brooks II of Michigan were both named players of the year.
Max Christie is a 247Sports composite five-star shooting guard, the No. 1 shooting guard in the 2021 class, No. 1 player in Illinois, and No. 17 in the 2021 class nationally. Along with Michigan State, he also had offers from Baylor, California, DePaul, and Duke among others.
Pierre Brooks II is a Michigan native and the initial commit for the Spartans’ 2021 class. The 6-foot-6 and 205-pound small forward is a 247Sports composite four-star recruit, the No. 3 player in Michigan, and No. 58 nationally. He had offers from Arizona State, DePaul, Butler, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Northwestern, and Missouri among others.
Illinois also added Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year Brandin Podziemski. The 247Sports composite four-star shooting guard was the No. 3 player in Wisconsin and No. 103 nationally.
ILLINI NATION, I present to you GATORADE PLAYER OF THE YEAR FOR WISCONSIN— John Podziemski (@john_fiero) June 4, 2021
Brandin Podziemski way to go Podz proud of you!!! pic.twitter.com/l1H0tQMtWM
Podziemski is listed at 6-foot-5 and 195-pounds. He had offers from Nebraska, Loyola-Chicago, Marquette, Miami, Kansas, DePaul, Arizona State, Kentucky, and Kansas State among others.
Finally, even the Nebraska Cornhuskers feature a Gatorade Player of the Year honoree in their 2021 class, which was No. 3 in the Big Ten after all. 247Sports composite five-star Bryce McGowens was named South Carolina’s Gatorade Player of the Year, and Coach Hoiberg decided to pile on a little with some bragging about that detail.
McGowens, younger brother of current Husker Trey McGowens, is the highest rated Husker signee in modern recruiting era history. McGowens was the No. 26 player nationally, No. 4 shooting guard in the 2021 class, and No. 1 player in South Carolina. Along with Nebraska, he also had offers from Clemson, Florida, Florida State, and Georgia among others.