By Darrell Patterson
Ridgeland High School senior Daniel Johnson has been named the state of Georgia's winner of the 2012 High School Heisman Award.
Johnson, a middle-linebacker and captain for the Panthers, is a scholar-athlete who is also the captain, a pitcher and infielder for the Panthers baseball team.
Johnson is also a member of Ridgeland High School Honors Academy and carries a perfect 4.0 grade point average, and a member of the National Honor Society. He has also been a class officer for four years, currently serving as president of the Student Government Association.
Now in its 19th year, the Wendy’s High School Heisman is one of the most esteemed awards at the high school level.
Of the 45,000 seniors who applied nationwide, 1,763 were from Georgia, and from those, only 20 were selected as state finalists.
According to a press release, the finalists "embody the Heisman spirit of hard work and dedication through their outstanding achievements in athletics, academics and community/school leadership."
As the Georgia winner, Johnson becomes one of the twelve national finalists who'll compete for the national title. That winner will be announced in New York City on December 7.
National finalists will be featured during a televised ceremony on the ESPN networks and will receive gold medals and $2,000 awards for their high schools. One male and one female national winner will receive a crystal Wendy’s High School Heisman trophy, a $500 gift certificate to Wendy’s, and the restaurant chain will donate $10,000 to each winner’s respective high school. Additionally, the winners will be recognized during the collegiate Heisman Trophy broadcast on ESPN, Dec. 8.
Created in 1994 by Wendy’s and the Heisman Memorial Trust, the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award recognizes outstanding high school seniors nationwide who excel in athletics, academics and community leadership.