CHICAGO (December 7, 2021) — In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Trent Pearman of D.W. Daniel High School is the 2021-22 Gatorade South Carolina Football Player of the Year. Pearman is the first Gatorade South Carolina Football Player of the Year to be chosen from D.W. Daniel 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 Pearman as South Carolina’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, Pearman joins an elite alumni association of state 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 state’s returning Gatorade Player of the Year, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior quarterback led the Lions to a 14-0 record and a second straight Class AAA state championship this past season. Pearman passed for 3,769 yards and 45 touchdowns, including 272 yards and four scores in Daniel’s 45-20 win over Camden High in the state final. He also rushed for 306 yards and eight TDs on the season, and concluded his career with an unbeaten record as a starting quarterback.
Pearman has volunteered locally as part of fundraising campaigns to benefit breast cancer research, and he’s also donated his time as a youth football coach. “Trent is a tremendous player, no doubt about it,” said David Crane, head coach of Seneca High School. “He is what makes that team go. He can hurt you with his arm, his legs and his brain.”
Pearman has maintained a weighted 4.66 GPA in the classroom. He remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.
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 & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.
Two-time winner Pearman joins recent Gatorade South Carolina Football Players of the Year Trent Mikele Colasurdo (2019-20, Chapman High School), Zacch Pickens (2018-19, T.L. Hanna High School), and Derion Kendrick (2017-18, South Pointe High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Gatorade has a long-standing history of serving athlete communities and understands how sports instill valuable lifelong skills on and off the field. Through Gatorade’s “Play it Forward” platform, Pearman has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national organization of their choosing that helps young athletes realize the benefits of playing sports. Pearman is also eligible to submit a short video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.
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.