Elijah Brown of Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) joins Derrick Henry (2010), Jabrill Peppers (2011), JT Daniels (2016), D.J. Uiagalelei (2017) and Quinn Ewers (2019) as players to earn MaxPreps National Sophomore Player of the Year honors. Brown joins the list after leading the Monarchs to a wire-to-wire finish as the No. 1 team in the MaxPreps Top 25 high school football rankings.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound quarterback threw for 2,581 yards and 30 touchdowns while completing over 74 percent of his passes. He added two more scores on the ground and led Mater Dei to a 12-0 record and third CIF Open Division state championship since 2017.
Brown improved to 17-0 as the starting quarterback for the Monarchs after going 5-0 during a shortened spring season as a freshman. He joined JT Daniels, Matt Barkley and Todd Marinovich as the only freshman quarterbacks to start in program history.
Through his first two years he has thrown for 3,554 yards and 45 touchdowns compared to only seven interceptions while completing over 72 percent of his passes. The four-star quarterback has added three rushing scores and has notable wins over Centennial (Corona), Duncanville (Texas), Liberty (Henderson, Nev.), Norco, Serra (San Mateo), Servite (Anaheim) three-times and St. John Bosco (Bellflower) twice.
He joins former Mater Dei standout JT Daniels and D.J. Uiagalelei of St. John Bosco as the only players from California to take home National Sophomore Player of the Year honors. Brown is the eighth quarterback since 2012 to be named the Sophomore of the Year.
Past MaxPreps National Sophomore Players of the Year
2009 — Johnathan Gray, RB, Aledo (Texas)
2010 — Derrick Henry, RB, Yulee (Fla.)
2011 — Jabrill Peppers, ATH, Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.)
2012 — Austin Kafentzis, QB, Jordan (Sandy, Utah)
2013 — Cameron Chambers, WR, Timber Creek (Erial, N.J.)
2014 — Tate Martell, QB, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
2015 — Dakereon Joyner, QB, Fort Dorchester (North Charleston, S.C.)
2016 — JT Daniels, QB, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
2017 — D.J. Uiagalelei, QB, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
2018 — Demetrius Davis, QB, North Shore (Houston)
2019 — Quinn Ewers, QB, Southlake Carroll (Southlake, Texas)
2020 — Lebbeus Overton, DL, Milton (Ga.)