ST. BERNARD, Ohio — Roger Bacon High School senior running back Corey Kiner was named Thursday morning as the Gatorade Ohio football player of the year.
"I'm happy that I can bring another award back to Cincinnati and back to Roger Bacon," Kiner told WCPO. "Just to show people that it doesn't matter what high school you go to; you can go and achieve your dreams anywhere."
Kiner, who is signed with Louisiana State University, is the first Gatorade state football player of the year from Roger Bacon.
The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, according to a news release.
"The Mr. Ohio obviously was big but with Gatorade you have a national company who comes in and gives a state award like this - it's another huge award for him," Roger Bacon coach Mike Blaut told WCPO.
"As his coach it's well deserved. He'll take it as 'Mr. Humble.' I've already sent congratulations to him. He handles it in stride like it's no big deal. And that's the best part about Corey is just how humble he is about everything. But, it's a great honor for him."
Kiner, Ohio's Mr. Football in 2020, is a finalist for the Gatorade national football player of the year award which will be announced later this month.
Kiner 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.).
Kiner helped to lead Roger Bacon to its first regional football title this past season. The Spartans (10-1) were a Division V state semifinalist.
He rushed for 1,866 yards (13.8 yards per carry average) and 35 touchdowns his senior season. He returned kickoffs on special teams, including a touchdown.
Kiner was named All-Ohio by MaxPreps, Southwest District offensive player of the year and Miami Valley Conference player of the year.
“Corey is the best football player that I have ever seen in person,” Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy coach KC Woods said in a statement. “He is strong, powerful, explosive, fast and incredibly hard to tackle. It was hard not to be in awe watching him.”
Kiner, also named the Division V state offensive player in 2020, rushed for 7,130 yards at Roger Bacon and is No. 10 on OHSAA's career rushing yards list.
A member of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership program, Kiner has volunteered locally as a school ambassador and has donated his time as a youth football coach. Kiner has maintained a 'B' average in the classroom.
Kiner, who is running track this spring, is scheduled to leave for Baton Rouge in early June. He is savoring the final few weeks at Roger Bacon.
"Just my time with my friends and my family," Kiner said. "Because when I leave I won't be back for a while. So I'm just taking every moment for what it is and not taking them for granted because I love everybody around me. It's going to be hard to leave them but it's all going to pay off one day, too."
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.