THA star Day hopeful for prep Heisman

mmccombs@beaufortgazette.comNovember 5, 2012 

Thomas Heyward Academy's Ryan Day is one of the 20 finalists for the 2012 Wendy's High School Heisman Award for South Carolina.

The senior running back/linebacker is among 10 male and 10 female finalists. One male and one female will be chosen today to represent the state.

"I've got a 10 percent chance," said Day, who said he found out he was a finalist when his parents told him Thursday night after football practice.

Day said he filled out an application in September, "but honestly wasn't expected to be selected."

The Wendy's High School Heisman, in its 19h year, rewards high school athletes for their "outstanding achievements in athletics, academics and community/school leadership."

In addition to football, Day plays baseball and basketball. If his credentials on the field this fall -- 2,049 yards rushing and 38 touchdowns -- are solid, his off-the-field resume is equally as impressive.

He is the THA student body president for the second year, the president of his class for the third year and the Beta Club president. A SCISAA scholar athlete for the third time, he volunteers for Diabetes University, has never made any grade but an A and has never missed a day of school.

"It would be an honor to be selected as the only guy in the state," Day said.

Day wouldn't be the first to win from Thomas Heyward. Despite the small size of the school, the school has had four finalists since 2000 and one, Day's coach Nic Shuford, won the state award in 2000.

Of the state winners selected today, 12 will be chosen as National Finalists and will go on to compete for the National Winner title in New York City on Dec. 7. They will be featured during a televised ceremony on ESPN and receive gold medals and $2,000 awards for their high schools.

One male and one female National Winner will receive a crystal trophy, a $500 gift certificate to Wendy's, and Wendy's will donate $10,000 to each winner's respective high school. The winners will be recognized during the collegiate Heisman Trophy broadcast Dec. 8 on ESPN.

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