Kennedale linebacker Baron Browning on Tuesday was named The Associated Press Class 4A Defensive Player of the Year in voting by AP sports editors.
“Very deserving, very deserving,” Kennedale coach Richard Barrett said when informed of Browning’s selection. “As good a player as he is, he’s a better person. He’s got a bright future and has done so much for Kennedale.”
Voting was based on regular-season performance. In 10 games, Browning recorded 51 tackles, seven tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, two fumbles recovered (both for touchdown), four pass breakups, two sacks and a safety.
The Wildcats (11-3) enjoyed the best playoff run in school history this season, advancing to the 4A Division I state quarterfinals.
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“He’s been an integral part of our program,” Barrett added. “All the success we’ve had, he’s had a hand in it for sure. We’ll miss him, but he’s going to go do great things at Ohio State.”
Browning committed to the Buckeyes Dec. 1
Barrett recalled first seeing Browning as a Kennedale eighth-grader.
“You knew that there was something big in store for Baron. Everything that he gets, he deserves,” the coach added.
Kennedale also placed three players on the honorable mention list: offensive lineman Andrew Flanagan, defensive lineman Gjemar Daniels, and running back D.J. Kirven. Junior running back Quintan Jackson of Fort Worth Benbrook was also honorable mention.
Browning was an AP first-team pick in 2015. Kennedale running back Quadraiz Wadley was last year’s AP Offensive Player of the Year. He signed with UTEP and played in 10 games this season.