Notre Dame commits Drayk Bowen, Joshua Burnham named state's Gatorade Player of the Year

Tyler James
ND Insider
Andrean Fighting 59ers Drayk Bowen (34) celebrates a touchdown during the IHSAA Class 2A State Finals on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.The Andrean Fighting 59ers defeated the Evansville Mater Dei Wildcats, 21-9.

Of the 50 high school football players named Gatorade Player of the Year in their respective states, two of them are verbally committed to Notre Dame: linebackers Drayk Bowen (Indiana) and Joshua Burnham (Michigan).

Bowen, who played both linebacker and running back at Merrillville (Ind.) Andrean, led his team to a Class 2A state championship last month. He finished the season with 105 tackles, three sacks, three interceptions, 965 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns.

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The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Bowen is one of only seven juniors to win the Gatorade Player of the Year in his state for football. The four-star recruit committed to Notre Dame on Nov. 3.

Rivals ranks Bowen as the No. 2 outside linebacker and No. 34 overall in the 2023 class. 247Sports slates him as the No. 3 linebacker and No. 59 overall.

Burnham, who played both linebacker and quarterback at Traverse City (Mich.) Central, led his team to a Division 2 state runner-up finish. On defense, Burnham tallied 102 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss and two interceptions in his senior season. On offense, Burnham rushed for 1,516 yards and 29 touchdowns and completed 49 of his 98 passes for 955 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Traverse City Central quarterback Josh Burnham (8) scores a touchdown against Warren De La Salle during the second half of MHSAA Division 2 football state final at Ford Field in Detroit on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021.

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Burnham is also a finalist for the high school Butkus Award, which is given to the best linebacker in the country. The four-star recruit committed to Notre Dame on March 17 and intends to sign with the Irish during the early signing period which begins on Dec. 15.

247Sports slates Burnham as the No. 5 linebacker and No. 67 overall in the 2022 class. Rivals ranks him as the No. 5 inside linebacker and No. 162 overall.

The Gatorade Player of the Year honors student-athletes who display athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character.

Follow ND Insider Tyler James on Twitter: @TJamesNDI.