NASHVILLE - Senior running back Spencer Briggs closed out his Gallatin career Monday afternoon at Nissan Stadium finishing runner up in the Tennessee Titans Class 5A Mr. Football contest.
Briggs, who currently holds interest from multiple schools including Duke, Kansas, Memphis, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt, finished behind winner Elijah Young from South Doyle High School.
“I’m grateful to be here,” Briggs said of the honor. “I’m humbled to be included with so many great athletes from across the state. A lot of hard work was put in to get here and it is nice to see it pay off.”
Briggs finished his senior season with 1,494 yards and 15 touchdowns on 188 carries in just eight games.
He helped lead Gallatin to their first 8-0 start since the 2006 season and rushed for a school-record 313 yards versus city-rival Station Camp. He also earned Region 6-5A Most Valuable Player honors. His performance against the Bison earned him the Week 2 Titan Up High School Football Player of the Week.
While Briggs certainly did his part in earning those awards and yards, the senior was quick to give credit to his offensive line who helped pave the way.
“Those guys got my back for sure,” he said. “I knew we had the ability to have a good season, but they helped make it a great season. I’m very thankful for them and the hard work they put into this season.”
Though Nikolas Stawicki, Max Wingert, Morgan Smith, Hayden Minor, William Barnes, Kris Murphy, and William Goodnight were not officially nominated for the Mr. Football award, they deserve the credit for helping Briggs finish as a runner up.
“That group worked really hard this season and got better as we went further into the year,” head coach Chad Watson said. “We played a lot of different people and they took pride in their jobs and they take pride in Spencer getting whatever publicity he received throughout the season.”
Watson took over as head coach in December of 2018 and says Briggs was one of the first guys that stood out on Hudl for the Wave.
“When I looked at applying for the job I watched the film and he stood out just from his ball skill ability,” Watson recalled. “I knew when we scrimmaged Blackman in the spring and he had over 100 yards he would be special. I think in that Station Camp game he really made a name for himself in the state. We will miss him as a football player but we will also miss him as a person. He is a special kid.”
Briggs described his career with the Green Wave as a rollercoaster. After playing sparingly as a sophomore behind Jalen Porter and Ladarius Stewart, Briggs never got going his junior year after nagging injuries plagued him from reaching his full potential.
“I don’t ever think we saw him at 100% until late in the 2018 season,” Offensive Coordinator Nathan Wilson said. “Once he started picking up speed after the season you could really see how special he could be. I think bringing in Isaiah Briscoe and Montez Banks to help in the run game, and our offensive line improving as well contributed to his success. He has great lateral movement, can accelerate and de-accelerate better than anyone I’ve ever coached before. He has great vision and was just a great fit for what we wanted to do offensively.”
Briggs is more than a great runner. He has the ability to step up in pass protection, catch the ball out of the backfield, and can line up at receiver and run good routes.
“Briggs is a team player and will do whatever you ask of him,” Wilson continued. “He is a great pass blocker, and that is rare in a lot of backs these days. He is the ultimate team player and will be a great asset to whoever gets him at the next level.”
Coach Watson agrees saying Briggs is a special player but isn’t close to reaching his potential as a running back.
“Briggs will change the culture of a program for the better no doubt,” Watson said. “As good as he is the scary part is I don’t think he is anywhere close to his potential. You get him in a college weight program and he will easily be a 215 to 220 pound running back that will be a game-changer.”
Briggs holds offers from Austin Peay, Toledo, Tennessee State, Tennessee Martin, and Tennessee Tech.
He says he will wait until February before he makes his decision on where to sign.
“There isn’t a school that stands out right now,” he said. “I just want to wait it out as long as I can to see what other offers come in before I make my decision.”