Monarch High School Football Player AJ Hairston Named ITG Next Florida Male Athlete of the Month for August 2023
Monarch High School’s AJ Hairston, one of the state’s most productive quarterbacks last season, has been voted the ITG Next Florida Male Athlete of the Month for August 2023. Hairston received 46.43% of possible votes over three additional players – Wharton’s Booker Pickett Jr., Choctawhatchee’s Cole Tabb, and Homestead’s James Randle – with all finalists coming from the state’s higher classifications.
Since no Florida high school football games have been played to date, our Athlete of the Month series for August uses the model we followed in July, when votes were cast for an “Athlete to Watch” during the 2023 season.
Hairston absolutely is one to watch this fall. The senior enters the season rated as a three-star prospect according to the 247Sports Composite, and he is currently committed to UMass. As a junior, he helped lead the Knights to a 9-3 record, as well as a Class 4M regional semifinal appearance. He posted an impressive stat line during that span, completing 67.9% of his passes for 3,217 yards and a 32:6 TD:INT ratio, while also rushing for 347 yards and 7 touchdowns on 53 attempts.
A multi-year starter, Hairston has been the primary quarterback each of the last two seasons at Monarch. During that stretch, he has recorded a 70.2 CMP% with 5,527 passing yards and a 55:14 TD:INT ratio, and he’s rushed for 555 yards and 10 touchdowns on 76 attempts.
What will Hairston do for an encore performance? Can he lead Monarch to a regional final or beyond? Time will tell, but there is no denying that Hairston is a name to know entering the 2023 Florida high school football season.