Football: Fairview’s Atkinson shines as offensive player of the year

  • Andy Cross / THE DENVER POST

    Fairview's Aidan Atkinson, right, celebrates with teammate Bryce DesJardins after the two connected on a touchdown Sept. 6 at ThunderRidge.

  • Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer

    Fairview's Aidan Atkinson did things in 2018 that few other quarterbacks in Colorado had ever done before. He led the nation in passing yards for a good stretch of time before settling with 3,952 yards — his season cut short by injury.



BOULDER — The hits just keep on coming for Fairview junior Aidan Atkinson.

All in the past three months, the Knights quarterback has set Colorado’s 11-man football records for a single game with 687 yards and nine touchdowns against Legacy on Sept. 27, he committed to Northwestern University five weeks ago and was named the Gatorade player of the year for the state of Colorado in early December.

As if that wasn’t enough for one player in one season, there’s more.

Atkinson also finished the season with a Colorado record 55 passing touchdowns despite missing the postseason with a thumb injury, threw just seven interceptions and finished just 230 yards short of Colorado’s all-time record for passing yards in a season. Playing just 10 games this past season, he still finished 29th in the nation with 3,952 passing yards and topped that list for several mid-season weeks, too.

Adding one more award to the pile, Atkinson also is the offensive player of the year.

“I thought the season was a reflection of everybody’s hard work in the offseason,” Atkinson said. “I was really proud of how the seniors went out. Obviously, it wasn’t the state championship we wanted but we did stuff that no Fairview team and no team in Colorado has ever done before.

“We bonded as a team and as brothers and we made memories and friendships that are going to last a lot longer than football. That’s what it’s all about.”

Atkinson gets his cast off next week and will join the Fairview basketball team whenever he is ready and cleared to play as a 6-foot-4 forward. He will also spend the offseason participating in Elite 11 and Under Armour events. Between now and next season, Atkinson said he plans to work on speed, agility and getting stronger, as well as improving his deep ball accuracy.

With Atkinson spreading the ball around to a talented group of receivers, the Knights offense averaged 49 points per game. In one stretch of four games between Sep. 27 and Oct. 18, Atkinson threw for a total of 1,966 yards and had 29 of his 55 touchdown tosses.

Though the Knights (10-2) believed they had a shot at a deep playoff run with Atkinson, their season ended in the second round of the Class 5A postseason without him.

Coming back for one more season in high school before moving on to begin a Division-I career, Atkinson is already looking forward to one more shot with the Knights football team next fall.

“We have to replace three senior receivers who absolutely killed it last season,” Atkinson said. “It’s going to be on me to get the other guys up to speed. It’s also going to be up to me to have a senior presence in the weight room as we try to prepare for next season.”

Brad Cochi: or