James Portilla, Oak Ridge
A year ago, James Portilla was a third-string defensive back for Oak Ridge, trying to learn his position well enough so that his coaches would have enough confidence to let him play one down.
A switch this season to linebacker under position coach Darren Jonutz meshed with Portilla's physical ability, and last week he proved one can rise from the end of the bench to the forefront.
The senior had an interception, a fumble recovery and 13 tackles to lead a defensive charge in the No. 4 Trojans' 21-13 victory over No. 10 Franklin on Sept. 13, earning him The Bee's Prep of the Week honor through fan voting on sacbee.com.
Portilla is second on the team in tackles to Thomas Mahlman, averaging 8.3 a game.