"It was a hard year," Switzer said. "That, with Drew, what do you say? I remember going to the vigil we had for him at the school, and it was the worst feeling I've ever had. I never want to feel like that again.
"I know his sister, but I didn't know him too well yet. But you see him around practice or whatever, and then to not see him, and know that he's never coming back, that was hard for us to deal with."
As for his own injury, Switzer said it actually proved to be helpful.
"I was putting a lot of pressure on myself with the state touchdown record and things like that, and when I had the concussion all that stuff went out the window," he said. "So, when I came back I felt like I could just go out there and enjoy playing the game."
In 11 fewer quarters - almost three complete games - than he played in 2011, his statistics were remarkably similar to those from his first Kennedy-winning season. He ran the ball 206 times for 2,379 yards and 32 touchdowns, caught 20 passes for 253 yards and four scores, intercepted three passes and returned each for touchdowns and finished the year with 240 total points.
In 2011, Switzer had 298 carries for 2,796 yards and 40 TDs, caught 10 passes for 149 yards and two scores, intercepted four passes and returned two for touchdowns and scored 270 total points.
His per-game average rushing yardage went from 199.7 in 2011 to 198.3 in 2012, although in the first game of the season he carried the ball just once before being injured. His total yards per game average increased from 210.4 in 2011 to 219.3 in 2012.
Switzer appeared on all but one of 33 ballots cast for the award in statewide voting. He claimed all but nine of the first-place votes. Martinsburg senior quarterback Justin Clinton finished second, appearing on 21 ballots and receiving 18 second-place votes.
Wayne senior running back Brandon Spurlock was third, and Cabell Midland senior running back David Gaydosz was fourth. Each player received three points for a first-place vote, two for a second-place vote and one for a third-place vote. No player outside the top four vote-getters earned more than 20 total points.
Switzer finished with 86 points, and Clinton finished with 46.