ESPNBoston.com and its high school sports staff today have named the five finalists for the second annual ESPN Boston Mr. Football Award, to be announced on December 5. The winner will be presented with an award and jersey on the field at Gillette Stadium, prior to Dec. 4's matchup between the Patriots and Colts.
Last year, Everett wide receiver Matt Costello won the award. His quarterback, Jonathan DiBiaso, is one of the five finalists this season.
Here are the five finalists:
JONATHAN DIBIASO, EVERETT
6-foot-1, 197 lbs.
The returning All-Stater more than lived up to his hype so far in the 2011 season, breaking the state's all-time mark of 85 career touchdown passes late last month. And with as many as three games left on the slate, he could not only put it into triple-digits (he currently has 97), but out of reach. Through 10 games for the undefeated No. 1 Crimson Tide, he has completed 148 of 250 passes for 2,407 yards and 38 touchdowns to just six interceptions. Since the start of the 2010 season, DiBiaso has thrown 81 touchdown passes to just 10 interceptions.
ARMANI REEVES, CATHOLIC MEMORIAL
5-foot-10, 185 lbs.
The Penn State commit and returning All-State athlete has been labeled as the state's No. 1 overall Class of 2012 prospect, at times teetering in the ESPNU 150. Suffice it to say that he has made the most of his limited touches, for a Knights squad that has been averaging nearly 32 points per game over the last seven games. Lining up at both running back and wide receiver for the No. 5 Knights (7-1) as well as cornerback and retuner, he has been dazzling. He's run for 939 yards and 11 touchdowns on 42 carries, and caught 294 yards and another three, with a total of 15 touchdowns. That breaks down to an average of one touchdown for every three touches.
MATT O'KEEFE, DUXBURY
6-foot-3, 185 lbs.
The Johns Hopkins lacrosse commit is ranked as the No. 32 overall player in the ESPNHS 100, as a defender, but he's made plenty of noise on the gridiron this fall as well. In his first season as the full-time starter under center, he has completed 66 percent of his passes (136 for 206), for 1,992 yards and 30 touchdowns to just six interceptions. On the ground he has been just as tough for the No. 2 Dragons (10-0), carrying 72 times for 493 yards and four scores.
TIM JOY, CHELMSFORD
6-foot-2, 220 pounds
The Boston College commit is the third finalist on this list who made ESPN Boston's inaugural MIAA All-State Team in 2010, and so far he has lived up to his billing as one of the state's premier middle linebackers. After registering 131 tackles last season, Joy has nearly matched that total through 10 games this year for the No. 4 Lions (9-1); and with potentially three games left on the slate, it isn't out of the realm to think he could surpass 300 tackles in the last two seasons.
MELQUAWN PINKNEY, SPRINGFIELD PUTNAM
Senior Running Back
5-foot-9, 170 lbs.
After rushing for over 1,000 yards in part-time duty as a junior, Pinkney has been electric in 2011, leading the No. 8 Beavers (9-1) through one of their most historic seasons in recent memory. In the first month of the season, he ran for a Western Mass. record 421 yards and six touchdowns; it took him just three weeks to go over the 1,000-yard plateau. Through 10 games, he has carried 262 times for a state-best 2,113 yards and 33 touchdowns, for averages of 8.1 yards a carry and 211 yards a game.