Player of the Year race: Week 8 update

October, 13, 2010
10/13/10
1:55
AM CT
Wheaton Warrenville South quarterback Reilly O’Toole has yet to have an off night through seven weeks.

With only a few games remaining, the ESPNChicago.com High School Football Player of the Year award is O’Toole’s to lose. Either he’ll need to have a really poor game or someone will need a really great one for that to change.

The number of candidates was cut down to 11 this week.

1. Wheaton Warrrenville South senior quarterback Reilly O’Toole (previously ranked No. 1)

Last week: O’Toole only needed to play one half in Wheaton Warrenville South’s 56-0 win over West Chicago. He completed 8-of-9 passes for 145 yards and four touchdowns. Wheaton Warrenville South improved to 7-0.

Season: 79-of-107 passing for 1,518 yards, 23 touchdowns and one interception; two rushing touchdowns.

2. Vernon Hills senior wide receiver DaVaris Daniels (3)

Last week: Daniels’ 86-yard punt-return touchdown against Grant was one of the more electrifying plays of his season. According to Vernon Hills coach Tony Monken, Daniels made 10 or 11 guys miss, and a couple of those missed a few times. Daniels also had four tackles, one forced fumble, one reception for 13 yards and 12 rushing yards on three carries.

Season: 4-of-6 passing for 71 yards and one touchdown; 11 receptions for 290 yards and four touchdowns; 258 rushing yards and six touchdowns; two punt return touchdowns; three interceptions and two defensive touchdowns.

3. Plainfield North senior running back Kapri Bibbs (2)

Last week: Bibbs was slowed down -- at least for his standards -- in Plainfield North’s 35-34 loss to Minooka. He rushed for 198 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries. Plainfield North fell to 5-2.

Season: 1,887 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns on 190 carries.

4. Elk Grove senior quarterback Nick Meyer (5)

Last week: Meyer was 18-of-20 for 225 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 71 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries in Elk Grove’s 28-13 win over Hersey. The Grenadiers improved to 6-1.

Season: 118-of-193 passing for 1,553 yards and 15 touchdowns; 679 yards and 11 touchdowns on 114 carries.

5. Naperville North senior linebacker Nick Lifka (4)

Last week: Lifka was his usual defensive beast in Naperville North’s 49-21 win over Glenbard East on Friday. Lifka had 11 tackles to lead the Huskies. Naperville North improved to 5-2.

Season: 88 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, three sacks, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

6. Simeon junior quarterback Robert Gregory (6)

Last week: Gregory was very efficient in Simeon’s 55-6 win over Lincoln Park on Saturday. He completed 2-of-2 passes for 79 yards and ran for 63 yards and three touchdowns on seven carries. The Wolverines improved to 7-0.

Season: 41-of-71 passing for 787 yards and 10 touchdowns; 674 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns.

7. Schaumburg senior running back Shepard Little (7)

Last week: Little, the ESPNChicago.com Prep Athlete of the Week, rushed for 99 yards and four touchdowns on 12 carries in Schaumburg’s 42-21 win over Conant. The Saxons improved to 5-2.

Season: 1,274 yards and 16 touchdowns on 155 carries; two receiving touchdowns.

8. Joliet Catholic senior running back Josh Ferguson (10)

Last week: Ferguson ran wild again. He scored three touchdowns, including an 80-yarder, in the Hilltoppers’ 73-27 win over St. Patrick. Joliet Catholic improved to 6-1.

Season: 929 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns on 74 carries.

9. Lake Zurich senior running back Jacob Brinlee (9)

Last week: Brinlee scored one of his team’s two touchdowns in a 14-0 win over Warren on Saturday. He finished with 114 rushing yards and one touchdown on 14 carries. Lake Zurich improved to 6-1.

Season: 949 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on 90 carries; one receiving touchdown.

10. Loyola junior quarterback Malcolm Weaver (12)

Last week: Weaver completed 13-of-22 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns in Loyola’s 45-7 win over Fenwick. The Ramblers improved to 6-1.

Season: 97-of-172 passing for 1,513 yards and 22 touchdowns.

11. St. Rita senior running back Jahwon Akui (13)

Last week: Akui rushed for 195 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries in St. Rita’s 31-19 win over Providence. The Mustangs improved to 7-0.

Season: 917 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on 186 carries.
Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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