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Mullins, Edwards stand out on defensive side

DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

Class 5A: Brandon Mullins, Coppell, LB

The linebacker highlighted a magnificent Coppell front seven that punished teams with physical and disciplined play.

Coppell coaches often moved Mullins around in attempt to confuse opposing offenses. Judging by his stats, it worked.

Committed to play lacrosse for Syracuse next year, Mullins had 131 tackles, 11 sacks and three interceptions, including one he returned 60 yards for a touchdown in the final minutes against Denton Guyer to seal a difficult win.

The postseason awards have poured in for Mullins. He was named the Associated Press defensive player of the year for Class 5A.

Class 4A: Mario Edwards, Denton Ryan, DE

A transfer from Prosper, Edwards turned what already figured to be a strong Ryan defense into one of the best in the state.

At 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, few offensive linemen had a chance against the junior, who regularly garnered double teams and sometimes triple teams.

It didn't stop him. He had 79 tackles, 12 sacks and two fumbles returned for touchdowns in leading Ryan to its first state-title game since 2003.

He received the Associated Press defensive player of the year award for Class 4A and stands to be one of the top recruits in the state in the class of 2012.