High School: Defensive players of the year

DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

Class 5A: Devonte Fields, Arlington Martin, DE

Devonte Fields helped Arlington Martin do the unthinkable -- shut down Euless Trinity's running game.

2011 FOOTBALL AWARDS
Dec. 27: Coaches of the year
Dec. 28: Games of the year
Dec. 29: Newcomers of the year
Dec. 30: Best of the rest
Jan. 2: Defensive POYs
Jan. 3: Offensive POYs
Jan. 4: MVPs
Fields and Martin held Trinity to just 135 rushing yards en route to a 19-7 win over a Trinity team that had long tortured the Warriors in the playoffs.

But that was just one of the standout performances from Fields. The TCU commit had 55 tackles -- 27 for a loss -- and nine sacks in a year that ended with him being named to the Associated Press all-state team.

Fields' play turned Martin into one of the better defenses in the area. Aside from finally getting past Trinity in the playoffs, Martin's defense led the Warriors all the way to the region finals, where they lost to eventual state champion Southlake Carroll.


Class 4A: Mario Edwards, Denton Ryan, DE

Injuries hampered Edwards throughout the season, but it didn't stop him from turning in another banner year and being named ESPN Dallas' defensive player of the year for the second consecutive season.

Even on a Ryan defense loaded with FBS-caliber players, Edwards stood out. He had 56 tackles -- 28 for a loss -- and 10 sacks en route to being named to the Associated Press all-state team.

With Edwards leading the way, Ryan gave up just 16.8 points per game. That number could have been even lower and is slightly misleading because the Raiders often played backups late in blowouts, allowing opponents to add to their totals.

Edwards gave an oral commitment to Florida State in the summer but has since backed off from it, expressing interest in Oklahoma and Texas, among others.

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