One of the biggest individual honors a high school football player can receive is Mr. Football USA, the title bestowed upon the nation’s most outstanding player each fall by ESPNHS.
This week's edition marks the final installment of the regular season, with the winner of the annual honor to be announced next week. Below is a look at the top candidates in the chase for the 2011 Mr. Football USA.
RB Johnathan Gray, Aledo (Texas)
Last week: The nation's top-rated running back and 2010 ESPNHS Mr. Football USA tied Mike Hart's all-time national career touchdown record of 204 with five scores in Aledo's 68-28 destruction of Corsicana (Corsicana, Texas) in a Class 4A Division II semifinal. Gray ran 22 times for 218 yards and also caught one pass for 36 yards in the win.
Season totals: 317 carries for 3,653 rushing yards and 64 rushing touchdowns, 23 catches for 494 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns; Aledo is 13-2.
Stock – Up: Just one more trip into the end zone in this Saturday's state title game versus Manvel (Manvel, Texas) will make Gray the all-time leading touchdown scorer in high school football history. In last year's state title victory over La Marque (La Marque, Texas), Gray scored eight times, setting a new high for Texas title games.
WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.)
Season Totals: 119 catches for 2,233 yards and 24 touchdowns, one rushing touchdown; team finished 11-2.
QB Maty Mauk, Kenton (Ohio)
Season Totals: 382 of 556 for 5,413 yards and 68 touchdowns with 16 interceptions, 241 carries for 1,768 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns; team finished 14-1.
ON THE RADAR
ATH Davonte Neal, Chaparral (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Season Totals: 100 carries for 1,317 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns, 62 receptions for 1,113 yards and 14 touchdowns, three kickoff returns for touchdowns and two punt return scores, recorded 31 tackles on defense; team finished 14-1 and is No. 22 in the FAB 50.
QB Patrick Towles, Highlands (Fort Thomas, Ky.)
Season Totals: 181 of 279 for 3,820 yards, 42 touchdowns and one interception, with 589 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns; team finished 15-0 and No. 34 in the FAB 50.
RB Trey Williams, Dekaney (Houston)
Last week: Williams' remarkable playoff run continued Saturday, as he scorched Timberview (Mansfield, Texas) for 281 yards and six touchdowns on 31 carries as Dekaney cruised to a spot in the 5A Division II state final with a 56-19 rout.
Season totals: 402 carries for 3,687 rushing yards and 45 touchdowns with two receiving touchdowns and a kickoff return score; team is 13-2.
Stock – Up: The Texas A&M commit has led Dekaney, a school that had never won a playoff game before this current run, to a berth in the state championship. Dekaney takes on FAB 50 No. 14 Steele (Cibolo, Texas) on Saturday at Cowboys Stadium.
QB Jameis Winston, Hueytown (Ala.)
Season Totals: 163 of 234 for 2,424 yards and 28 touchdowns with two interceptions, 1,063 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns, one touchdown reception; team finished 13-1.
MOVING ONTO THE TRACKER
RB Randy "Duke" Johnson, Miami Norland (Miami, Fla.)
Last week: Johnson, a Miami recruit, led FAB 50 No. 8 Norland back from a 20-0 deficit to top Palmetto (Palmetto, Fla.) 35-27 in the Class 5A state semis, rushing 27 times for 375 yards and three touchdowns. He's compiled over 600 yards and six scores in the past two playoff games.
Season totals: 187 carries for 1,957 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns, 11 receptions for 178 receiving yards and three touchdowns, two kickoff returns and one punt return score; team is 13-0.
Stock – Up: Johnson may not have the gaudy season totals like some others on this list, as he's missed one game to suspension and one other to injury this fall, but there's no doubt he's the most explosive offensive player in Florida and has carried Norland through the playoffs and into the state final. The Vikings take on Wakulla (Crawfordville, Fla.) on Friday afternoon in the title game.
Disagree with this list or have suggestions/comments about who should be added for consideration? Email Brian Stumpf at firstname.lastname@example.org, hit him up on Twitter - @BrianStumpfESPN or post in the comments section below.