High-SchoolFootball: Rayshawn Simmons
November, 3, 2011
By Mark Tennis & Doug Huff | ESPN.com
(After games of Oct. 27-Oct. 29)
One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.
Jonathan DiBiaso, Everett (Everett, Mass.)
The southpaw senior signal-caller needed less than one half of work to put up six touchdowns in a 41-14 blowout of Medford (Mass.) on the way to setting the Massachusetts record for career passing touchdowns. With 88 career touchdowns, DiBiaso surpassed Tom Colombo’s record of 85 career passing scores set in 1987 for Brockton (Brockton, Mass.). Thanks to touchdowns on the first four possessions of the game, DiBiaso netted the new state record early on a 55-yard touchdown to receiver Jaylen McRae.
Forest Williams, Amory (Amory, Miss.)
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior quarterback passed for 544 yards and seven touchdowns in a 49-18 regular-season finale win over Pontotoc (Pontotoc, Miss.). The win for the 8-3 record Panthers clinched a No. 1 seed in the upcoming Class 4A state playoffs. Williams, who earlier passed for 505 yards and six scores in a game, has over 3,500 aerial yards and 39 TDs this season.
Darvell Harris, Dunbar (Chicago)
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound senior quarterback accounted for 573 total offense yards and six touchdowns in a 66-26 first-round Class 8A state playoff win over Taft (Chicago). Harris led the Mighty Men by completing 16-of-23 passes for 429 yards and five scores. In the first half, he was 13-of-18 for 393 yards with two TD passes to his brother, Travon, and three scoring aerials to his cousin, Jayton Dorsey. Overall, he also rushed six times for 144 yards, including a 67-yard TD run.
Rayshawn Simmons, Webster Groves (Webster Groves, Mo.)
Although Simmons is probably even better in basketball, his performance on the gridiron this past Friday when the Statesmen defeated Parkway North (St. Louis) 38-24 was too tough to ignore. The 6-foot-2 quarterback connected on 20-of-34 passes for 417 yards and four touchdowns and also scored a rushing touchdown. For the season, Simmons has now passed for 2,407 yards and 28 scores while leading Webster Groves to an 8-1 record. On the court, Simmons is drawing some recruiting interest from some major colleges. He drew raves last season when he scored 33 points for Webster Groves in a four-point loss to Chaminade (St. Louis), which was led by 40 points that night from eventual Gatorade National Player of the Year Bradley Beal.
D.J. Nelson, Logan (Logan, Utah)
He’s the younger brother of starting BYU quarterback Riley Nelson and has had an outstanding season leading an undefeated team. Nelson’s latest outing came in the first-round of the Class 4A state playoffs when he passed for six touchdowns and ran for two more scores in a 56-22 triumph over Herriman (West Herriman, Utah). The senior lacks the size of his brother so the major colleges haven’t been offering, but he has verbally committed to Utah State. In addition to the touchdowns, Nelson also rushed 17 times for 185 yards and completed 25-of-34 passes for 284 yards against Herriman. He split time as a junior with sophomore Luke Falk, who transferred at the start of this season to Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, Calif.) but has since returned to Logan.