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Eye on POY: Connecticut football

11/7/2011

The window on the Gatorade State Football Player of the Year race is closing, and time is running out for student-athletes to state their POY case. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program's selection process.

Casey Cochran

Senior quarterback, Masuk (Monroe, Conn.)

2011 Team record: 8-0

2011 Team standing: Regular season game vs. Weston on Friday

2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 88-111 (79.3)-2,123

2011 TDs-INTs: 29-3

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: University of Connecticut (verbal)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2010-11 Gatorade Connecticut Football Player of the Year. Owns a 320.7 NCAA Pass Efficiency Rating and a 147.1 NFL Quarterback Rating. Has led Masuk to 21 consecutive wins. Averaging one touchdown every 3.83 pass attempts. No. 40 ranked QB in the Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU.

Anthony Morales

Senior quarterback, Cromwell (Conn.)

2011 Team record: 7-1

2011 Team standing: Regular season game vs. Valley Regional/Old Lyme on Saturday

2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 105-147 (71.4)-2,376

2011 TDs-INTs: 30-4

Academics: A average (ranked No. 1 in his class)

Collegiate destination: Undecided

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Leads the state in passing yardage and touchdown passes. Has passed for at least four touchdowns in five of eight games.

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Football Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011 campaign.

Bryan Castelot: Bunnell (Stamford, Conn.) junior quarterback

Mike Mastrioanni: Xavier (Middletown, Conn.) senior running back

Matthew Milano: New Canaan (Conn.) senior quarterback

Arkeel Newsome: Ansonia (Conn.) sophomore running back

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Player of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com or Twitter @ESPNHS_GPOY.