Eye on POY: Georgia football

November, 16, 2011
11/16/11
7:31
PM ET
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.

Eye on POY: Kenyan Drake
Tom Hauck/ESPNHSHillgrove senior running back Kenyan Drake is a finalist for Gatorade Georgia Football Player of the Year.
Kenyan Drake
Senior running back, Hillgrove (Powder Springs, Ga.)

2011 Team record: 11-0 (Class AAAAA)
2011 Team standing: Class AAAAA second round vs. West Forsyth on Friday

2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 154-1,571 (10.2)-15
2011 Catches-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 16-218 (13.6)-5

2011 KO Returns-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 8-268 (33.5)-1
2011 Punt Returns-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 2-59 (29.5)-0

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: University of Alabama (verbal)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Averages 10.4 yards per touch. No. 13 ranked RB in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU. 2011 First Team All-State preseason selection as named by ESPNHS. 2011 Super 11 selection as named by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 2010 Class AAAAA Second Team All-State selection as named by the Georgia Sports Writers Association.

J.J. Green
Junior running back/defensive back, Camden County (Kingsland, Ga.)

2011 Team record: 11-0 (Class AAAAA)
2011 Team standing: Class AAAAA second round vs. Marietta on Friday; No. 11 ranked team on ESPNHS FAB 50

2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 47-664 (14.1)-12
2011 Catches-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 10-210 (21.0)-3

2011 KO Returns-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 3-175 (58.3)-3
2011 Punt Returns-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 8-215 (26.9)-1

2011 Tackles: 23
2011 Interceptions: 3

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: HS Junior

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Scored at least one touchdown in each game. Averages 18.6 yards per touch. 2011 Honorable Mention All-State preseason selection as named by ESPNHS. 2011 Class AAAAA First Team All-State preseason selection as named by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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.

Josh Harvey-Clemons: Lowndes (Valdosta, Ga.) senior athlete
Brandon Greene: Cedar Grove (Ellenwood, Ga.) senior offensive tackle
Darius English: McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) senior defensive end
Tyren Jones: George Walton Comprehensive (Marietta, Ga.) junior running back
Mike Davis: Stephenson (Stone Mountain, Ga.) senior running back
Robert Nkemdiche: Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) junior defensive end/running back
Geno Smith: St. Pius X Catholic (Atlanta, Ga.) senior defensive back/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.

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