Eye on POY: Rhode Island football

November, 17, 2011
11/17/11
4:03
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.

Anthony Francis
Junior quarterback, La Salle Academy (Providence, R.I.)

2011 Team record: 8-1
2011 Team standing: Play East Providence in regular-season finale Nov. 24

2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 38-73 (52.1)-836
2011 TDs-INTs: 9-4
2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 79-584 (7.4)-9

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: HS junior

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Passed for 241 yards and four TDs in 48-21 win over playoff-bound South Kingstown. Ran for three touchdowns in 38-10 win over Barrington. Two-year starter.

Josh Morris
Junior running back/cornerback, La Salle Academy (Providence, R.I.)

2011 Team record: 8-1
2011 Team standing: Play East Providence in regular-season finale Nov. 24

2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 118-1,088 (7.9)-13
2011 Catches-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 7-138 (19.7)-1
2011 Kickoff returns-AVG.-TDs: 8-40.4-1

2011 Tackles: 11
2011 Interceptions: 2

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: HS junior

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2010 First Team All-Division I selection. Rushed for 291 yards and four TDs in 35-14 win over Cranston East. Has rushed for at least two TDs in five of nine 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.

Ryan Brannigan: Bishop Hendricken (Warwick, R.I.) senior quarterback
Jalin Braxton: East Providence (R.I.) senior running back
Louis Falcone: Bishop Hendricken (Warwick, R.I.) senior running back
Austin Szczepaniak: Portsmouth (R.I.) junior running back/linebacker

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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