A dedicated ESPNHS POY team managed the Gatorade State Football Player of the Year selection process, resulting in this winner based on the awards program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character. For his 50 fellow Gatorade State Football Player of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Cyrus Jones
THE BASICS: Anatomy of a POY
School: Gilman School (Baltimore, Md.)
Position: Running back/cornerback
Weight: 190 pounds
THE PILLARS: Gatorade criteria
Athletic achievement: Jones led the Greyhounds to a 9-1 record and the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship this past season. He rushed for 948 yards and 13 TDs on 109 carries and caught 39 passes for 635 yards and six touchdowns. Jones also intercepted five passes on defense and scored four touchdowns on special teams. A First Team All-State selection, he is ranked the No. 34 senior recruit in the country by ESPNU, and has been selected to play in the 2012 Under Armour All-American Game.
Academic excellence: Jones has maintained a B average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A senior leader in his school’s chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Jones has volunteered locally on behalf of Ronald McDonald House Charities and a program that serves hot meals to the needy.
THE PRAISE: Tom Luginbill, ESPN National Recruiting Director
“Cyrus Jones is one of the most dynamic prospects in this class when it comes to versatility. He can play just about any skill position on the field and he has tremendous cover corner traits. He’s quick, can transition, has ball skills and is extremely competitive.”
THE FUTURE: Collegiate destination
Jones remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.