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: Landon Collins
THE BASICS: Anatomy of a POY
School: Dutchtown (Geismar, La.)
Position: Safety/running back
Weight: 210 pounds
THE PILLARS: Gatorade criteria
Athletic achievement: Collins rushed for 1,218 yards and 21 touchdowns on 89 carries this past season, averaging 13.7 yards per carry and leading the Griffins (10-1) to a berth in the Class 5A postseason. He also recorded 45 tackles and four interceptions, returning two for touchdowns. A two-time District 5-5A MVP and a 2012 Under Armour All-American Game selection, Collins, who had not played running back since middle school, is the No. 7 rated recruit in the Class of 2012 by ESPNU.
Academic excellence: Collins has maintained a B average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: Collins has volunteered locally as part of multiple community service initiatives in association with his church youth group.
THE PRAISE: Benny Saia, head coach at Dutchtown
“I think he probably affected our team more on offense than on defense. When you put the ball under his arm, he was explosive. He was able to control the game. He was on punt team, return team, kickoffs, offense, defense -- he did it all. Pretty good at all of it, too.”
THE FUTURE: Collegiate destination
Collins remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.