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: Joe Hansley
THE BASICS: Anatomy of a POY
School: Highlands Ranch (Colo.)
Position: Running back/defensive back
Weight: 170 pounds
THE PILLARS: Gatorade criteria
Athletic achievement: Hansley rushed for 1,851 yards and 24 touchdowns on 194 carries this past season, leading the Falcons (9-3) to the Class 5A state quarterfinals. He caught 27 passes for 518 yards and eight scores, and also recorded 29 tackles and seven interceptions on defense. Hansley is a two-time First Team All-Continental League selection as a running back and return specialist.
Academic excellence: Hansley has maintained a 3.37 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: Hansley has volunteered locally at Children’s Hospital Colorado and as part of a fundraising campaign to benefit autism research.
THE PRAISE: Joe Johnson, head coach of rival ThunderRidge (Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
“Joe Hansley is a great, great player who killed us every time we played them. Every time his team needed a big play he made one. He is as good a back as we have ever faced.”
THE FUTURE: Collegiate destination
Hansley remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.