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Monday, November 7, 2011
Eye on POY: Oregon football

By Joel Beck

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: Steven Long
Steven Long leads Oregon's No. 1 ranked team into the Class 6A state tournament.
Steven Long
Senior running back, Lake Oswego (Ore.)

2011 Team record: 9-0
2011 Team standing: Class 6A first round vs. Reynolds on Nov. 11

2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 177-1,328 (7.5)-22 [through 8 games]

Academics: 3.14 GPA
Collegiate destination: Portland State University (verbal)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Team ranked No. 1 in the state. Named ESPNHS Regional Player of the Week on Sept. 23 after rushing for 423 yards and seven touchdowns in a 56-46 win over Skyline. 2010 Class 5A state championship game Most Valuable Player.

Dillon Miller
Senior quarterback, Sheldon (Eugene, Ore.)

2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 174-254 (68.5)-2,415
2011 TDs-INTs: 27-3

2011 Team record: 9-0
2011 Team standing: Class 6A first round vs. Clackamas on Nov. 11

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: Undecided

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 181.09 NCAA Pass Efficiency Rating. 2010 Southwest Conference Player of the Year.

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.

J.C. Grim: Bend High (Bend, OR) senior wide receiver/cornerback
Jack Singler: South Medford High (Medford, OR) senior quarterback/free safety
Joel Skotte: Mountain View High (Bend, OR) senior linebacker/tailback

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.