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Thursday, November 10, 2011
Eye on POY: Wisconsin 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.

Vince Biegel
Vince Biegel is a top candidate for 2011-12 Gatorade Wisconsin Football Player of the Year
Vince Biegel
Senior linebacker, Lincoln (Wisconsin Rapids, Wisc.)

2011 Team record: 11-1
2011 Team standing: Division I semifinals vs. Riverside University on Friday

2011 Tackles: 162 (63 solo)
2011 Sacks: 21
2011 Interceptions: 3

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: University of Wisconsin (verbal)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2012 U.S. Army All-American. No. 13 ranked outside linebacker in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU. 2010 and 2011 First Team All-State selection. 2010 and 2011 First Team All-Conference selection. 2011 Wisconsin Football Coaches Association regional Defensive Player of the Year.

Jake Nelson
Senior quarterback, Milwaukee Lutheran (Milwaukee, Wisc.)

2011 Team record: 6-4
2011 Team standing: lost Division III first round to Wisconsin Lutheran, 39-29

2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 191-303 (63.0)-2,767
2011 TDs-INTs: 36-9

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: Undecided

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Owns school record for career touchdown passes. 2011 First Team All-State selection. 2010 and 2011 First Team All-Conference selection. 2011 Wisconsin Football Coaches Association regional Offensive 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.

Bryar Harper: Deforest (Wisc.) senior running back
Leo Musso: Waunakee (Wisc.) senior running back
Matt Sosinsky: Montello/Princeton/Green Lake (Montello, Wisc.) senior wide receiver
Kyle Schueller: Edgar (Wisc.) senior running back/defensive back

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.