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Monday, October 3, 2011
POY Potential: Top 5 S.C. football recruits

By Joel Beck

The Gatorade Player of the Year Program honors athletes who meet comprehensive and exacting criteria in high school sports. Candidates are judged on athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders also must demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Senior status has no bearing on a candidate’s merit and selections are made independent of ESPNU's recruit rankings.

That being said, the state’s top five football recruits as ranked by ESPNU are sure to enter the 2011-12 Gatorade Football Player of the Year conversation at some point. Here they are …

Shaq Roland
Shaq Roland is South Carolina's No. 1 senior recruit.
1. Lexington High (Lexington, SC) athlete Shaq Roland
2. Dorman High (Roebuck, SC) offensive tackle Patrick Destefano
3. D.W. Daniel High (Central, SC) defensive end Shaquille Lawson
4. Dillon High (Dillon, SC) wide receiver Kwinton Smith
5. T.L. Hanna High (Anderson, SC) tight end Justin Meredith
A dedicated POY team at ESPNHS manages the Gatorade Player of the Year program selection process and oversees all research, reporting, comparative analysis and criteria-compliance on the award program’s behalf.