High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Cedar Falls

Iowa Football POY: Barkley Hill

December, 1, 2011
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.

Gatorade POY: Barkley Hill
ESPNUBarkley Hill set Iowa's Class 4A career rushing touchdowns record.
THE WINNER: Barkley Hill

THE BASICS: Anatomy of a POY

School: Cedar Falls (Iowa)
Grade: Senior
Position: Running back
Height: 6-foot
Weight: 190 pounds

THE PILLARS: Gatorade criteria

Athletic achievement: Hill rushed for 2,491 yards and 40 touchdowns on 316 carries this season, leading the Tigers (11-2) to the Class 4A state semifinals. A returning Elite All-State Team selection as named by the Des Moines Register, he rushed for 229 yards and five touchdowns in the state quarterfinals. Hill also averaged 39.6 yards on 30 punt attempts. He concluded his career with 6,163 yards on 754 carries and a Class 4A record 89 touchdowns.

Academic excellence: Hill has maintained a 3.53 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: In addition to volunteering on behalf of his school’s Tiger Booster Club, Hill has donated his time on behalf of the Cedar Falls High School Harmony Group, celebrating diversity in his community.

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Eye on POY: Iowa football

November, 15, 2011
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: Barkley Hill
file photo/ESPNHSBarkley Hill is a finalist for Gatorade Iowa Football Player of the Year.
Barkley Hill
Senior running back, Cedar Falls (Iowa)

2011 Team record: 11-2
2011 Team standing: lost Class 4A state semifinal to Bettendorf, 35-7

2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 297-2,425 (8.2)-40 [through 11 games]
2011 Catches-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 6-23 (3.8)-0 [through 11 games]

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: Iowa State University (verbal)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: No. 125 ranked RB in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU. Averaged 8.1 yards per touch. Led an offense that scored 36.4 points per game. Booted 30 punts for an average of 39.6 yards. 2010 Elite All-State Team selection as named by the Des Moines Register.

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POY Potential: Top 5 Iowa football recruits

September, 26, 2011
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 …

1. Dowling Catholic High (West Des Moines, Iowa) wide receiver Amara Darboh
  • ESPNU position rank: No. 75 WR
  • Height: 6-foot-2
  • Weight: 195 pounds
  • College: Undecided
  • Traits: catch in traffic
  • ESPNU scouting report: "Darboh is a combination of strength and quickness as a big receiver with a sturdy build, long arms and nice height. He is part playmaker and part possession player and against this level of competition he can really stand out. He can be an imposing player off the line and shows some physicality when pressed at the line."

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