High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Connor Brewer

National POY Watch: Football contenders

November, 11, 2011
11/11/11
8:54
AM ET
Everybody knows a guy’s gotta win his own state first before he gets a shot at being Gatorade National Football Player of the Year. That said, two elite performers to this point in the season are among those making a bid to be honored as the best of the best once the calendar turns to December. The Gatorade Player of the Year award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. There’s plenty more work to be done, but here are two top candidates who remain in contention to win their own state and could someday call themselves a National POY.

Johnathan Gray
Travis Brown/ESPNHSJohnathan Gray led Aledo High (Texas) to the Class 4A Division II state title as a sophomore.
Johnathan Gray
Senior running back, Aledo (Texas)

2011 Team record: 9-2 (Class 4A, Division II)
2011 Team standing: Class 4A, Div. II area round vs. Friday's Mansfield Summit/Waco winner on Nov. 17

2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 224-2,628 (11.7)-50
2011 Catches-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 21-465 (22.1)-5

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: University of Texas (verbal)

How he’s played himself into the National POY conversation: Ranks No. 2 on national prep career points and touchdowns lists. Owns state records for TDs in a season (59) and career. 2010-11 Gatorade Texas Football Player of the Year. No. 8 national recruit in Class of 2012 as ranked by ESPNU. 2010 ESPNHS Mr. Football USA National Player of the Year. 2009 and 2010 Class 4A Player of the Year as named by the Texas Sports Writers Association. 2009 and 2010 First Team All-State selection. 2009 and 2010 Class 4A Division II championship game MVP. 2009 and 2010 Class 4A Division II state champion.

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POY Potential: Top 5 Ariz. Football Recruits

October, 6, 2011
10/06/11
2:44
PM ET
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 …

Andrus Peat
ESPNHSAndrus Peat is Arizona's No. 1 senior recruit.
1. Corona del Sol High (Tempe, Ariz.) offensive tackle Andrus Peat
  • ESPNU 150 rank: 16
  • Height: 6-foot-6
  • Weight: 280 pounds
  • College: Undecided
  • Traits: Run blocking, pass blocking, space blocking, physicality
  • ESPNU scouting report: "Peat is a very good athlete, demonstrating good explosion and playing strength at this stage of his development. Has the size for the offensive tackle position at the major level of competition and it appears his frame is very capable of adding the necessary bulk for the position over time."

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