High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Cooper Rush

Michigan Football POY: Cooper Rush

December, 1, 2011
12/01/11
5:28
AM ET
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: Cooper Rush
ESPNUCooper Rush set or equaled four single-game state records in the Division 5 state quarterfinals.
THE WINNER: Cooper Rush

THE BASICS: Anatomy of a POY

School: Lansing Catholic (Lansing, Mich.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Quarterback
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 220 pounds

THE PILLARS: Gatorade criteria

Athletic achievement: Rush completed 242-of-357 attempts for 3,958 yards and 48 touchdowns this past season, leading the Cougars (12-1) to the Division 5 state championship game. A preseason First Team All-State selection as named by ESPNHS, Rush also ran for 766 yards and 16 touchdowns on 123 carries. In a 61-13 state quarterfinal victory against Dowagiac (Mich.), he broke two state records -- most touchdown passes in a half (5) and for a game (8) -- and tied two others, throwing 20 straight completions and seven first-half touchdown passes.

Academic excellence: Rush has maintained a 3.96 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a peer tutor and serving as head of the Youth Action Committee of the Capital Region Community Foundation, Rush has volunteered locally on behalf of the hospital, a preschool, Catholic Charities, Hospice of Charlotte, Rotary Club of Charlotte, Eaton County Clothing and Furniture repair and Battle Creek River cleanup efforts.

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Eye on POY: Michigan football

November, 21, 2011
11/21/11
3:16
PM ET
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: Cooper Rush
file photo/ESPNHSCooper Rush is a finalist for Gatorade Michigan Football Player of the Year.
Cooper Rush
Senior quarterback, Lansing Catholic (Lansing, Mich.)

2011 Team record: 13-0 (Division 5)
2011 Team standing: Division 5 state final vs. Powers Catholic on Nov. 26

2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 216-316 (68.4)-3,767
2011 TDs-INTs: 45-12
2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 112-722 (6.5)-15

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Central Michigan University (verbal)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: In four Division 5 state tournament games, has thrown for 1,583 yards and 19 touchdowns, completing 94-of-133 attempts (70.7 percent). He also rushed for 201 yards and five touchdowns on 37 carries. In a 61-13 state quarterfinal victory against Dowagiac, broke two state records -- most touchdown passes in a half (5) and for the game (8) -- and tied two others (7 first-half touchdown passes and 20 straight completions). Averaged 11.9 yards per passing attempt. 207.89 NCAA Pass Efficiency Rating. No. 88 ranked QB in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU. 2011 preseason First Team All-State selection as named by ESPNHS. 2010 Division 3-4 First Team All-State selection.

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