High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Cyrus Jones

Maryland Football POY: Cyrus Jones

December, 1, 2011
12/01/11
5:30
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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.

Cyrus Jones
File phot/ESPNHSCyrus Jones has been an all-purpose threat for Gilman's Greyhounds this fall.
THE WINNER: Cyrus Jones

THE BASICS: Anatomy of a POY

School: Gilman School (Baltimore, Md.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Running back/cornerback
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 190 pounds

THE PILLARS: Gatorade criteria

Athletic achievement: Jones led the Greyhounds to a 9-1 record and the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship this past season. He rushed for 948 yards and 13 TDs on 109 carries and caught 39 passes for 635 yards and six touchdowns. Jones also intercepted five passes on defense and scored four touchdowns on special teams. A First Team All-State selection, he is ranked the No. 34 senior recruit in the country by ESPNU, and has been selected to play in the 2012 Under Armour All-American Game.

Academic excellence: Jones has maintained a B average in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A senior leader in his school’s chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Jones has volunteered locally on behalf of Ronald McDonald House Charities and a program that serves hot meals to the needy.

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Eye on POY: Maryland football

November, 16, 2011
11/16/11
10:18
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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.

Cyrus Jones
File phot/ESPNHSCyrus Jones has been an all-purpose threat for Gilman's Greyhounds this fall.
Cyrus Jones

Senior Running Back/Defensive Back, Gilman School (Baltimore, MD)

2011 Team record: 9-1
2011 Team standing: Plays Calvert Hall in MIAA A Conference title game, Nov. 18; ESPNHS ranking: No. 26

2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 82-779 (9.5)-12
2011 Catches-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 36-607 (16.9)-6

2011 Tackles: 33
2011 Interceptions: 5

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: Undecided

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Ranked No. 34 senior by ESPNU; Under Armour All-American in 2011; First Team All-State in 2010; First Team Baltimore Sun All-Metro in 2010; 97-yard game-winning punt return vs. Calvert Hall.

Kevin Jones

Senior Running Back, Bullis School (Potomac, MD)

2011 Team record: 9-1
2011 Team standing: Won IAC title

2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 235-2,089 (8.9)-30
2011 Catches-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 3-25 (8.3)-2

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: Undecided

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Averaged 209 yards rushing per game; Two punt returns for TDs; Led team to first IAC title in history; Team averaged 39.7 points per game; .

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.

Mike Madaras: Good Counsel (Olney, MD) SR OL/DL
Rob Chesson: Old Mill High (Millersville, MD) SR RB
Ron Darby: Potomac High (Oxon Hills, MD) SR RB
Brendan Marshall: Good Counsel (Olney, MD) JR QB
Shawn Petty: Eleanor Roosevelt High (Greenbelt, MD) SR QB/LB
Deontay McManus: Dunbar High (Baltimore, MD) SR WR/DB

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.

POY Potential: Top 5 Md. football recruits

October, 11, 2011
10/11/11
7:35
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 …

Stefon Diggs
Tom Hauck/ESPNHSStefon Diggs is Maryland's No. 1 senior recruit.
1. Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, MD) Wide Receiver Stefon Diggs

  • ESPNU 150 rank: 9
  • Height: 6-foot
  • Weight: 185 pounds
  • College: Undecided
  • Testing results: 4.45 40-yard dash; 31.5 vertical jump
  • Traits: Speed, versatility, playmaker
  • ESPNU scouting report: "Diggs is a very impressive, yet raw athlete that doubles as a wide receiver and running back. He possesses very good size, a thick build and some natural strength. He is a glider with quick feet and a physical nature. Will make some spectacular plays in the passing game and on the ground."

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