High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Dutchtown

Louisiana Football POY: Landon Collins

December, 1, 2011
12/01/11
5:32
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.

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ESPNHSLandon Collins is Louisiana's No. 1 senior recruit.
THE WINNER: Landon Collins

THE BASICS: Anatomy of a POY

School: Dutchtown (Geismar, La.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Safety/running back
Height: 6-foot
Weight: 210 pounds

THE PILLARS: Gatorade criteria

Athletic achievement: Collins rushed for 1,218 yards and 21 touchdowns on 89 carries this past season, averaging 13.7 yards per carry and leading the Griffins (10-1) to a berth in the Class 5A postseason. He also recorded 45 tackles and four interceptions, returning two for touchdowns. A two-time District 5-5A MVP and a 2012 Under Armour All-American Game selection, Collins, who had not played running back since middle school, is the No. 7 rated recruit in the Class of 2012 by ESPNU.

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

Exemplary character: Collins has volunteered locally as part of multiple community service initiatives in association with his church youth group.

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Eye on POY: Louisiana football

November, 21, 2011
11/21/11
8:50
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.

Richard Carthon
Senior quarterback, Byrd (Shreveport, La.)

2011 Team record: 11-0
2011 Team standing: Play Archbishop Rummel in Class 5A quarterfinals Friday

2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 32-53 (60.4)-647
2011 TDs-INTs: 10-2
2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 115-998 (8.7)-21

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Cornell (verbal)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Ran for two scores and passed for two more in 35-24 win over Airline in Class 5A quarterfinals. Rushed for career-high 177 yards and a score in 56-21 opening round win over West Jefferson. 2010-11 Perfect Game All-American baseball selection. Will play baseball at Cornell.

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POY Potential: Top 5 La. football recruits

September, 21, 2011
9/21/11
5:37
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 …

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ESPNHSLandon Collins is Louisiana's No. 1 senior recruit.
1. Dutchtown High (Geismar, La.) safety Landon Collins

  • ESPNU 150 rank: 19
  • Height: 6-foot
  • Weight: 210 pounds
  • College: Undecided
  • Testing results: 4.39 40-yard dash; 36.0 vertical jump
  • Traits: Zone coverage, ball skills, run support, instincts
  • ESPNU scouting report: "Collins plays throughout his defensive backfield at the high school level and feel he will settle in at the safety position in college. Productive near the line of scrimmage and in the deep zone coverage. Tough football player with a nose for the ball."

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