High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Gunner Kiel

Indiana Football POY: Gunner Kiel

December, 1, 2011
12/01/11
5:36
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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.

Gunner Kiel
file photo/ESPNHSGunner Kiel is Indiana's No. 1 senior recruit
THE WINNER: Gunner Kiel

THE BASICS: Anatomy of a POY

School: Columbus East (Columbus, Ind.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Quarterback
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 215 pounds

THE PILLARS: Gatorade criteria

Athletic achievement: Kiel passed for 2,517 yards and 28 touchdowns this past season, completing 127-of-240 passes while throwing just four interceptions and leading the Olympians (12-2) to the Class 4A semifinals. A 2012 U.S. Army All-American and ranked No. 20 among recruits in the Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU, he completed 90 touchdown passes against 25 interceptions as a three-year varsity starter.

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

Exemplary character: A devoted member of his church community, Kiel has assisted in relief efforts for Columbus area flood victims and volunteered locally as a youth football coach and an elementary school guest reader.

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National POY Watch: Football contenders

November, 18, 2011
11/18/11
9:16
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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.

Gunner Kiel
file photo/ESPNHSGunner Kiel is Indiana's No. 1 senior recruit
Gunner Kiel
Senior quarterback, Columbus East (Columbus, Ind.)

2011 Team record: 12-1
2011 Team standing: Class 4A state semifinal vs. Indianapolis Cathedral on Friday

2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 114-208 (54.8)-2,332
2011 TDs-INTs: 28-3
2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 102-486 (4.8)-11

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: Undecided

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Playing only the first half in a 49-0 victory against Evansville Central in the Class 4A state quarterfinals, completed 6-of-10 passing attempts for 168 yards and three touchdowns in addition to rushing for 91 yards on 12 carries. Averages 11.2 yards per attempt. Owns a 190.52 NCAA Pass Efficiency Rating. 2012 U.S. Army All-American Game selection. No. 20 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU. 2011 First Team All-State preseason selection as named by ESPNHS. As a junior in 2010, threw for 2,645 yards and 36 touchdowns against just six interceptions. 2010 Honorable Mention All-State selection as named by the Associated Press.

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Eye on POY: Indiana football

November, 8, 2011
11/08/11
4:31
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.

Gunner Kiel
Tom Hauck/ESPNHSGunner Kiel is a top candidate for 2011-12 Gatorade Indiana Player of the Year
Gunner Kiel
Senior quarterback, Columbus East (Columbus, Ind.)

2011 Team record: 11-1
2011 Team standing: Class 4A state quarterfinal vs. Evansville Central on Friday

2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 90-160 (56.2)-1,710 [through nine games]
2011 TDs-INTs: 20-2 [through nine games]

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: Undecided

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2012 U.S. Army All-American Game selection. No. 20 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU. 2011 First Team All-State preseason selection as named by ESPNHS. As a junior in 2010, threw for 2,645 yards and 36 touchdowns against just six interceptions. 2010 Honorable Mention All-State selection as named by the Associated Press.

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POY Potential: Top 5 Ind. football recruits

September, 22, 2011
9/22/11
6:08
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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 …

Gunner Kiel
file photo/ESPNHSGunner Kiel is Indiana's No. 1 senior recruit
1. Columbus East High (Columbus, Ind.) quarterback Gunner Kiel

  • ESPNU 150 rank: No. 20
  • Height: 6-foot-3
  • Weight: 215 pounds
  • College: Indiana (verbal)
  • Traits: Accuracy, Arm strength, reads, athleticism
  • ESPNU scouting report: "Kiel is one of the stronger-armed pocket passers this class has to offer and he is a deceptively good athlete. This offense surprisingly features him as a runner more than you might think and he is up to the task with both power and speed to fall forward and keep defenses off balance. He has terrific size and already possesses good bulk and strength."

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