High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Heritage Hall

Eye on POY: Oklahoma football

November, 11, 2011
11/11/11
1:25
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: Barry Sanders Jr.
Andreas Laszlo Konrath/ESPNHSHeritage Hall RB Barry Sanders Jr. cracked the ESPNU 150 at No. 78.
Barry Sanders Jr.
Senior running back/cornerback, Heritage Hall (Oklahoma City, Okla.)

2011 Team record: 9-0 (Class 3A)
2011 Team standing: Class 3A first round vs. Chandler on Friday

2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 91-823 (9.0)-14
2011 Catches-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 13-260 (20.0)-3

2011 Tackles: 16
2011 Interceptions: 3 (2 TD)

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: Undecided

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Son of Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders. Averages 10.7 yards per touch for an offense that scores 51.0 points per game. Anchors defense that allows 8.7 points per game. No. 78 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU. 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl selection. 2009 First Team All-State selection as named by the Tulsa World.

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POY Potential: Top 5 Okla. football recruits

October, 6, 2011
10/06/11
12:49
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 …

Alex Ross
file photo/ESPNHSAlex Ross is Oklahoma's No. 1 senior recruit.
1. Jenks High (Okla.) running back Alex Ross

  • ESPNU 150 rank: 39
  • Height: 6-foot-1
  • Weight: 205 pounds
  • College: University of Oklahoma (verbal)
  • Traits: speed, power, elusiveness, vision
  • ESPNU scouting report: "One of the more explosive and college ready backs in this class, Ross wears No. 28 and immediately reminds you of young Adrian Peterson on film with his running style. Has a large, well-built frame and should continue to add bulk and fill out to the 225-pound range in college."

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