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Eye on POY: Indiana football

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

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.

Kyle Bramble

Senior running back, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs, Ind.)

2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 345-2,875 (8.3)-47

2011 Catches-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 9-338 (37.5)-5

2011 Team record: 9-2

2011 Team standing: Lost Class 5A sectional semifinal to Bedford North Lawrence, 36-32

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Undecided

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2011 Area Player of the Year as named by the News and Tribune. Two-time Floyd Central team Most Valuable Player. 5,648 career rushing yards.

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.

Danny Anthrop: Lafayette Central Catholic (Lafayette, Ind.) senior wide receiver

Sheldon Day: Warren Central (Indianapolis, Ind.) senior defensive tackle

Zach Terrell: Homestead (Fort Wayne, Ind.) senior quarterback

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.