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POY Potential: Top 5 Texas football recruits

10/13/2011

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 …

1. Billy Ryan High (Denton, Texas) defensive end Mario Edwards

  • ESPNU 150 rank: 1

  • Height: 6-foot-4

  • Weight: 270 pounds

  • College: Florida State University (verbal)

  • Traits: run defense, pass rushing, disruptiveness, strength

  • ESPNU scouting report: "Edwards has the tools to be a very productive and at times simply disruptive defender at the college level. He has very good size for a high school prospect at the end position and looks to have the room to be able to add even more good bulk with time in a college weight program."

2. Aledo High (Texas) running back and 2010-11 Gatorade Texas Football Player of the Year Johnathan Gray

  • ESPNU 150 rank: 8

  • Height: 5-foot-10

  • Weight: 190 pounds

  • College: University of Texas (verbal)

  • Traits: speed, power, elusiveness, vision

  • ESPNU scouting report: "One of the more productive backs we have seen in recent classes. Gray is a TD machine combining load-back qualities with great top-end speed. Has a supreme blend of size and speed. Built low to the ground with a compact, sturdy frame. Muscular body still has room for added bulk."

3. Brenham High (Texas) defensive tackle Malcolm Brown

  • ESPNU 150 rank: 13

  • Height: 6-foot-2

  • Weight: 280 pounds

  • College: University of Texas (verbal)

  • Traits: run defense, disruptiveness, strength

  • ESPNU scouting report: "When you are going against Brown you better keep your pads down because this defensive tackle prospect is going to get low. Brown is a kid with good size. He does not have eye-popping measurables and could use more bulk, but looks on film to be a fairly thickly built kid and should be able to add some more good size with time in a college weight program."

4. S.F. Austin High (Austin, Texas) wide receiver Cayleb Jones

  • ESPNU 150 rank: 21

  • Height: 6-foot-2

  • Weight: 195 pounds

  • College: University of Texas (verbal)

  • Traits: hands, speed, route-running, catch in traffic

  • ESPNU scouting report: "Considering Jones' size, he is a very gifted overall prospect in terms of athleticism, change-of-direction and speed. He is similar in tools to last year's Trey Metoyer who signed with Oklahoma. Is tall, has some bulk at this stage and is very elusive."

5. Skyline High (Dallas, Texas) wide receiver Thomas Johnson

  • ESPNU 150 rank: XX

  • Height: 6-foot

  • Weight: 180 pounds

  • College: University of Texas (verbal)

  • Traits: hands, speed, route-running, yards after catch

  • ESPNU scouting report: "Johnson is a game breaking wide receiver with an athletic wiry build and explosive speed. He was hampered by injury as a junior, but his limited duty produced some eye-popping production both as a wide receiver and Wildcat QB."

A dedicated POY team at ESPNHS manages the Gatorade Player of the Year program selection process and oversees all research, reporting, comparative analysis and criteria-compliance on the award program’s behalf.