High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Mankato West

Minnesota Football POY: Philip Nelson

December, 1, 2011
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.

Gatorade POY: Philip Nelson
ESPNHSPhilip Nelson concluded his prep career second in Minnesota history in completions and TD passes.
THE WINNER: Philip Nelson

THE BASICS: Anatomy of a POY

School: Mankato West (Mankato, Minn.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Quarterback
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 216 pounds

THE PILLARS: Gatorade criteria

Athletic achievement: Nelson passed for 2,559 yards and 35 touchdowns, completing 159-of-238 passes while throwing just four interceptions this past season, leading the Scarlets (11-1) to the Class 4A semifinals. A three-time First Team All-Conference selection, he ranks second in state history for both career completions (448) and touchdown passes (92).

Academic excellence: Nelson has maintained a 3.49 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A devoted member of his church community, Nelson has volunteered locally on behalf of an area assisted living facility.

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Eye on POY: Minnesota football

November, 16, 2011
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.

Philip Nelson
file photo/ESPNHSPhilip Nelson is a top candidate for Gatorade Minnesota Football Player of the Year
Philip Nelson
Senior quarterback, Mankato West (Mankato, Minn.)

2011 Team record: 11-0
2011 Team standing: Will play in Class 4A quarterfinals vs. Bemidji on Friday

2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 135-196 (68.8)- 2,252
2011 TDs-INTs: 33-2

2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 118-1,060 (8.9)- 19

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: Minnesota (verbal commitment)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2009-2011 First Team All-Conference selection; 2010 Conference Player of the Year; 2010 Second Team All-State

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