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.
Senior quarterback, Manzano (Albuquerque, N.M.)
2011 Team record: 9-1
2011 Team standing: Play Clovis in Class 5A quarterfinals Friday
2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 74-132 (56.1)-1,129
2011 TDs-INTs: 13-5
2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 184-1,380 (7.5)-16
Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: Undecided
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Over 1,000 yards rushing and passing. First-year starter. Named by ESPNHS as a 2011-12 Preseason Third-Team All-State basketball player.