High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Michael Cowden

POY Potential: Top 4 N.M. football recruits

October, 4, 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 four 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 …

Cole Gautsche
file photo/ESPNHSCole Gautsche is New Mexico's No. 1 senior recruit.
1. Cleveland High (Rio Rancho, N.M.) quarterback Cole Gautsche

  • Height: 6-foot-4
  • Weight: 218 pounds
  • College: New Mexico State (verbal)
  • Testing results: 4.63 40-yard dash; 30.0 vertical jump
  • Traits: Accuracy, reads, athleticism
  • ESPNU scouting report: "What makes this guy attractive is that he has actually worked from under center on a consistent basis and had to drop from center, work through progressions, pull up and get the ball out on time. He is big, strong and has deceptive speed and elusiveness for the position."

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