High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Pleasant Grove

POY Potential: Top 5 Utah football recruits

October, 12, 2011
10/12/11
1:28
PM ET
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. Bingham High (South Jordan, Utah) outside linebacker Jared Afalava
  • ESPNU position rank: No. 20 OLB
  • Height: 6-foot-2
  • Weight: 220 pounds
  • College: Undecided
  • Traits: inside run support, outside run support, tackling, coverage skill
  • ESPNU scouting report: "Afalava demonstrates very good playing speed; displays the playing strength to dominate against the run while showing the flexibility, balance and agility to play in space as a pass defender. Has the size and athleticism for the outside linebacker position at the major level of competition."

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POY Potential: Top 5 Calif. football recruits

September, 21, 2011
9/21/11
4:02
PM ET
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 …

Arik Armstead
ESPNHSArik Armstead is California's No. 1 senior recruit
1. Pleasant Grove High (Elk Grove, Calif.) offensive tackle Arik Armstead

  • ESPNU 150 rank: 14
  • Height: 6-foot-7
  • Weight: 280 pounds
  • College: Southern California (verbal)
  • Traits: Run blocking, space blocking, strength, toughness
  • ESPNU scouting report: "Armstead is a dominant player both as an offensive and defensive lineman. Has great size and athleticism for the offensive tackle position at the major level of competition; it is quite possible with added bulk and improved technical skills this athlete could be an immediate impact player."

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