(After games of Nov. 10-11)
One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.
Ryan Switzer, George Washington (Charleston, W.Va.)
This junior two-way player stars at running back, defensive back and returns kicks and punts. His versatile game was on full display in a 56-12 romp of Parkersburg (W. Va.) to cap a 10-0 regular season and secured the team’s 26th straight regular season win. Possibly the state's top college prospect, and top contender for the Kennedy Award as state player of the year, he ran 20 times for 333 yards and six touchdowns (28, 64, 2, 55, 74 and 35 yards) and scored a seventh touchdown on a 51-yard punt return. He also caught a 20-yard pass and booted a 40-yard punt. For the season, he has 32 TDs and 192 points.
Blake Tibbs, M.L. King (Lithonia, Ga.)
In a clash of unbeaten FAB 50-ranked rivals, the Lions outlasted Stephenson (Stone Mountain, Ga.) 50-49 in a game decided by his 82-yard kickoff return touchdown with 16 seconds remaining. The University of Georgia recruit earlier had landed four touchdown passes and had 166 receiving yards on nine catches in the offensive shootout that decided the Region 2, Class AAAAA title. For the season, Tibbs has caught 53 passes for 782 yards and 14 scores.
Drake Johnson, Pioneer (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
The senior running back who committed to hometown University of Michigan just this week wouldn't mind playing Bedford (Temperance, Mich.) every weekend. In two games against the Mules this season, the two-time defending state high hurdle track champion amassed 743 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. Last weekend, in a 35-10 district playoff final, Johnson carried 36 times for 348 yards and four touchdowns and also completed a 42-yard pass. In an early regular-season game, Johnson rushed for 395 yards and five scores. On the season, he has 2,742 yards and 37 touchdowns.
Davonte Clay, Washington (Sioux Falls, S.D.)
The senior running back lifted the Warriors past the state’s top-ranked team, Lincoln (Sioux Falls, S.D.), 42-7 in the Class 11AA state semifinals. Clay helped Washington (9-2) break a 7-7 halftime tie and avenge an earlier loss with 38 carries for 282 yards and five touchdowns. After rushing for 1,284 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior, Clay has bettered those totals with 1,377 yards and 19 touchdowns heading into this week’s state championship at the Dakota Dome. Clay and his teammates face 10-1 Roosevelt (Sioux Falls, S.D.) and are attempting to win a third straight state title in their fifth straight Dakoka Dome appearance. If the Warriors win, they also would increase their national record total of winning state championships to 39.
Logan Smith, Vista del Lago (Folsom, Calif.)
With 14 catches for 211 yards and one touchdown in his team’s 47-10 victory over El Dorado (Placerville, Calif.), Smith has tied the state record for most catches in a season. According to the ESPNHS Cal-Hi Sports state record book, Smith needs just one more catch to break the state record of 122 set last year by Richard Mullaney of Thousand Oaks. The senior receiver earlier broke the regular-season state record of 106 set two years ago by Jake Pruger from Harbor of Santa Cruz. The win also gave Vista del Lago a high seed in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. III playoffs so Smith’s season will continue. For the season, Smith has 122 catches for 1,646 yards and 11 scores. He set a Northern California record on Sept. 23 with 24 catches for 318 yards in a victory against Liberty Ranch of Galt.