Eye on POY: Louisiana football

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.

Richard Carthon

Senior quarterback, Byrd (Shreveport, La.)

2011 Team record: 11-0

2011 Team standing: Play Archbishop Rummel in Class 5A quarterfinals Friday

2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 32-53 (60.4)-647

2011 TDs-INTs: 10-2

2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 115-998 (8.7)-21

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Cornell (verbal)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Ran for two scores and passed for two more in 35-24 win over Airline in Class 5A quarterfinals. Rushed for career-high 177 yards and a score in 56-21 opening round win over West Jefferson. 2010-11 Perfect Game All-American baseball selection. Will play baseball at Cornell.

Landon Collins

Senior safety/running back, Dutchtown (Geismar, La.)

2011 Team record: 10-1

2011 Team standing: Lost in Class 5A first round

2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 89-1,218 (13.7)-21

2011 Kickoff returns-AVG.-TDs: 5-22.4-1

2011 Punt returns-AVG.-TDs: 7-16.3-1

2011 Tackles: 45

2011 Interceptions: 4 (2 TD)

Academics: B average

Collegiate destination: Undecided

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2012 Under Armour All-American Game selection. Two-time District 5-5A MVP. No. 7 recruit in the Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU.

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Football Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011 campaign.

Devin Breaux: Donaldsville (La.) senior quarterback

Leonard Fournette: St. Augustine (New Orleans, La.) sophomore running back

Alex Johnson: Carencro (Lafayette, La.) senior running back

Deion Jones: Jesuit (New Orleans, La.) senior linebacker

Dejean Stewart: West St. Mary (Centerville, La.) senior wide receiver

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Player of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com or Twitter @ESPNHS_GPOY.