Return of the POY: Conn.'s Casey Cochran

The 2011-12 Gatorade State Football Players of the Year selection process is underway, and what better way to kick off coverage than with profiles of returning underclassmen winners? Repeating is no guarantee, but here's a snapshot of what this year’s challengers can shoot for …

Name: Casey Cochran

Position: Quarterback

Grade: Senior

School: Masuk High (Monroe, Conn.)

College: Connecticut (verbal)

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 214 pounds

Notes: 2010-11 Gatorade Connecticut Football Player of the Year ... 2010 First Team All-State selection ... Highest-ranked senior in state by ESPNU ... Led Panthers (13-0) to the 2010 Class L state championship ... As a freshman in 2008, led New London High to the Class SS state championship.


Academics: 3.84 GPA

Extracurricular activities: Peer tutor ... food bank volunteer.

Joe Lato, head coach of rival Weston High: "Casey Cochran is a real special player. His mechanics are flawless and he’s unbelievably accurate. He’s too advanced for high school, that’s for sure. He does things that there’s no way a high school kid should do."

Each Gatorade State Player of the Year is challenged by thousands of fellow high school athletes. These are a few of the returning football underclassmen that also contended in 2010-11 …

Bryan Castelot JR QB Bunnell; Malik Golden SR RB Cheshire Academy

A dedicated POY team at ESPNHS manages the Gatorade Player of the Year program selection process and oversees all research, reporting, comparative analysis and criteria-compliance on the award program’s behalf. Candidates are judged upon athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders must also demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Any class year is eligible, senior status has no bearing on a candidate’s merit and selections are made independent of ESPNU's recruit rankings.

To nominate a student-athlete for Player of the Year honors, contact the POY team at poy@risemag.com.