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. Dutchtown High (Geismar, La.) safety Landon Collins
ESPNU 150 rank: 19
Weight: 210 pounds
Testing results: 4.39 40-yard dash; 36.0 vertical jump
Traits: Zone coverage, ball skills, run support, instincts
ESPNU scouting report: "Collins plays throughout his defensive backfield at the high school level and feel he will settle in at the safety position in college. Productive near the line of scrimmage and in the deep zone coverage. Tough football player with a nose for the ball."
2. Woodlawn High (Shreveport, La.) defensive end Torshiro Davis
ESPNU 150 rank: 70
Weight: 220 pounds
College: LSU (verbal)
Testing results: 4.68 40-yard dash; 30.0 vertical jump
Traits: Pass rushing, disruptiveness, pursuit
ESPNU scouting report: "In today's market of high gas prices, Davis has to be struggling some as this kid is a high-performance speedster. Davis is a taller lean end and while he needs to keep developing his frame and adding size the foundation of this kid's game is built off of speed."
3. West Saint John High (Edgard, La.) outside linebacker Ronnie Feist
ESPNU 150 rank: 129
Weight: 215 pounds
College: LSU (verbal)
Traits: Diagnosing skills, inside run support, tackling
ESPNU scouting report: "Feist really doesn't just wow you, but the more you watch him the more you like him and the kid simply is a good football player. He looks to play with his hand down a good bit at the high school level and could certainly play end if needed."
4. Patterson High (La.) outside linebacker Lorenzo Phillips
ESPNU 150 rank: 139
Weight: 200 pounds
College: Florida (verbal)
Testing results: 4.74 40-yard dash; 30.0 vertical jump
Traits: Diagnosing skills, outside run support, tackling, coverage skills
ESPNU scouting report: "Phillips is a dynamic and productive player on the line of scrimmage; displays the playing strength and speed necessary to dominate as a pass rusher and run defender. Has the size and athleticism for the outside linebacker position at the major level of competition."
5. East Saint John High (Reserve, La.) athlete Darion Monroe
Weight: 165 pounds
College: Texas A&M (verbal)
Testing results: 4.55 40-yard dash; 31.5 vertical jump
Traits: Playmaker, speed
ESPNU scouting report: "Monroe is a speedy and explosive athlete that will make the transition to wide receiver or cornerback at the next level. He is an undersized, very thin athlete with terrific feet and outstanding initial quickness as a shotgun spread dual-threat QB."
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.