Eye on POY: Alaska 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.

A.J. Hull

Senior quarterback/defensive back, Kenai Central (Kenai, AK)

2011 Team record: 6-4

2011 Team standing: Won Medium School state title

2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 32-102 (31.3)-816

2011 TDs-INTs: 9-9

2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 162-933 (5.8)-14

2011 Tackles: 96

2011 Interceptions: 6

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Undecided

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2009-2011 First Team All-State selection; 2009-2011 First Team All-Conference selection; Set school record for career touchdowns with 44.

Moo Rodgers

Junior quarterback, North Pole (AK)

2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 95-189 (50.3) - 1,448

2011 TDs-INTs: 7-8

2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 162–1,126 (6.9) – 17

2011 Team record: 2-6

2011 Team standing: Did not qualify for Large School state playoffs

Academics: B-minus average

Collegiate destination: HS Junior

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2011 Team MVP; 2011 First Team All-Conference; First Large School quarterback to ever throw for 1,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

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.

Amu Aukusitino: Service (AK) senior QB

Trenton Anthony: Bartlett (AK) senior RB

Phillip Fenumiai: Juneau-Douglas (Juneau, AK) junior QB

Lah Fifita: Juneau-Douglas (Juneau, AK) senior FB/DB

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.