Eye on POY: Ohio 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.

Maty Mauk

Senior quarterback, Kenton (Ohio)

2011 Team record: 12-0

2011 Team standing: Division IV state quarterfinal vs. Genoa Area on Saturday

2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 316-457 (69.1)-4,487

2011 TDs-INTs: 58-10

2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 190-1,500 (7.9)-16

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: University of Missouri (verbal commitment)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Became the nation’s career record-holder for passing yards (17,869) , total yards (21,046), passing attempts (1,974), completions (1,272) and touchdown passes (208). 2010-11 Gatorade Ohio Football Player of the Year. 2008-2011 First Team All-State selection. No. 15 ranked quarterback in the Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU;

Mitch Trubisky

Junior quarterback, Mentor (Ohio)

2011 COMP-ATT (%)-YDs: 196-305 (64.3)-3,085

2011 TDs-INTs: 31-10

2011 Carries-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 90-490 (5.4)-10

2011 Team record: 11-1

2011 Team standing: Division I state quarterfinal vs. Solon on Saturday

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: HS Junior

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2010 First Team All Conference selection. Set a school record with 553 yards, including 469 by passing, in a 38-24 win over St. Ignatius.

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.

Warren Ball: St. Francis DeSales (Columbus, Ohio) senior running back

Jalin Marshall: Middletown (Ohio) junior running back

Ifeadi Odenigbo: Centerville (Ohio) senior offensive lineman

Adolphus Washington: Taft (Cincinnati, Ohio) senior defensive end

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.