POY Potential: Top 5 Del. football recruits

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. Newark High (Newark, NJ) Wide Receiver Xavier Griffin

  • ESPNU rank: No. 92 WR

  • Height: 6-foot-2

  • Weight: 178 pounds

  • College: North Carolina State (verbal)

  • Testing results: 4.53 40-yard dash; 29.5 vertical jump

  • Traits: Catch in traffic

  • ESPNU scouting report: "Griffin is a guy flying under the radar likely due to his location and lack of recruiting traffic in Delaware. He is a tall and very athletic pass catcher that plays primarily from the slot where he is very savvy, but his size and ability to make plays on the deep ball may place him on the outside more at the next level."

2. Red Lion Christian Academy (Bear, DE) Defensive End Eli Ankou

  • ESPNU rank: No. 147 DE

  • Height: 6-foot-3

  • Weight: 257 pounds

  • College: UCLA (verbal)

  • Traits: Pursuit

  • ESPNU scouting report: "North of the border is a defensive prospect who flashes some upside and potential as a college player in America. Canadian defensive end Ankou is a kid a little off the beaten path, but displays some tools that could get some recruiters attention. He has good size and carries his weight well and looks to have a frame that would allow him to add more good size with time in a college weight program."

3. Newark High (Newark, NJ) Tight End David Grinnage

  • ESPNU rank: No. 78 TE

  • Height: 6-foot-5

  • Weight: 238 pounds

  • College: North Carolina State (verbal)

  • Testing results: 5.18 40-yard dash; 28.7 vertical jump

  • Traits: Hands

  • ESPNU scouting report: "Grinnage is a good sized kid. For a tight end he possesses good height and bulk and looks to have room to pack on some more size with time in a college weight program. He looks to spend a good deal of time flexed out, but we feel he is more of an in-line tight end at the next level and will need to adjust to playing more from that position. He can seem to fight the ball a bit at times, but overall displays good hands and will consistently try and catch it before it gets into his body."

4. Newark High (Newark, NJ) Quarterback Taylor Reynolds

  • ESPNU rank: No. 161 QB

  • Height: 5-foot-11

  • Weight: 171 pounds

  • College: Undecided

  • Testing results: 4.60 40-yard dash; 29.6 vertical jump

  • ESPNU scouting report: "Reynolds is a dual-threat quarterback who is a well-rounded athlete. He is further ahead as a runner than a passer at this stage, but just when you think he is a guy who needs to move to safety or wide receiver he will shows flashes of upside in the passing game. He is a wiry, athletic prospect with average height for the QB position. Looks like a wide receiver and moves like one too. He is very dangerous on the move."

5. Salesianum High (Wilmington, DE) Linebacker Alex Urban

  • ESPNU rank: No. 152 OLB

  • Height: 6-foot-1

  • Weight: 201 pounds

  • College: Undecided

  • Testing results: 5.27 40-yard dash; 27.5 vertical jump

  • ESPNU scouting report: "Urban is an active defender on the line of scrimmage with good production as a vertical attacker. Plays in a two point stance; is effective as a pass rusher, demonstrating the playing strength necessary to apply steady pressure off the edge. Has the height with enough athleticism for the outside linebacker position at the next level of competition."

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.