ESPNBoston.com and its high school sports staff today have named five finalists for the third annual ESPNBoston.com Mr. Football Award. The winner will be announced on Dec. 3, and presented on the field at Gillette Stadium prior to the Patriots’ Dec. 16 contest against the Houston Texans.
Below are the five finalists:
Senior Offensive Tackle
Everett High School
Montelus is the first offensive lineman in the three-year history of our award to be named a finalist, and deservedly so. The 6-foot-5, 320-pounder is a three-year starter for the Crimson Tide, over which they have gone 34-1 with two MIAA Super Bowl championships headed into Thanksgiving. During his varsity career, Montelus has never allowed a sack, helping pave the way for a record-setting quarterback last fall, and a dominant running game this year. Montelus is verbally committed to Notre Dame, and is regarded as the top college prospect in the Class of 2013 for New England.
Senior Running Back/Safety
St. John's Preparatory School
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Moore has been arguably the state's most dominant true two-way player this season. Offensively, Moore has carried the ball 82 times for 812 yards and 14 touchdowns; through the air, he has caught 14 balls for 272 yards and three more scores, adding to a dominant offense (30.3 points per game). Defensively, the Eagles are allowing just nine points a game with Moore leading the charges at safety. The Eagles are allowing 105 rushing yards per game and have fored 20 turnovers, with a differential of plus-nine. Moore is undecided on college plans.
Barnstable High School
One of the state's premier passers, the 6-foot-4, 225-pounder led the 9-0 Red Raiders to an upset of Everett in Week 5 and has been cruising ever since. On the season, he has over 2,200 yards passing with 27 touchdowns and just five interceptions; on the ground, he has shown some flair with over 400 yards rushing and five more scores. In turn, the Red Raiders are one of the state's highest-scoring offenses (37.4 points per game), and clinched the Old Colony League outright and a playoff berth for the second straight season. Peabody is currently undecided on college plans.
Junior Running Back
St. John's Preparatory School
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound junior exploded this fall as one of the most dominant running backs in the state, leading the Eagles to a 9-1 record and No. 3 ranking in ESPNBoston.com's poll headed into Thanksgiving. The Eagles have run for over 2,000 yards through nine games, with Thomas at the forefront. He has 153 carries for 1,399 yards and 11 touchdowns, and also has two receiving touchdowns. Thomas is garnering interest from a number of Division 1 programs, with UMass offering and Penn State, Virginia and Boston College also showing interest.
Senior Running Back
Holy Name Central Catholic High School
Pound for pound, nobody can match the 5-foot-7, 165-pounder's stats for 2012. Through 10 games, he has 189 carries for 2,075 yards and 32 touchdowns, along with 103 receiving yards and an amazing 786 yards on returns, for a total of 38 scores -- more than any running back in Massachusetts. Earlier this season, Wright shattered the school's all-time rushing record with a school single-game record 406 rushing yards. Headed into the Naps' Thanksgiving clash with Wachusett, Wright has 5,712 rushing yards, 523 receiving yards and 2,639 return yards. His next touchdown would make him just the fourth player in state history with 600 career points. Wright is undecided on college plans.