ESPNBoston.com and its high school sports staff today have named five finalists for the its annual Mr. Football Award, given to the top overall player in Massachusetts. The winner will be announced following the conclusion of MIAA Football State Championships on Saturday, Dec. 5, and will be presented the award prior to an upcoming New England Patriots home contest at Gillette Stadium.
This is the sixth year ESPNBoston.com has given out the award. For a refresher, here's a quick history of the award's previous winners:
Here are this year's five finalists:
Danny Dalton, Sr. TE/LB, Marshfield
A Penn State commit and the state’s No. 1 overall recruit according to ESPNU, the returning All-State selection lived up to the hype once again in 2015 with another monster campaign. With one game to go, following the defending Division 2 state champions’ surprise loss in the state semifinals, the 6-foot-5, 244-pound Dalton has 41 catches for 543 yards and eight touchdowns, along with 49 tackles, two interceptions (one for a touchdown) and six pass breakups at outside linebacker. Earlier this season, Dalton was named a Semper Fidelis All-American.
Steven Jackson, Sr. ATH, Central Catholic
The 5-foot-8 Pelham, N.H. resident has been one of the most electric home-run threats across the state this season, one of the biggest reasons the Raiders are making their second appearance in the Division 1 state final at Gillette Stadium in three years. Anchored by outstanding totals in receiving (44 catches, 640 yards, 9 TD) and returns (3 total TD), Jackson has so far accumulated 1,003 all-purpose yards and 14 touchdowns on 57 touches. That number also includes six touchdowns of 55 yards or more.
Jack Masterson, Sr. QB, Marshfield
A four-year starter, Masterson has orchestrated one of the more impressive turnarounds in recent memory. After going 0-11 in 2012, when Masterson started under center as a freshman, the Rams won the Division 2 state title last fall and nearly got back to Gillette this year before falling in last weekend’s Eastern Mass final, which snapped a 22-game win streak for Marshfield. He’s made 45 starts in his career at Marshfield, and gone 23-1 over his last 24. So far this season, he’s completed 63.1 percent of his passes for 1,584 yards, 21 touchdowns and just five interceptions, while also leading the Rams in rushing (86 carries, 684 yards, 9 TD).
Doug Santos, Sr. RB, Peabody
One of the fastest and most dangerous open-field runners, the 5-foot-8 Santos followed up his breakout 2014 campaign with another explosive run this fall. Heading into Thanksgiving, the reigning Northeastern Conference MVP is one of the state’s leaders in rushing, shouldering most of the Tanners’ workload with 254 carries, 1,756 yards and 17 touchdowns. The Tanners reached the Division 1 North semifinals for a second straight season with Santos leading the way.
Coby Tippett, Sr. WR/DB, Xaverian
A true triple threat, Tippett has had an instrumental impact in all three phases of the game this fall for the Hawks, who will defend their Division 1 state title Dec. 5 at Gillette Stadium, their third straight appearance in the D1 state final. Headed into Thanksgiving, the 5-foot-10 Tippett has six interceptions to go with 933 all-purpose yards and 13 touchdowns, scoring in four different ways (receiving, punt return, kick return, interception return). Counting his interceptions, Tippett is currently averaging a touchdown every 3.5 touches.