High-SchoolFootball: Mr. Football USA

Johnathan Gray named Mr. Football USA

December, 21, 2011
12/21/11
8:57
AM ET

This year's recipient of the Mr. Football USA award, the title bestowed upon the nation's most outstanding on-field player each fall by ESPNHS, reminds us a lot of last year's winner, probably because it's the same player. Tailback Johnathan Gray of Aledo (Texas) was the first junior to ever win the award in 2010 and is once again ESPNHS's selection as Mr. Football USA.

"I'm blessed with the family, coaches and teammates that have helped me get to where I am," said Gray. "I'd never be capable of doing this by myself, and I'd like to think that we won this together and that it's our honor together. It's a team game and in order to have success it requires a team effort."

Gray can now be considered the Archie Griffin of the award, becoming the first player to earn the distinction twice. Mr. Football USA dates back to 1970 and Gray is joined by four other Lone Star State running backs -- Earl Campbell (1973), Billy Sims (1974), Eric Dickerson (1978) and Cedric Benson (2000) -- to have been awarded the coveted honor.

His statistical success is undoubtedly the stuff of legend, but it has translated well into the win column as well. In Aledo's third straight state title win, a 49-28 victory over Manvel (Texas), Gray scored his 205th career touchdown, becoming high school's all-time career touchdown leader, surpassing former Michigan star Mike Hart in the process. In last year's state title victory over La Marque (Texas), Gray scored eight times, setting a Texas state championship record.

In front of every great back are the linemen who sacrifice to create the lanes and holes, and Gray is grateful for what his crew has done for him over the years.

"My O-line guys tell me, 'If I'm gonna block for you, you might as well go ahead and score, man,'" said Gray. "I tell them, 'You go get that 'backer and I'll get in for you.' Those guys work really hard and a lot of my success and our team's success is thanks to them."

Adding to his already gaudy résumé entering this season, Gray amassed 65 rushing touchdowns for Aledo this year and finished second all-time in points scored for a career (1,232), just 14 points shy of Hart. He finished his career with a yardage total that resembles the tally of a storied NFL career, with 10,908 yards on the ground, placing him as the No. 3 rusher in high school football history. With five receiving scores this season, his total of 70 touchdowns left him just one shy of the national single-season record for all-purpose touchdowns, held by T.A. McLendon of Albemarle (N.C.), who scored 71 touchdowns in 2001. Gray extended his state career record of 100-yard rushing games to 51.

You get the idea. The numbers are incredible and indelible, all while winning three straight state titles in the competitive climate of Texas high school football.

"You are always going to look back at these days and wish you could play high school football again," said Gray. "Especially playing in Texas, where football is just amazing and so important to people. Winning three straight championships is just so hard to do, and on top of that to have this honor is just another great blessing."

2011 Mr. Football USA -- RB Johnathan Gray, Aledo (Texas)

Last week: The nation's top-rated running back and 2010 ESPNHS Mr. Football USA carried the ball 30 times for 241 yards and one memorable and record-setting touchdown in Aledo's championship victory.
Season totals: 346 carries for 3,905 rushing yards and 65 rushing touchdowns, 28 catches for 567 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns; Aledo went 14-2 and ended up No. 45 in the final POWERADE FAB 50 ballot of the season.

The Other Mr. Football USA Finalists

WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.)
Season Totals: 119 catches for 2,233 yards and 24 touchdowns, one rushing touchdown; team finished 11-2.
Recap: Green-Beckham established a new national record for receiving yards this season to cap an incredible prep career. Having overcome serious off-field obstacles makes his storied career and the record production that much more impressive. The chase for a commitment continues into the winter for the star wideout, who remains undecided for the next level.

RB Randy "Duke" Johnson, Miami Norland (Miami)
Last week: Johnson, a Miami recruit, led FAB 50 No. 7 Norland to its first state title since 2002 with 266 total yards and five touchdowns in a 38-0 drubbing of Wakulla (Crawfordville, Fla.) in the Class 5A state championship game. The dynamic back compiled more than 700 rushing yards and scored 11 times in the past three playoff wins.
Season totals: 208 carries for 1,957 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns, 14 receptions for 232 receiving yards and three touchdowns, three kickoff returns and one punt return for scores; team finished 14-0.
Recap: Johnson may not have the gaudy season totals like some others on this list, as he missed one game to suspension and one other to injury this fall, but there's no doubt he's the most explosive offensive player in Florida and carried Norland to its first state crown in nearly a decade. The proud "U" commit also overcame significant off-field adversity on the road to personal and team success and will keep ACC defenders busy for the next several years.

QB Maty Mauk, Kenton (Ohio)
Season Totals: 382 of 556 for 5,413 yards and 68 touchdowns with 16 interceptions, 241 carries for 1,768 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns; team finished 14-1.
Recap: Mauk, a Missouri recruit, finished his astounding prep career with national career records in passing yards (18,932), touchdown passes (219), completions (1,353), attempts (2,110) and total yards (22,681), all while passing his older brother Ben for several of these distinctions.

ATH Davonte' Neal, Chaparral (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Season Totals: 100 carries for 1,317 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns, 62 receptions for 1,113 yards and 14 touchdowns, three kickoff returns for touchdowns and two punt return scores, recorded 31 tackles on defense; team finished 14-1 and is No. 22 in the FAB 50.
Recap: A truly dynamic talent with considerable contributions all over the field, there's little Neal can't do on the gridiron. Like Green-Beckham, Neal remains a coveted recruit who has yet to commit to his college of choice.

QB Patrick Towles, Highlands (Fort Thomas, Ky.)
Season Complete

Season Totals: 181-of-279 for 3,820 yards, 42 touchdowns and one interception, with 589 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns; team finished 15-0 and No. 34 in the FAB 50.
Recap: The 6-foot-6 signal-caller led his team to a dominating season that saw them set state records with 849 points, 121 touchdowns and 7,516 total yards. Highlands won the Class 4A crown while outscoring five playoff victims 263-76. A Kentucky recruit, Towles was named the Gatorade State Player of the Year.

RB Trey Williams, Dekaney (Houston)
Last week: This year marked the first time the Wildcats ever made the state playoffs and Dekaney, fueled by Williams' 197 rushing yards and three touchdowns, upset FAB 50 No. 14 Steele (Cibolo, Texas) 34-14 in the Class 5A Division II state championship game.
Season totals: The Texas A&M commit ran for 3,884 yards and 48 touchdowns on 427 carries, caught two touchdown passes and returned a kickoff for a score. Team finished 14-2 and No. 34 in the FAB 50.
Recap: The state title run proved even more impressive given that Dekaney fielded its first varsity team in 2008. Williams put together one of the best seasons in the history of Texas high school football and would assuredly get more shine if not for the epic accomplishments of his in-state peer Gray.

National POY Watch: Jameis Winston
Tom Hauck/ESPNHSJameis Winston earned Elite 11 co-MVP honors this summer.
QB Jameis Winston, Hueytown (Ala.)
Season Totals: 163-of-234 for 2,424 yards and 28 touchdowns with two interceptions, 1,063 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns, one touchdown reception; team finished 13-1.
Recap: The top QB in the nation and Elite 11 co-MVP is a brilliant athlete with legitimate professional potential in baseball. The versatile and affable Winston will take his talents to Tallahassee and pursue both sports at Florida State.

ESPNHS Mr. Football USA
Players of the Year (All-Time List)


2011 – Johnathan Gray, Aledo (Texas) RB
2010 – Johnathan Gray, Aledo (Texas) RB (Jr.)
2009 – Dillon Baxter, Mission Bay (San Diego) QB-RB
2008 – Garrett Gilbert, Lake Travis (Austin, Texas) QB
2007 – Jacory Harris, Northwestern (Miami) QB
2006 – Darren Evans, Warren Central (Indianapolis) FB
2005 – Matthew Stafford, Highland Park (Dallas) QB
2004 – Chase Daniel, Carroll (Southlake, Texas) QB
2003 – Jeff Byers, Loveland (Loveland, Colo.) OL-DL
2002 – Chris Leak, Independence (Charlotte, N.C.) QB
2001 – Vince Young, Madison (Houston) QB
2000 – Cedric Benson, Robert E. Lee (Midland, Texas) RB
1999 – D.J. Williams, De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) RB-LB
1998 – J.R. House, Nitro (Nitro, W. Va.) QB
1997 – Ronald Curry, Hampton (Va.) QB-RB
1996 – Travis Henry, Frostproof (Fla.) RB
1995 – Tim Couch, Leslie County (Hyden, Ky.) QB
1994 – Chris Redman, Male (Louisville, Ky.) QB
1993 – Peyton Manning, Newman (New Orleans) QB
1992 – James Allen, Wynnewood (Okla.) RB
1991 – Steven Davis, Spartanburg (S.C.) RB
1990 – Derrick Brooks, Washington (Pensacola, Fla.) LB
1989 – Robert Smith, Euclid (Ohio) RB
1988 – Terry Kirby, Tabb (Va.) RB
1987 – Carl Pickens, Murphy (N.C.) WR
1986 – Emmitt Smith, Escambia (Pensacola, Fla.) RB
1985 – Jeff George, Warren Central (Indianapolis) QB
1984 – Andre Rison, Northwestern (Flint, Mich.) WR-DB
1983 – Chris Spielman, Washington (Massillon, Ohio) LB
1982 – Rod Woodson, Snider (Fort Wayne, Ind.) WR-DB
1981 – Marcus Dupree, Philadelphia (Miss.) RB
1980 – Bill Fralic, Penn Hills (Pittsburgh) OL
1979 – Herschel Walker, Johnson County (Wrightsville, Ga.) RB
1978 – Eric Dickerson, Sealy (Sealy) RB
1977 – Marcus Allen, Lincoln (San Diego) QB-RB
1976 – Freeman McNeil, Banning (Wilmington, Calif.) RB
1975 – Charles White, San Fernando (San Fernando, Calif.) RB
1974 – Billy Sims, Hooks (Hooks, Texas) RB
1973 – Earl Campbell, John Tyler (Tyler, Texas) RB
1972 – Tony Dorsett, Hopewell (Aliquippa, Pa.) RB
1971 – Dave Logan, Wheat Ridge (Wheat Ridge, Colo.) WR
1970 – Pat Haden, Bishop Amat (La Puente, Calif.) QB

Brian Stumpf, Mark Tennis and Doug Huff of ESPNHS and Randy Jennings of ESPN Dallas contributed to this article.

Mr. Football USA Week 16 Tracker

December, 13, 2011
12/13/11
12:23
PM ET
Johnathan GrayTravis L. Brown/ESPNDallas.comJohnathan Gray of Aledo (Texas) is the first-ever two-time Mr. Football USA.

One of the biggest individual honors a high school football player can receive is Mr. Football USA, the title bestowed upon the nation’s most outstanding player each fall by ESPNHS.

This week's edition marks the final installment of the regular season, with the winner of the annual honor to be announced next week. Below is a look at the top candidates in the chase for the 2011 Mr. Football USA.

THE FAVORITES

RB Johnathan Gray, Aledo (Texas)
Last week: The nation's top-rated running back and 2010 ESPNHS Mr. Football USA tied Mike Hart's all-time national career touchdown record of 204 with five scores in Aledo's 68-28 destruction of Corsicana (Corsicana, Texas) in a Class 4A Division II semifinal. Gray ran 22 times for 218 yards and also caught one pass for 36 yards in the win.
Season totals: 317 carries for 3,653 rushing yards and 64 rushing touchdowns, 23 catches for 494 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns; Aledo is 13-2.
Stock – Up: Just one more trip into the end zone in this Saturday's state title game versus Manvel (Manvel, Texas) will make Gray the all-time leading touchdown scorer in high school football history. In last year's state title victory over La Marque (La Marque, Texas), Gray scored eight times, setting a new high for Texas title games.

WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.)
Season Complete
Season Totals: 119 catches for 2,233 yards and 24 touchdowns, one rushing touchdown; team finished 11-2.

QB Maty Mauk, Kenton (Ohio)
Season Complete
Season Totals: 382 of 556 for 5,413 yards and 68 touchdowns with 16 interceptions, 241 carries for 1,768 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns; team finished 14-1.

ON THE RADAR

ATH Davonte Neal, Chaparral (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Season Complete
Season Totals: 100 carries for 1,317 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns, 62 receptions for 1,113 yards and 14 touchdowns, three kickoff returns for touchdowns and two punt return scores, recorded 31 tackles on defense; team finished 14-1 and is No. 22 in the FAB 50.

QB Patrick Towles, Highlands (Fort Thomas, Ky.)
Season Complete
Season Totals: 181 of 279 for 3,820 yards, 42 touchdowns and one interception, with 589 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns; team finished 15-0 and No. 34 in the FAB 50.

RB Trey Williams, Dekaney (Houston)
Last week: Williams' remarkable playoff run continued Saturday, as he scorched Timberview (Mansfield, Texas) for 281 yards and six touchdowns on 31 carries as Dekaney cruised to a spot in the 5A Division II state final with a 56-19 rout.
Season totals: 402 carries for 3,687 rushing yards and 45 touchdowns with two receiving touchdowns and a kickoff return score; team is 13-2.
Stock – Up: The Texas A&M commit has led Dekaney, a school that had never won a playoff game before this current run, to a berth in the state championship. Dekaney takes on FAB 50 No. 14 Steele (Cibolo, Texas) on Saturday at Cowboys Stadium.

QB Jameis Winston, Hueytown (Ala.)
Season Complete
Season Totals: 163 of 234 for 2,424 yards and 28 touchdowns with two interceptions, 1,063 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns, one touchdown reception; team finished 13-1.

MOVING ONTO THE TRACKER

RB Randy "Duke" Johnson, Miami Norland (Miami, Fla.)
Last week:
Johnson, a Miami recruit, led FAB 50 No. 8 Norland back from a 20-0 deficit to top Palmetto (Palmetto, Fla.) 35-27 in the Class 5A state semis, rushing 27 times for 375 yards and three touchdowns. He's compiled over 600 yards and six scores in the past two playoff games.
Season totals: 187 carries for 1,957 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns, 11 receptions for 178 receiving yards and three touchdowns, two kickoff returns and one punt return score; team is 13-0.
Stock – Up: Johnson may not have the gaudy season totals like some others on this list, as he's missed one game to suspension and one other to injury this fall, but there's no doubt he's the most explosive offensive player in Florida and has carried Norland through the playoffs and into the state final. The Vikings take on Wakulla (Crawfordville, Fla.) on Friday afternoon in the title game.

Disagree with this list or have suggestions/comments about who should be added for consideration? Email Brian Stumpf at brian.stumpf@espn.com, hit him up on Twitter - @BrianStumpfESPN or post in the comments section below.

Mr. Football USA Week 15 Tracker

December, 6, 2011
12/06/11
12:26
PM ET
Johnathan GrayTravis L. Brown/ESPNDallas.comAledo (Texas) running back Johnathan Gray is the first two-time Mr. Football USA in the long history of the honor.

One of the biggest individual honors a high school football player can receive is Mr. Football USA, the title bestowed upon the nation’s most outstanding player each fall by ESPNHS.

Below is a look at the top candidates in the chase for the 2011 Mr. Football USA. Every Tuesday during the regular season we’ll update the totals of many leading contenders and examine some of the new names who are emerging as strong contenders.

THE FAVORITES

RB Johnathan Gray, Aledo (Texas)
Last week: The nation's top-rated running back and 2010 ESPNHS Mr. Football USA carried 18 times for 195 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown run on his first carry, as Aledo avenged an earlier 48-47 loss to Stephenville (Texas) by whipping the Yellow Jackets 33-0. Gray was ejected in the third quarter, however, as he uncharacteristically drew two unsportsmanlike penalties.
Season totals: 295 carries for 3,435 yards and 59 rushing touchdowns, 22 catches for 458 yards and five receiving touchdowns; Aledo is 12-2.
Stock – Same: Gray is now five touchdowns and 50 points behind the all-time high school leader in these two categories, former Michigan RB Mike Hart, who prepped at Onondaga (Nedrow, N.Y.). It was surprising that Gray drew the unsportsmanlike penalties last week, but probably speaks more to how keyed-up Aledo was to get another shot at a Stephenville team that had stunned them earlier in the year.

WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.)
Season Complete
Season Totals: 119 catches for 2,233 yards and 24 touchdowns, one rushing touchdown; team finished 11-2.

QB Maty Mauk, Kenton (Ohio)
Last week: Mauk is the national all-time high school leader in passing yards and touchdowns, but his career came to a bitter end Saturday as Mauk was once again denied an ever-elusive state title. Norwayne (Creston, Ohio) topped Kenton 48-42. Mauk went down with guns blazing, completing 27-of-50 passes for 421 yards, with five touchdowns and three interceptions, while also rushing 22 times for 50 yards and a score.
Season Totals: 382-of-556 for 5,413 yards and 68 touchdowns with 16 interceptions, 241 carries for 1,768 yards and 23 touchdowns; team finished 14-1.
Stock – Slightly Down: Mauk passed for more yards and touchdowns than any quarterback in high school history, but his chances for this award hinged more on those big numbers accounting for a championship, and unfortunately Kenton came up one game short.

Read More »

Mr. Football USA Week 14 Tracker

November, 29, 2011
11/29/11
1:47
PM ET
video
One of the biggest individual honors a high school football player can receive is Mr. Football USA, the title bestowed upon the nation’s most outstanding player each fall by ESPNHS.

Below is a look at the top candidates in the chase for the 2011 Mr. Football USA. Every Tuesday during the regular season we’ll update the totals of many leading contenders as well as examine some of the new names that are emerging as strong contenders.

THE FAVORITES

RB Johnathan Gray, Aledo (Aledo, Texas)
This week: The nation's top-rated running back and 2010 ESPNHS Mr. Football USA carried 20 times for 303 yards and three touchdowns as Aledo routed Canyon Randall (Amarillo, Texas) 42-14 in a Class 4A playoff game.
Season totals: 278 carries for 3,252 yards and 59 touchdowns rushing, 22 catches for 472 yards and four scores receiving; Aledo is 11-2.
Stock – Up: Gray is now six touchdowns and 56 points behind the all-time high school leader in these two categories, former Michigan RB Mike Hart, who prepped at Onondaga (Nedrow, N.Y.). Gray and Aledo get a chance to avenge one of their two regular season losses this week versus Stephenville (Stephenville, Texas) in a 4A quarterfinal on Saturday.

WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.)
Season Complete
Season Totals: 119 catches for 2,233 yards and 24 touchdowns, one rushing touchdown; team finished 11-2.

QB Maty Mauk, Kenton (Kenton, Ohio)
This week: The national all-time high school leader in passing yards and touchdowns completed 26-of-39 passes for 408 yards with four touchdowns and an interception while also rushing for 54 yards and a score in a 36-6 win over Clinton-Massie (Clarksville, Ohio).
Season Totals: 355 of 506 for 4,992 yards and 63 touchdowns with 13 interceptions, 219 carries for 1,718 yards and 23 touchdowns; team is 14-0
Stock – Slightly Up: Mauk and Kenton now face Norwayne (Creston, Ohio) in the Division IV state title game this Saturday and the Missouri commit has the chance to turn all of his statistical achievement into a championship, which would be a tremendous finish to his brilliant career.

Read More »

Mr. Football USA Week 13 Tracker

November, 22, 2011
11/22/11
5:27
PM ET

One of the biggest individual honors a high school football player can receive is Mr. Football USA, the title bestowed upon the nation’s most outstanding player each fall by ESPNHS.

Below is a look at the top candidates in the chase for the 2011 Mr. Football USA. Every Tuesday during the regular season we’ll update the totals of many leading contenders as well as examine some of the new names that are emerging as strong contenders.

THE FAVORITES
RB Johnathan Gray, Aledo (Aledo, Texas)
This week: The nation's top-rated running back and 2010 ESPNHS Mr. Football USA carried 34 times for 321 yards and five touchdowns as Aledo routed Mansfield Summit (Mansfield, Texas) 59-23 in a Class 4A playoff game.
Season totals: 258 carries for 2,949 yards and 56 touchdowns rushing, 21 catches for 457 yards and four scores receiving; Aledo is 10-2
Stock – Up: Gray is now 9 touchdowns and 74 points behind the all-time high school leaders in those two categories, former Michigan RB Mike Hart, who prepped at Onondaga (Nedrow, N.Y.). In addition he became the third Texas player to top 10,000 career rushing yards in the win over Mansfield Summit. Aledo continues its postseason Friday with Canyon Randall (Amarillo, Texas).

WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.)
Season Complete
Season Totals: 119 catches for 2,233 yards and 24 touchdowns, one rushing touchdown; team finished 11-2.

QB Maty Mauk, Kenton (Kenton, Ohio)
This week: The national all-time high school leader in passing yards and touchdowns completed 13-of-20 passes for 97 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions while also rushing 18 times for 164 yards and three touchdowns in a narrow 30-28 win over defending Division IV state champion Bishop Hartley (Columbus, Ohio).
Season Totals: 329-of-467 for 4,584 yards and 59 touchdowns with 12 interceptions, 208 carries for 1,664 yards and 22 touchdowns; team is 13-0
Stock – Same: Mauk was held under 300 yards passing for a second-straight week but was still able to lead his team to the win by using his legs. Kenton next faces Norwayne (Creston, Ohio) in a Division IV state semifinal.

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Mr. Football USA Week 12 Tracker

November, 15, 2011
11/15/11
11:49
AM ET
Kelvin TaylorTom Hauck/ESPNHSGlades Day (Belle Glade, Fla.) junior Kelvin Taylor broke Emmitt's Smith career state rushing record Friday with a 388-yard, six-touchdown performance.

One of the biggest individual honors a high school football player can receive is Mr. Football USA, the title bestowed upon the nation’s most outstanding player each fall by ESPNHS.

Below is a look at the top candidates in the chase for the 2011 Mr. Football USA. Every Tuesday during the regular season we’ll update the totals of many leading contenders as well as examine some of the new names that are emerging as strong contenders.

THE FAVORITES
RB Johnathan Gray, Aledo (Aledo, Texas)
This week: The nation's top-rated running back and 2010 ESPNHS Mr. Football USA carried 27 times for 198 yards and three touchdowns while also totaling 39 yards on three receptions as Aledo routed Dunbar (Fort Worth, Texas) 59-10 in a Class 4A playoff game.
Season totals: 224 carries for 2,628 yards and 51 touchdowns rushing, 21 catches for 457 yards and four scores receiving; Aledo is 9-2
Stock – Same: Gray is now 14 touchdowns and 104 points behind the all-time high school leaders in those two categories, former Michigan RB Mike Hart, who prepped at Onondaga (Nedrow, N.Y.). Aledo continues its postseason Thursday with Mansfield Summit (Arlington, Texas).

WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.)
This week: The nation’s No. 1 ranked WR by ESPNU had his high school career come to a shocking end on Friday, as he caught seven passes for 57 yards in a 49-0 loss to Webb City (Webb City, Mo.).
Season Totals: 119 catches for 2,233 yards and 24 touchdowns, one rushing touchdown; team finished 11-2
Stock – Slightly Down: Green-Beckham was held in check as Hillcrest was pounded in a Class 4 state quarterfinal. His individual numbers on the season remain staggering, however.

QB Maty Mauk, Kenton (Kenton, Ohio)
This week: With the passing game relatively shutdown (Mauk completed 15-of-27 passes for 239 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions), the senior Missouri-recruit took to the ground Friday night, rushing 26 times for 211 yards and three scores in a 32-22 win over Genoa Area (Genoa, Ohio).
Season Totals: 316-of-447 for 4,487 yards and 58 touchdowns with 10 interceptions, 190 carries for 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns; team is 12-0
Stock – Same: Mauk, high school football's all-time career passing leader, showed the ability to win games with his legs as well on Friday. The win sets up a showdown with defending Division IV state champion Bishop Hartley (Columbus, Ohio) in a state quarterfinal this week.

Read More »

Mr. Football USA Week 11 Tracker

November, 8, 2011
11/08/11
11:50
AM ET
Maty Mauk of Kenton (Ohio) holds two national passing records.Danny Vega/ESPNHSMaty Mauk of Kenton (Ohio) holds two national passing records.

One of the biggest individual honors a high school football player can receive is Mr. Football USA, the title bestowed upon the nation’s most outstanding player each fall by ESPNHS.

Below is a look at the top candidates in the chase for the 2011 Mr. Football USA. Every Tuesday during the regular season we’ll update the totals of many leading contenders as well as examine some of the new names that are emerging as strong contenders.

THE FAVORITES
RB Johnathan Gray, Aledo (Aledo, Texas)
This week: The nation's top-rated running back and 2010 ESPNHS Mr. Football USA carried 16 times for 189 yards and four touchdowns while also totaling 72 yards on two receptions in Aledo's 59-14 rout of Brewer (Fort Worth, Texas).
Season totals: 197 carries for 2,430 yards and 48 touchdowns rushing, 18 catches for 418 yards and four scores receiving; Aledo is 8-2
Stock – Same: Gray is now 17 touchdowns and 122 points behind the all-time high school leaders in those two categories, former Michigan RB Mike Hart, who prepped at Onondaga (Nedrow, N.Y.). Aledo opens its postseason Thursday with Dunbar (Fort Worth, Texas) on Thursday, hoping for a third straight state title.

WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.)
This week: The nation’s No. 1 ranked WR by ESPNU had his lowest yardage-total of the year Friday night, catching six passes for just 63 yards but two scores, also rushing for 22 yards as Hillcrest won its first round playoff encounter with St. Clair (St. Clair, Mo.) 42-14.
Season Totals: 104 catches for 2,049 yards and 23 touchdowns, one rushing touchdown; team is 10-1
Stock – Same: Green-Beckham has reached two pretty lofty landmark this fall with 100+ catches and now 2,000+ receiving yards.

QB Maty Mauk, Kenton (Kenton, Ohio)
This week: Mauk had perhaps the greatest game in his illustrious career Friday, completing 27-of-29 passes for 504 yards and a state-record nine touchdowns, while also rushing for 85 yards in a 74-22 destruction of Wellington (Wellington, Ohio) in a Division IV opening round playoff game.
Season Totals: 301-of-420 for 4,248 yards and 57 touchdowns with eight interceptions, 164 carries for 1,289 yards and 16 touchdowns; team is 11-0
Stock – Up: Mauk surpassed his older brother Ben’s national record of 17,364 passing yards on his third completion of the game, and now holds that mark with 17,700 yards and counting. Mauk also holds national records for attempts, completions and touchdown passes.

Read More »

Mr. Football USA Week 10 Tracker

November, 1, 2011
11/01/11
6:38
PM ET
Mike DavisTom Hauck/ESPNHSFlorida-bound RB Mike Davis of Stephenson (Stone Mountain, Ga.) had another big game last week, rushing for 246 yards and two scores.
One of the biggest individual honors a high school football player can receive is Mr. Football USA, the title bestowed upon the nation’s most outstanding player each fall by ESPNHS.

Below is a look at the top candidates in the chase for the 2011 Mr. Football USA. Every Tuesday during the regular season we’ll update the totals of many leading contenders as well as examine some of the new names that are emerging as strong contenders.

THE FAVORITES
RB Johnathan Gray, Aledo (Aledo, Texas)
This week: The nation's top-rated running back in the updated ESPNU 150, Gray carried 31 times for 265 yards and seven touchdowns in Aledo's ESPNU-televised 67-42 shootout win over Birdville (North Richland Hills, Texas).
Season totals: 181 carries for 2,241 yards and 44 touchdowns rushing, 16 catches for 346 yards and four scores receiving; Aledo is 7-2
Stock – Up: Gray’s big night on TV made him the second all-time leading scorer in the history of high school football, passing former N.C. State RB T.A. McLendon. He is now 21 touchdowns and 146 points behind the all-time high school leaders in those two categories, former Michigan RB Mike Hart, who prepped at Onondaga (Nedrow, N.Y.). A deep playoff run including more performances like this past week puts those numbers within striking distance, considering Gray has already scored 48 times through nine games this fall.

WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.)
This week: The nation’s No. 1 ranked WR by ESPNU had his ninth 100-yard game of the year Friday, catching 11 passes for a whopping 303 yards and four touchdowns in Hillcrest's 35-7 win over Republic (Republic, Mo.).
Season Totals: 98 catches for 1,985 yards and 21 touchdowns, one rushing touchdown; team is 9-1
Stock – Up: Green-Beckham is now the all-time leading receiver in high school football history at 6,110 yards and counting, breaking the previous record held by former Evangel Christian (Shreveport, La.) WR Abram Booty.

Read More »

Mr. Football USA Week 9 Tracker

October, 25, 2011
10/25/11
3:36
PM ET
Dorial Green-BeckhamJohn Fedele/ESPNHSHillcrest (Springfield, Mo.) WR Dorial Green-Beckham needs just 62 yards this week to eclipse the national record for career receiving yards.
One of the biggest individual honors a high school football player can receive is Mr. Football USA, the title bestowed upon the nation’s most outstanding player each fall by ESPNHS.

Below is a look at the top candidates in the chase for the 2011 Mr. Football USA. Every Tuesday during the regular season we’ll update the totals of many leading contenders as well as examine some of the new names that are emerging as strong contenders.

THE FAVORITES
RB Johnathan Gray, Aledo (Aledo, Texas)
This week: The new No. 1 rated running back in the updated ESPNU 150, Gray 20 times for 160 yards and four touchdowns while also catching three passes for 128 yards and another score in Aledo's 49-3 win over Azle (Azle, Texas).
Season totals: 148 carries for 1,964 yards and 37 touchdowns rushing, 16 catches for 346 yards and four scores receiving; Aledo is 6-2
Stock – Same: Gray’s continues to accumulate single-season and career stats that jump off the page. He now has scored 1,058 career points, placing him No. 3 all-time nationally and just 18 points (three touchdowns) behind No. 2 on the list, former NC State running back T.A. McLendon. He also tied the all-time Texas state mark with his 43rd career 100-yard rushing game.

WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.)
This week: The nation’s No. 1 ranked WR by ESPNU had his eighth 100-yard game of the year Friday, catching nine passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns and also scored on a 27-yard reverse in Hillcrest's 56-6 rout of Marshfield (Marshfield, Mo.).
Season Totals: 87 catches for 1,682 yards and 17 touchdowns, one rushing touchdown; team is 8-1
Stock – Slightly Up: Green-Beckham is now up to 5,806 career receiving yards and is just 62 yards away from breaking the national career receiving yardage record held by former Evangel Christian (Shreveport, La.) WR Abram Booty.

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Mr. Football USA Week 8 Tracker

October, 18, 2011
10/18/11
11:58
AM ET
One of the biggest individual honors a high school football player can receive is Mr. Football USA, the title bestowed upon the nation’s most outstanding player each fall by ESPNHS.

Below is a look at the top candidates in the chase for the 2011 Mr. Football USA. Every Tuesday during the regular season we’ll update the totals of many leading contenders as well as examine some of the new names that are emerging as strong contenders.

THE FAVORITES
RB Johnathan Gray, Aledo (Aledo, Texas)
This week: Gray ran for six touchdowns (4, 1, 40, 70, 15 and 47 yards) and 243 yards on just 14 carries as Aledo thrashed Boswell (Fort Worth, Texas) 73-30 on Friday night.
Season totals: 128 carries for 1,804 yards and 33 touchdowns rushing, 13 catches for 218 yards and three scores receiving; Aledo is 5-2
Stock – Slightly Up: Gray’s continues to accumulate single-season and career stats that jump off the page. He now has scored 1,028 career points, placing him No. 3 all-time nationally and just 48 points (eight touchdowns) behind No. 2 on the list, former NC State running back T.A. McLendon.

WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.)
This week: The nation’s No. 1 ranked WR by ESPNU had his seventh 100-yard game of the year Friday, catching five passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns in Hillcrest's 49-0 rout of West Plains (West Plains, Mo.).
Season Totals: 78 catches for 1,493 yards and 15 touchdowns; team is 7-1
Stock – Same: Green-Beckham is now up to 5,617 career receiving yards and is just 191 yards away from breaking the national career receiving yardage record held by former Evangel Christian (Shreveport, La.) WR Abram Booty.

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Mr. Football USA Week 7 Tracker

October, 11, 2011
10/11/11
11:37
AM ET
Dorial Green-BeckhamJohn Fedele/ESPNHSDorial Green-Beckham reeled in 13 passes for a season-high 354 yards and three touchdowns Friday night.
One of the biggest individual honors a high school football player can receive is Mr. Football USA, the title bestowed upon the nation’s most outstanding player each fall by ESPNHS.

Below is a look at the top candidates in the chase for the 2011 Mr. Football USA. Every Tuesday during the regular season we’ll update the totals of many leading contenders as well as examine some of the new names that are emerging as strong contenders.

THE FAVORITES
RB Johnathan Gray, Aledo (Aledo, Texas)
This week: Gray tallied five more touchdowns Friday night, rushing 21 times for 197 yards and three scores while also catching three passes for 67 yards and two TDs in Aledo's 50-7 victory over Byron Nelson (Fort Worth, Texas).
Season totals: 114 carries for 1,561 yards and 27 touchdowns rushing, 13 catches for 218 yards and three scores receiving; Aledo is 4-2
Stock – Slightly Up: Gray’s continues to accumulate single-season and career stats that jump off the page. He now has 8,567 yards and 165 career touchdowns.

WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.)
This week: The nation’s No. 1 ranked WR by ESPNU shredded the Rolla (Rolla, Mo.) secondary Friday night to the tune of 13 receptions for a season-high 354 yards and three touchdowns as Hillcrest improved to 6-1 with a 40-19 victory.
Season Totals: 73 catches for 1,377 yards and 13 touchdowns; team is 6-1
Stock – Up: Green-Beckham is now up to 5,501 career receiving yards and is just 307 yards away from breaking the national career receiving yardage record held by former Evangel Christian (Shreveport, La.) WR Abram Booty.

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Mr. Football USA Week 6 Tracker

October, 4, 2011
10/04/11
11:49
AM ET
Johnathan GrayTom Hauck/ESPNHSJohnathan Gray ran for a whopping 342 yards and seven touchdowns Friday night in Aledo's 83-21 win over Springtown
One of the biggest individual honors a high school football player can receive is Mr. Football USA, the title bestowed upon the nation’s most outstanding player each fall by ESPNHS.

Below is a look at the top candidates in the chase for the 2011 Mr. Football USA. Every Tuesday during the regular season we’ll update the totals of many leading contenders as well as examine some of the new names that are emerging as strong contenders.

THE FAVORITES
DE Mario Edwards Jr., Denton Ryan (Denton, Texas)
This week: Edwards, the top-ranked recruit nationwide by ESPNU, enjoyed a week off with his teammates. Denton Ryan retakes the field this Thursday versus Rider (Wichita Falls, Texas).
Season totals: 8.5 sacks and three forced fumbles; team is 5-0 and No. 38 in the POWERADE FAB 50
Stock – Same: Edwards' bye week comes at a perfect time. He can get fully healthy and try to put together a strong second half and push towards 20 sacks.

RB Johnathan Gray, Aledo (Aledo, Texas)
This week: Despite only playing 2 1/2 quarters Friday night, Gray vaulted from fifth to third all-time in the national record book in scoring, rushing 16 times for 342 yards and seven touchdowns (42, 31, 30, 8, 14, 8 and 69 yards) as Aledo destroyed winless Springtown (Springtown, Texas) 83-21.
Season totals: 93 carries for 1,364 yards and 24 touchdowns rushing, one touchdown receiving; Aledo is 3-2
Stock – Up: Gray’s numbers continue to boggle the mind as he's averaging nearly 275 yards per game and nearly 15 yards per carry. He now has scored 962 points in his illustrious career.

WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.)
This week: The nation’s No. 1 ranked WR by ESPNU helped his team to a fourth straight win Friday night, catching seven passes for 159 yards and a touchdown in a 42-14 victory over Waynesville (Waynesville, Mo.).
Season Totals: 60 catches for 1,023 yards and 10 touchdowns; team is 5-1
Stock – Same: Green-Beckham continues to dominate and just as importantly he's also opening things up for his teammates (Stewart Andress rushing for 200 yards and four TDs Friday night) and helping Hillcrest to wins on the field.

QB Alec Morris, Allen (Allen, Texas)
This week: Morris had his first "off-game" of the year Friday night, hitting just 6-of-17 passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns, but Missouri-bound RB Jonathan Williams picked up the slack with 233 yards rushing as Allen still crushed Lewisville (Lewisville, Texas) 45-13
Season totals: 88-of-144 for 1,357 yards and 19 touchdowns with no interceptions, 84 yards and two touchdowns rushing; team is 5-0 and No. 3 in the FAB 50.
Stock – Same: Morris showed Friday that he is indeed human, but even with an off night he still has eye-popping overall numbers through five games for the nation's No. 3 team.

STRONG CASES
ATH Stefon Diggs, Good Counsel (Olney, Md.)
This week: Diggs caught four passes for 125 yards and also contributed an interception and several big hits in the secondary as Good Counsel topped Red Lion Christian (Bear, Del.) on Saturday 34-14
Season totals: 22 receptions for 483 yards and five touchdowns, one touchdown rushing, one interception; team is 5-0 and ranked No. 8 in the FAB 50.
Stock – Same: Diggs continues to make big plays in each game, however the balance of Good Counsel really prevents him from putting up huge overall numbers.

RB Rushel Shell, Hopewell (Aliquippa, Pa.)
This week: The nation’s third-ranked back was subdued to just 109 yards and no scores on 26 carries as Blackhawk (Beaver Falls, Pa.) took it to Hopewell 37-13 on Friday night.
Season totals: 149 carries for 1,062 yards and 11 touchdowns, one receiving touchdown; team is 4-1.
Stock – Slightly Down: Hopewell has made great strides from '10, but showed Friday that good teams can slow down the entire operation by stacking the box against Shell.

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Mr. Football USA Week 5 Tracker

September, 27, 2011
9/27/11
3:03
PM ET
Trey WilliamsTom Hauck/ESPNHSDekaney (Spring, Texas) RB and Texas A&M commit Trey Williams ran for 279 yards and three scores to help his team move to 4-0.
One of the biggest individual honors a high school football player can receive is Mr. Football USA, the title bestowed upon the nation’s most outstanding player each fall by ESPNHS.

Below is a look at the top candidates in the chase for the 2011 Mr. Football USA. Every Tuesday during the regular season we’ll update the totals of many leading contenders as well as examine some of the new names that are emerging as strong contenders.

THE FAVORITES
DE Mario Edwards Jr., Denton Ryan (Denton, Texas)
This week: Edwards, the top-ranked recruit nationwide by ESPNU, had three sacks and forced a fumble as Ryan held on for a 42-28 win over Lake Dallas (Corinth, Texas).
Season totals: 8.5 sacks and three forced fumbles; team is 5-0 and No. 38 in the POWERADE FAB 50
Stock – Up: Edwards bounced back after a down game to come through for his team in the clutch and keep the Raiders unbeaten.

RB Johnathan Gray, Aledo (Aledo, Texas)
This week: Gray became the all-time leading scorer in Texas (920 points) and moved to fifth all-time nationally in Friday night’s 62-17 rout of Timber Creek (Keller, Texas), rushing for 209 yards and four touchdowns on just eight carries while also catching two passes for 61 yards and a fifth score.
Season totals: 77 carries for 1,022 yards and 17 touchdowns rushing, one touchdown receiving; Aledo is 2-2
Stock – Up: Gray’s numbers continue to boggle the mind. Despite being a marked man every time he steps on the field he’s now averaging over 13 yards per carry, over 250 yards and four touchdowns per contest.

WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.)
This week: The nation’s No. 1 ranked WR by ESPNU had another big night Friday, catching 10 passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns as Hillcrest trounced Glendale (Springfield, Mo.) 35-8.
Season Totals: 53 catches for 864 yards and nine touchdowns; team is 4-1
Stock – Slightly Up: Green-Beckham is now averaging a ridiculous 10 catches and 170 yards per game receiving.

QB Alec Morris, Allen (Allen, Texas)
This week: Missouri-bound RB Jonathan Williams returned from injury for Allen this week but it was still Alec Morris leading the attack, as the Alabama recruit completed 22-of-32 for 306 yards and four touchdowns in a 44-7 rout of previously undefeated Plano (Plano, Texas).
Season totals: 82-of-127 for 1,241 yards and 17 touchdowns with no interceptions, 77 yards and two touchdowns rushing; team is 4-0 and No. 3 in the FAB 50.
Stock – Slightly Up: Morris continues to play as well as any high school QB in the nation, averaging 310 yards and four touchdowns per game so far.

RB Rushel Shell, Hopewell (Aliquippa, Pa.)
This week: The nation’s third-ranked back broke the WPIAL career rushing mark, that was previously 7.646 yards by Mike Vernillo, Friday night in 27-20 win over Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh). Shell carried 32 times for 205 yards and three touchdowns in the victory and now sets his sights on the Pennsylvania career state record of 9,027 yards, held by Jeremiah Young.
Season totals: 123 carries for 953 yards and 11 touchdowns, one receiving touchdown; team is 4-0.
Stock – Up: Shell now has 7,718 yards on his career and is averaging nearly 240 yards per game rushing this fall.

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Mr. Football USA Week 4 Tracker

September, 20, 2011
9/20/11
2:50
PM ET
xTom Hauck/ESPNHSNeal Burcham passed for 471 yards and accounted for four scores in Greenbrier's (Greenbrier, Ark.) 42-35 win
One of the biggest individual honors a high school football player can receive is Mr. Football USA, the title bestowed upon the nation’s most outstanding player each fall by ESPNHS.

Below is a look at the top candidates in the chase for the 2011 Mr. Football USA. Every Tuesday during the regular season we’ll update the totals of many leading contenders as well as examine some of the new names that are emerging as strong contenders.

THE FAVORITES
DE Mario Edwards Jr., Denton Ryan (Denton, Texas)
This week: Edwards, the top-ranked recruit nationwide by ESPNU, made five tackles but was held without a sack and suffered an ankle injury in the second half and missed some time in Ryan's 28-22 double overtime win over Mesquite (Mesquite, Texas).
Season totals: 26 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles; team is 4-0 and No. 42 in the POWERADE FAB 50
Stock – Slightly Down: It's hard to expect Edwards to get a sack in every game, but as a strickly one-way defensive player trying to contend for a national player of the year honor, it's probably what he has to do at minimum to compete with offensive players.

RB Johnathan Gray, Aledo (Aledo, Texas)
This week: The all-time touchdown scorer in Texas high school football and his team were off this weekend.
Season totals: 69 carries for 813 yards and 13 touchdowns rushing in two games; Aledo is 1-2
Stock – Same: Gray continues to shred Texas high school defenses and is now the Texas state record-holder for career TDs with 148 and counting.

WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.)
This week: The nation’s No. 1 ranked WR by ESPNU was back to posting big numbers Friday night after being held to under 100 yards by Joplin the prior week. Green-Beckham shredded the Camdenton (Camdenton, Mo.) secondary for 215 yards and two scores on 12 catches in a 31-21 victory.
Season Totals: 43 catches for 734 yards and seven touchdowns; team is 3-1
Stock – Up: Green-Beckham continues put up big numbers and that combined with his physical talent is making him a top candidate for this honor.

QB Alec Morris, Allen (Allen, Texas)
This week: Morris and his teammates had a bye week to prepare for the start of district play.
Season totals: 60-of-95 for 935 yards and 13 touchdowns with no interceptions, 78 yards and two touchdowns rushing; team is 3-0 and No. 4 in the FAB 50.
Stock – Same: Morris is emerging as a serious, serious contender for this honor, putting huge numbers for a team that right now looks as good as any nationally.

RB Rushel Shell, Hopewell (Aliquippa, Pa.)
This week: The nation’s third-ranked back had the game of his young life Friday night, carrying 31 times for 367 yards and five touchdowns yards while also catching two passes for 101 yards and a touchdown in a 55-28 win over Moon Area (Coroapolis, Pa.).
Season totals: 91 carries for 748 yards and eight touchdowns, one receiving touchdown; team is 3-0.
Stock – Up: Shell now has 7,514 yards on his career and needs just 132 yards to tie the WPIAL all-time rushing mark.

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Mr. Football USA Week 3 Tracker

September, 13, 2011
9/13/11
8:01
PM ET
xTom Hauck/ESPNHSAllen (Texas) QB Alec Morris has gone from a player without any offers to an Alabama commitment in a matter of months.
One of the biggest individual honors a high school football player can receive is Mr. Football USA, the title bestowed upon the nation’s most outstanding player each fall by ESPNHS.

Below is a look at the top candidates in the chase for the 2011 Mr. Football USA. Every Tuesday during the regular season we’ll update the totals of many leading contenders as well as examine some of the new names that are emerging as strong contenders.

THE FAVORITES
DE Mario Edwards Jr., Denton Ryan (Denton, Texas)
This week: Edwards, the top-ranked recruit nationwide by ESPNU, racked up a third straight multi-sack performance, totaling five tackles, two tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks in a 49-14 rout of North Garland (Garland, Texas).
Season totals: 21 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles; team is 3-0 and No. 36 in the POWERADE FAB 50
Stock – Same: Edwards continue to perform at a high level and back up his status as a top prospect.

RB Johnathan Gray, Aledo (Aledo, Texas)
This week: Ran 27 times for 257 yards and four touchdowns, breaking Traylon Shead’s Texas high school football record for career touchdowns of 146, but it was not nearly enough as FAB 50 ranked Lake Travis (Austin, Texas) slaughtered the Bearcats 62-35.
Season totals: 69 carries for 813 yards and 13 touchdowns rushing in two games; Aledo is 1-2
Stock – Slightly Up: Gray continues to shred Texas high school defenses and is now the Texas state record-holder for career TDs with 148 and counting.

QB Alec Morris, Allen (Allen, Texas)
This week: Morris was once again surgical in Allen’s 42-23 destruction of East Texas power Longview, completing 25-of-35 for 365 yards and five touchdowns while also rushing for 27 yards and a score.
Season totals: 60-of-95 for 935 yards and 13 touchdowns with no interceptions, 78 yards and two touchdowns rushing; team is 3-0 and No. 4 in the FAB 50.
Stock – Up: Morris is emerging as a serious, serious contender for this honor, putting huge numbers for a team that right now looks as good as any nationally.

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