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A real rags-to-riches journey

POY Alumni Tracker: Former New York prep standout Miguel Maysonet has a chance to make history during the NFL draft

Back in 1985, Gatorade established an award honoring the nation's top high school student-athletes. Since then, the Gatorade Player of the Year award has recognized more than 12,500 state and national winners in 12 sports.

Gatorade Player of the Year alumni include household names like Kevin Love, Dwight Howard, Peyton Manning, Derek Jeter, Candace Parker, Kerri Walsh and Abby Wambach — a distinguished group, indeed.

This week, we're catching up with Miguel Maysonet.

Miguel Maysonet was raised in a tiny apartment above a garage in a rundown section of Riverhead, N.Y. Rooms were divided by bed sheets, not walls, and he showered with water from a bucket. His mom worked 18-hour days to support Maysonet and his two brothers.

By Saturday, Maysonet should be on his way to a completely different world: the National Football League.

The 2008-09 Gatorade New York Football Player of the Year, Maysonet is the 10th-ranked running back prospect in the upcoming draft, according to ESPN, and he could be both the first draft pick ever from Stony Brook University and the last ever from Hofstra.

As a high school senior, Maysonet rushed for 2,328 yards and 30 TD’s on 285 carries, leading Riverhead to its first Long Island championship.

He played at Hofstra as a true freshman in 2009, but the school dissolved its football program the same year, and Maysonet transferred to Stony Brook, where he dominated for three seasons.

The 5-foot-9, 209-pound Maysonet set school and Big South Conference career records for rushing yards (4,725) and touchdowns (53). As a senior, he ran for 1,964 yards and 23 scores to finish second in voting for the Walter Payton Award.

Maysonet is expected to be selected somewhere between the fourth and seventh rounds of the draft, and if he makes an opening day roster, he’ll be the first Gatorade New York Player of the Year to play in the NFL since New Orleans Saints guard Eric Olsen, the 2005-06 winner from Poly Prep in Brooklyn.

The last skill position winner from New York to make the big time was Mike Hart (2003-04), whose 204 TD’s and 11,045 rushing yards in his high school career at Onondaga respectively ranked first and second in prep history. Hart went on to set the University of Michigan career rushing record and played three seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. He’s currently an assistant coach at Eastern Michigan University.

Maysonet, however, may not be the only former Gatorade New York Player of the Year to be selected this year. Another Onondaga grad, Latavius Murray, earned the Gatorade award one year before Maysonet and is projected as a potential late-round pick. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound back led Central Florida with 1,106 yards and 15 TDs on 198 carries last season. He lost just one fumble in four seasons.



2013-14 National Winners

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    Baseball POY

    Tullahoma (Tenn.) star baseball player Justus Sheffield named 2013-14 Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year

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    Boys T&F AOY

    Cherryville (N.C.)Trentavis Friday named 2013-14 Gatorade National Track & Field Athlete of the Year.

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    Girls T&F AOY

    Burke (Charleston, S.C.) shot put star Raven Saunders has been named the 2013-14 Gatorade National Track & Field Athlete of the Year

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    Softball POY

    Mission Viejo (Mission Viejo, Calif.) softball star Taylor McQuillin named Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year

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    Boys Soccer POY

    Dunn School (Los Olivos, Calif.) senior Abu Danladi named Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

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    Girls Soccer POY

    Jefferson Forest (Forest, Va.) soccer start Katie Cousins named the 2013-14 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year

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    Boys Basketball POY

    St. Joseph High (Metuchen, NJ) senior Karl Towns Jr. named the Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

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    Girls Basketball POY

    Manvel (Texas) senior Brianna Turner named the Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

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    Football POY

    Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.) defensive tackle Andrew Brown named Gatorade National Football Player of the Year.

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    Volleyball POY

    Assumption High (Louisville, Ky.) setter Alexa Filley named Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year.

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    Boys XC ROY

    Grand Blanc (Mich.) distance runner Grant Fisher named Gatorade National Boys XC Runner of the Year. 

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    Girls XC ROY

    Camas (Wash.) junior Alexa Efraimson named the Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year.

2013-14 State Winners