From many, there will be one. And while there’s still no guarantee contending athletes will win their own state at this point in the season, a number of elite performers are making a case for Gatorade National Football Player of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop on the latest top candidate.
Senior running back, Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
Greatness Present: Quite simply, Christian McCaffrey continues to do as he pleases for the four-time defending state champion Eagles.
The 6-foot, 195-pounder rushed for 196 yards and three touchdowns on just 11 carries as Valor Christian (4-1) pounded Fountain-Fort Carson (Colo.), 40-0, on Friday. He also caught three passes for 68 yards and a score. Fourteen touches, four touchdowns. Not bad.
Through five games, McCaffrey has 741 rushing yards and 10 TDs while averaging a first down every time he rushes the ball (11.4 yards per carry). Oh, and he’s also caught four touchdown passes.
He’s not just imposing his will upon Colorado competition, either. In two out-of-state matchups to start the year -- a 31-7 win over Central East (Fresno, Calif.) and a 24-21 overtime loss to Bingham (Utah) -- McCaffrey ran for 385 yards and four touchdowns.
Greatness Past: The state’s returning Gatorade Football Player of the Year ran for 1,390 yards and 23 touchdowns as a junior, leading the Eagles to their fourth straight state title (first in 5A). He also hauled in 55 receptions for another 675 yards and 14 scores in 2012.
Greatness Future: McCaffrey has verbally commitment to Stanford, the alma mater of his father, former Denver Bronco Ed McCaffrey.
Make no mistake: The Gatorade State Football Player of the Year races aren’t over, and the National POY race is now heating up. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list.Check back for daily updates on the top contenders making their case.