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.
RELATED: Four-star DE McTelvin Agim motivated by the physicality of football
Greatness Present: The 6-foot-3, 275-pound Agim bearing down on a quarterback may be the second–scariest sight in high school football.
The scariest? Agim, one of the nation’s top defensive ends, fielding a kickoff and rumbling toward the kicker—the last line of defense—with a 50-yard head of steam.
The senior has been a dominant defensive player for his entire prep career, but Bobcat coaches continue to find new and creative uses for the agile big man.
On offense, Agim has lined up at wide receiver, running back, and as a wildcat quarterback, rushing for 157 yards on 16 carries, with seven touchdowns. He’s thrown for one touchdown and caught another.
He also averages a remarkable 50 yards per return on kickoffs, though most teams learned to kick away from him after he recorded runbacks of 82 and 86 yards in a 25-14 win over Hot Springs.
In a game against Lakeside, Agim picked up an onside kick and raced 49 yards for a score.
Ranked as the No. 9 recruit in the Class of 2016, the Under Armour All-American still does his best work for Hope (6-2) on the defensive side. He’s registered 30 solo tackles, 20 assisted tackles and has 25 combined sacks and tackles for loss.
Greatness Past: The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Sophomore Defensive Player of the Year in 2013, Agim exploded as a junior, notching 22 sacks with six forced fumbles and 13 pass knockdowns.
Greatness Future: Agim has committed to play for the home-state Razorbacks next fall, the first ESPN top 10 recruit nabbed by Arkansas in the past decade.
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 weekly updates on the top contenders making a case.
CAPTION: Who will follow in the footsteps of 2014-15 Gatorade Football Player of the Year Kyler Murray? Find out first at USA TODAY High School Sports this December. (Photo: Susan Goldman, Gatorade)