National POY Watch: Damien Harris

National POY Watch: Damien Harris

Gatorade Player of the Year

National POY Watch: Damien Harris


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.

Damien Harris
Junior running back, Madison Southern (Berea, Ky.)

Greatness Present: Harris has already lifted his Eagles (10-1) to unfamiliar heights, and he’s aiming a bit higher.

The 5-foot-11, 205-pound junior exploded for 342 yards rushing and six touchdowns on 21 carries this past weekend to give Madison Southern a 41-28 playoff win over Harlan County (Baxter, Ky.) and its first-ever berth in the Class 5A state quarterfinals. The Eagles will seek revenge Friday against unbeaten Pulaski County (Somerset, Ky.), which “held” Harris to 248 yards in a 21-18 regular-season setback.

The second-ranked running back recruit in the nation’s junior class according to, Harris has piled up 2,470 yards and 39 touchdowns on 200 carries (12.4 yards per carry).

Greatness Past: Harris ran for 1,911 yards and 37 scores on 160 carries as a sophomore, capturing 2012 District Player of the Year and MaxPreps Sophomore All-American honors.

On the oval this past spring, he also placed second in the 100-meter dash at the Class 2A outdoor track and field state meet.

Greatness Future: Harris has already verbally committed to Michigan.

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.


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National POY Watch: Damien Harris
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