For the list of the other 2014 Gatorade State Football POYs, click here
THE WINNER: Zach Allen
School: New Canaan (Conn.)
Position: Defensive end, linebacker and tight end
Weight: 248 pounds
Athletic achievement: He has led the Rams to a 9-1 record and a berth in the Class L-Large state semifinals against Wethersfield, scheduled for Dec. 6. At the time of his selection, Allen had tallied 83 tackles, 12.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles, 10 pass break-ups and two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. On offense, the 2013 Connecticut High School Coaches Association First Team All-State selection caught seven passes for 75 yards and three touchdowns through 10 games.
Academic excellence: Allen has maintained an A average.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally as part of multiple fundraising campaigns to benefit cancer and diabetes research in addition to donating his time as a youth football coach and mentor.
“In our preparation for New Canaan, we were sometimes in awe of the things Zach does on the football field,” said Bruce Cunningham, head coach of Wilton. “He makes the entire defense better. As one coach put it, ‘Maybe Ohio State or Michigan has someone to block him, but we do not.’”
THE FUTURE: Allen has verbally committed to Northwestern.