For the list of the other 2014 Gatorade State Football POYs, click here
THE WINNER: Markell Jones
School: Columbus (Ind.) East
Position: Running back
Weight: 200 pounds
Athletic achievement: He rushed for 3,536 yards on 312 carries and 60 touchdowns this past season, leading the Olympians (13-1) to the Class 4A semifinals. A two-time First Team All-State selection, Jones’ rushing and scoring totals this fall set Indiana High School Athletic Association single-season state records. His 7,793 career rushing yards rank second in state history.
Academic excellence: Jones has maintained a 3.23 GPA.
Exemplary character: He has served as a leader in his school’s student spirit group in addition to volunteering as a youth football coach.
“Markell Jones is the most impressive athlete I have coached against in my 11 years of coaching,” said Dustin Roller, head coach at North Vernon (Ind.) Jennings County. “His athletic ability is second to none and he has the strength and power to run through players larger than him and the speed to pull away from skill positions. He is humble, respectful and always aware of the gifts he has been given and the responsibility that comes with them.”
THE FUTURE: Jones has verbally committed to Purdue.