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 quarterback, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
Greatness Present: Rosen is used to enjoying life at the top, so it’s no wonder the nation’s top-ranked pro-style QB already has his sights set on reaching even greater heights in his young football career.
Taking advantage of a recent rule change allowing prep athletes to graduate early and sign financial aid agreements as early as Aug. 1, Rosen did just that and will enroll at UCLA in January. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound senior is the first player to join Bruins coach Jim Mora in such a manner. He plans to officially sign with UCLA in February.
Meanwhile, Bruins fans can track Rosen’s eye-opening early returns in his final prep season. Leading defending state champion St. John Bosco (4-1) to a No. 3 national ranking by USA TODAY, Rosen has completed 77 of 122 passes (63 percent) for 1,260 yards and 14 touchdowns against just one interception this fall. That includes a nationally televised 264-yard, three-touchdown effort in a 34-31 loss to top-ranked Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) on Sept. 26.
Greatness Past: As a junior, Rosen led the Braves to their first ever California Interscholastic Federation Open Division state title in style. He completed 12 of 17 passes for 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns without an interception to snap four-time defending champion Concord De La Salle’s 40-game winning streak. In his prep career to date, Rosen has connected on 75 touchdown passes against 17 picks while amassing 6,547 yards on 403-of-649 passing (62 percent).
Greatness Future: Considered the highest-ranked QB recruit in UCLA history, Rosen expects to compete for the starting job next fall if, as expected, current Bruins quarterback and 2009-10 Gatorade Arizona Football Player of the Year Brett Hundley declares for the NFL Draft.
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.