For the list of the other 2014 Gatorade State Football POYs, click here
THE WINNER: Kyler Murray
School: Allen (Texas)
Weight: 176 pounds
Athletic achievement: He has led the Eagles to a 13-0 record and a berth in the Class 6A, Division I state quarterfinals, scheduled for Dec. 6. The state’s returning Gatorade Football Player of the Year threw for 3,563 yards and 40 touchdowns on 207-of-333 passing (62 percent) through 13 games. A returning First Team All-USA selection as named by USA TODAY, Murray also rushed for 1,291 yards and 25 touchdowns on 114 carries entering the state playoff round of eight. A 2015 Under Amour All-America Game selection and 2014 Elite 11 quarterback camp finalist, Murray led Allen to back-to-back Class 5A, Division I state titles as a sophomore and junior, capturing state championship game MVP honors each season. He enters the state quarterfinals with a 39-0 record as Allen’s starting quarterback.
Academic excellence: Murray has maintained a B-plus average.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a youth football instructor, he has volunteered locally as part of the Reading with the Eagles youth literacy-outreach and anti-bullying programs. He also serves as a mentor to several student team managers with special needs.
“He’s dominant,” said Jaydon McCullough, head coach of rival Plano (Texas). “When you think that you’ve got him on third and long or when the game is on the line, he changes the outcome. He has great character, and to me that means he’s only going to get better. I’ve coached a lot of great players, and the ones who’ve gotten better had great character. Plus, Kyler has a burning desire to the best. I’m happy to see him go, to be honest. I was watching him against DeSoto, and all I kept thinking was, ‘Thankfully, we don’t have to deal with him anymore.’ Allen is always going to be great, but Kyler Murray just doesn’t know how to lose.”
THE FUTURE: Murray has verbally committed to Texas A&M.