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December 28, 2011
Dallas Jackson is the Senior Analyst for RivalsHigh. Email him your question, comment or story ideas to DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.
The only thing harder than picking this fall's best team may be picking this season's best player.
On offense and defense.
Consider the offense. QB Maty Mauk of Kenton (Ohio) High broke the career record for passing yards, WR Dorial Green-Beckham of Springfield (Mo.) Hillcrest broke the career record for receiving yards and RB Johnathan Gray of Aledo (Texas) High broke the career record for touchdowns.
And while all earned All-America status, none was the player of the year.
That honor went to Spring (Texas) Dekaney's Trey Williams, who rushed for nearly 4,000 yards while leading his school to a state title in its first postseason. His efforts perhaps best represented the combination of individual and team success.
Defense was just as difficult.
The same goes for the skill-level of a number of defensive lineman, including defensive tackles Eddie Goldman of Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate Academy and Azziz Shittu of Atwater (Calif.) Buhach.
The defensive ends may have been even better, led by Mario Edwards of and Noah Spence.
But none could match the effort of Darius Hamilton of Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep. Hamilton led his team to the No. 2 ranking in the final RivalsHigh 100 - a ranking earned off its efforts on the defensive side of the ball.
Simply put, Hamilton was the best player on the best defense in the nation.
When you are choosing among more 100,000 high school football players, it's never easy to pick the top two.
This year, however, was seemingly harder than usual - which only be a credit to all the athletes out there.