A five-star safety, Collins is widely known for his ability on defense, but he showed this year that he's equally good at running back and on kick returns. In his team's 43-22 win over Zachary, Collins gained 179 yards on seven attempts with four touchdowns. Dutchtown is 9-0 and poised to land one of the top seeds in the Class 5A bracket. How valuable is Collins to the Dutchtown offense? The blue-chip prospect was forced to the sidelines for the first half of the East Ascension game due to a suspension. Dutchtown promptly fell behind 18-7 at intermission but stormed back to win with Collins (pictured below) reinserted into the lineup. In the third quarter, he scored on his first carry and ended the night with four touchdowns.
Runner-up: Alex Johnson, Carencro (senior back has close to 2,000 yards rushing)
The three-star linebacker and Nebraska commit is the best player on a 9-0 team that keeps getting better each week. On Saturday, Jesuit breezed past rival Archbishop Rummel, which entered the game without a loss. In an early season game vs. Holy Cross, Jones intercepted two passes, returned one for a touchdown, and collected 10 tackles. Players from both Archbishop Shaw and Archbishop Rummel talked freely of their respect for Jones in pregame interviews.
Runner-up: Otha Peters, Covington (17 tackles vs. St. Paul's, 16 vs. Higgins, 15 vs. Lakeshore...)
Taylor has been a model of consistency, running for over 100 yards in every game for an 8-1 squad. In week one, he went for 181 yards and scored Lutcher's sole touchdown in a loss to 5A Dutchtown, which features Landon Collins on defense. Last Friday, Taylor (pictured below) terrorized previously unbeaten Assumption, going for 228 yards on the ground with a touchdown. In week seven, he riddled previously unbeaten St. Michael for 226 yards rushing and three TDs.
How's this for a two-way player? Jones is both the starting quarterback and leading tackler for the Charging Indians. After a 1-2 start, Washington-Marion has won five of six and it all starts with Jones, who is playing the same role for head coach Freddie Harrison as Devante Scott did for Harrison at Ferriday. Harrison likes to put his best athlete at QB and let him freelance. Jones has averaged well over double-digit tackles while also being the focal point of Washington Marion's offense. The junior also had a pick-six vs. Peabody Magnet.
Runner-up: Lamar Louis, Breaux Bridge (when Louis was moved to offense during the middle of the year, the Tigers seemed lost on defense. Louis returned to defense the week that Breaux Bridge upended previously undefeated St. Thomas More; no coincidence there)
The Comets - one year removed from Class 2A - have throttled the competition all year. St. Charles is 9-0 and head coach Frank Monica has relied more and more on Thompson as the season has progressed. The Tulane commit gained 235 yards in the first half of last week's game vs. St. James. He also has multiple four-touchdown efforts under his belt and was among the the state's leading scorers through eight weeks.
Don't be deceived by the fact that the four-star outside linebacker doesn't have a ton of sacks or tackles. Patterson has pounded its opponents so badly that Phillips (pictured below) hasn't had to play in the second half of most games. The Lumberjacks have allowed only 49 points all year and 19 of those came last week vs. Franklin.
Runner-up: Tremaine Lightfoot, Patterson (Lightfoot is Mr. Inside to Phillips' Mr. Outside. Last week, Lightfoot moved to offensive line (in addition to his linebacker duties) with a starter out and performed just as well there as he does at his natural position)
After missing much of his sophomore and junior years due to injury, Wilson proved he can stay healthy with a sensational senior season that included the game-winning kickoff return vs. rival Evangel Christian. Wilson scored four times vs. Evangel and ripped through 4A Teurlings Catholic's defense for 302 yards in week four. He has more than 1,100 yards on the ground and 330 more receiving.
Runner-up: Nick Julien, Loreauville (more than 1,600 yards rushing for the 7-2 Tigers)
The Mississippi State commit has demonstrated marked improvement since last year and leads the 8-0 Patriots with 10 sacks.
Runner-up: Duke Riley, John Curtis (paces the Patriots with 64 tackles in limited action due to lopsided victories; recorded 15 stops vs. 5A Westgate's I-option offense)
The Southern Miss commit led his team to the state championship with 3,000 yards in 2010 and while he hasn't been quite as productive this fall, Bracken also hasn't enjoyed the same blocking that he did last year. Regardless, the senior is among the state's leading rushers. Bracken broke loose for 277 yards vs. Redemptorist.
Runner-up: Jacoby Davis, Vermilion Catholic (sophomore has close to 2,000 yards rushing)
A four-star LSU commit, Feist missed a handful of early season games due to a back injury. Since his return, the Rams are 5-1 and should win again this week vs. East Iberville.
Runner-up: Lloyd Grogan, Central Catholic (three-star LB/S anchors defense that has pitched four shutouts)