Who will be Mr. Football?

InsideTheVille.com's Michael McCammon breaks down his top four candidates for the Bluegrass State's annual Mr. Football award

In the coming weeks the Mr. Football for the state of Kentucky will be awarded for the 21st time and this year it appears to be a race that is to close to call. While only four previous winners, including three this decade, have hailed from the city of Louisville, a trio of this year's top candidates suit up for high schools in the Derby City.

Topping my list has to be Louisville Male's Doug Beaumont. A Scout.com four-star prospect, Beaumont was not only a threat to score each time he had the ball, but he was also a shut-down defensive back for the Bulldogs. He has been described as a smaller Michael Bush by Male head coach Bob Redman, and he had the type of season that warranted such a compliment. Offensively, the 5-foot-9, 175-pound all-purpose athlete led the 11-1 Bulldogs with 1,169 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns, while also pulling in 39 receptions for 550 yards and 8 touchdowns. A lethal kick and punt returner, Beaumont also found the end zone twice on special teams.

Doug Beaumont
Defensively, Beaumont was often called on to stop the opponents top offensive threat and he did just that each time out. Playing cornerback and safety, the district Co-Player of the Year totaled multiple pass break ups and interceptions for one of the stingiest defenses in the state.

He helped guide Male to an undefeated regular season, a sweep against previously top-ranked and rival St. Xavier, and into the third round of the 4A playoffs before losing a 38-34 thriller to Louisville Trinity. Beaumont verbally committed to the University of Louisville following the Cardinals 31-7 win over Miami in September.

Finding the second position on my fictitious Mr. Football ballot is the state's top quarterback, Nick Petrino.

The son of U of L head coach and former Carroll College quarterback Bobby Petrino, Nick has developed a great understanding of the position. He has a rifle arm, with great accuracy and can run when needed. He has been dominant during the playoffs, leading the Shamrocks (12-1) into the 4A state championship against Ryle on Thursday night at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. In a game that many, including myself, considered as the actual state title game, Petrino threw for 393 yards and 4 touchdowns in Trinity's win over Male. Last weekend at Lexington Henry Clay, Petrino threw for 257 yards and 3 touchdowns, while also rushing for an additional 164 yards and 3 scores.

Heading into tonights title game, Petrino is completing nearly 70% of his pass attempts and has thrown for 2,765 yards and 35 touchdowns, with just 4 interceptions.

Petrino is being courted by Bowling Green, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Louisville, Nevada, Northwest Missouri State, San Diego and Youngstown State.

Chase Minnifield
Just as he helped knock out Beaumont's Male squad from the playoffs, Petrino is also responsible for sending the third player on my list home for the season.

Lexington Henry Clay's Chase Minnifield has been one of the more electrifying athletes on the gridiron this year. The son of former University of Louisville great Frank Minnifield, Chase has played running back, wide receiver, quarterback, defensive back, kick returner and place kicker for the Bluedevils this fall. In the loss against Trinity last weekend Minnifield totaled over 300 yards of offense, pushing his total of all-purpose yards beyond the 2,000 yard mark.

Minnifield, a Scout.com three-star prospect, verbally committed to Virginia prior to the start of his senior season.

Vic Anderson
Rounding out my top four Mr. Football candidates is St. Xavier running back Victor Anderson.

A Scout.com four-star prospect, Anderson has been one of the top rushers in the state for the past couple years and 2006 was no different. Facing the state's toughest schedule, Anderson rushed for 1,456 yards and 22 touchdowns. His 11.5 yards per carry average and 23 total touchdowns made him one of the most dangerous running threats in the state this season.

Anderson, who is considered as a soft West Virginia commit, continues to draw interest from Kentucky, Louisville and others.

Previous winners of Kentucky's Mr. Football award include Shaun Alexander, Brian Brohm, Jeff Brohm, Michael Bush, Montrell Jones and last years winner, Micah Johnson.

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