CHICAGO (December 3, 2009) - In its 25th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced Michael Dyer of Little Rock Christian Academy as its 2009-10 Gatorade Arkansas Football Player of the Year. Dyer is the first Gatorade Arkansas Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Little Rock Christian Academy.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Dyer as Arkansas' best high school football player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award, to be announced in mid-December, Dyer joins an elite alumni association of past state football award winners, including Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.), Wes Welker (1999-00, Heritage Hall HS, Okla.), Terrell Suggs (1999-00, Hamilton HS, Ariz.), Anquan Boldin (1998-99, Pahokee HS, Fla.) and Jerome Bettis (1989-90, Mackenzie HS, Mich).
The state's returning Gatorade Football Player of the Year, Dyer rushed for 2,484 yards and 31 touchdowns on 296 carries this past season, leading the Warriors (8-4) to the Class 5A quarterfinals. The 5-foot-9, 210-pound senior running back also shattered the state career record for rushing yards with 8,070. A 2009 Under Armour All-American, Dyer is rated by ESPN as the No. 1 senior running back in the country.
Dyer has maintained a 3.31 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered at youth football camps and as a motivational speaker in local elementary schools.
"He plays hard and he's a huge talent," said Buck James, head coach of rival Camden-Fairview High. "What makes him special is what he does after contact. He invites the contact, but he never goes down on the first hit."
Dyer has verbally committed to play football on scholarship at Auburn University beginning in the fall of 2010.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Dyer joins recent Gatorade Arkansas Football Players of the Year De'Anthony Curtis (2007-08, Camden Fairview) and Lee Ziemba (2006-07, Rogers) among the state's list of former award winners.
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