At the end of the season the player who I have as tops in the Player Ratings is named my Sunflower League MVP for the season.
2010 Top Five Player Ratings - Preseason
1. Brandon Willingham, Running Back, Olathe East: Willingham (left) was one of the few juniors who appeared in my top five ratings last season. This year he begins atop the list. Blessed with great athleticism, Willingham will play running back, defensive back, and return kicks and punts for the Hawks. Last season he rushed for 909 yards and nine touchdowns on offense, and made 64 tackles and two interceptions on defense.
2. Victor Simmons, Quarterback, Olathe North: In June, Simmons made a verbal commitment to play football at Kansas. While his recruitment is more or less over, the pressure to perform will really begin heating up. Simmons will operate out of the quarterback position in Olathe North's vaunted Wildcat-Option attack again in 2010--last season he rushed for 1,034 yards. The defensive side of the ball, however, is where we may see the biggest improvement from Simmons. He is slotted as a defensive back again for Olathe North, and it will be the position he will play at Kansas.
3. Adonis Saunders, Running Back, Olathe North: First it was Arland Bruce, then Eniak Mpwo, Beno Gore, Darren Sproles, Maurice Mack, Jim Bouknight, Justin Gore, Josh Gore, James Franklin, and now Saunders (left, on left). The speedy senior will be taking over a position at Olathe North that has featured five Simone Award winners, and nine All-State performers since the 1995 season. The question is can Saunders carry on the torch? For now, his prospects look good. The former Class 6A 100-meter champ will receive plenty of carries, and should also be a stud from his cornerback position.
4. Will Livingston, Running Back, SM West: Livingston is prepped for a big senior year. He rushed for just over 700 yards as a junior, and his great set of wheels should make up for any shortcomings he has with his size (5-foot-7, 165). SM West's offensive game is based around running the football effectively, and Livingston will receive as many carries as he can handle.
5. Nick Sands, Running Back, Olathe South: Sands is kind of the wildcard of this list but with Olathe South's change to a running based offense, he could be in for a big season. Expect the low-centered power back to receive upwards of 25 carries a game. Olathe South head coach Jeff Gourley predicts Sands to surpass the 2,000 yard rushing plateau this season--if he does that, he may find himself atop the list in November.
Honorable Mention: Drew Humphreys, Drew Goodger, Kyle Swartz, John Schrock