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A look at high school football throughout the state

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Top 10 Register MVPs

This week we rank the past 10 Register All-State MVPs.

1. Dan Orlovsky, Shelton (2000)

As a senior, Orlovsky threw for 2,489 yards as the Gaels went 12-0 and won the Class LL state championship. Orlovsky went 28-4 during his high school career. He was named an All-American selection from Prep Football Report, SuperPrep and Prep Star as a senior.

But Orlovsky made an even bigger impact on the collegiate level. Orlovsky turned down offers from Purdue and Michigan St. to attend the University of Connecticut. Orlovsky holds the school record for most pass completions (916), pass attempts (1,567), yards passing (10,706), touchdown passes (84), interceptions (51), total plays (1,710) and total yards (10,421).

As a junior, he ranked seventh in the nation in passing, and fifth in touchdown passes. As a senior, he led the Huskies to a victory in the Motor City Bowl, in the school’s first bowl game appearance. Orlovsky was named the most valuable player of that game.

Orlovsky was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the fifth round (145th overall) in the 2005 NFL Draft. He is currently a member of the Houston Texans. He has thrown eight touchdowns, eight interceptions and for 1,616 yards as a professional.

2. Mike McLeod, New Britain (2004)

As a running back at New Britain, McLeod helped the Hurricanes win three state titles and four league championships. He rushed for 1,800 yards and 39 touchdowns as a senior. He scored a state-record eight touchdowns in a game against Manchester in 2004, and tallied 65 career touchdowns.

McLeod put up even more impressive statistics at Yale from 2005-2008. He set school records of 49 career touchdowns, 3,672 career rushing yards, 817 career attempts, three 200-plus yard games and 19 games over 100 yards.

McLeod holds the Ivy League records for consecutive games with a touchdown (18), which ended in 2007. Was the Ivy-League most valuable player in 2007.

3. Aaron Hernandez, Bristol Central (2006)

Hernandez holds state records for receiving yards in a game (376 in 2005), receiving yards in a season (1,807 in 2005) and receiving yards in a career (3,677 from 2003-2006) while at Bristol Central.

He also holds state records for touchdown receptions in a career (47), in a season (24 in 2005) and consecutive games catching a touchdown pass (18 from 2005-2006).

As a senior, he was rated the No. 1 recruit at the tight end position by both and, and earned a spot to play on the East team in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Hernandez is now playing at Florida, the 2008 national champions. During his career with the Gators, Hernandez has played in 26 games, including 16 starts. He has caught 43 passes for 532 yards seven touchdowns.

4. Alex Thomas, Ansonia (2007)

Thomas is the state’s all-time leading rusher. He holds records for most yards in a game (518 in 2007), yards in a season (3,596 in 2007) and yards in a career (8,279 from 2004-2007).

Thomas helped lead the Chargers to back-to-back Class S state championships, Naugatuck Valley League championships and the No. 1 ranking in the final Register Top 10 Poll.

He also holds the state mark for touchdowns in a career (114), touchdowns in a season (47 in 2007) and career points (747).

Thomas, a sophomore, is vying for a starting position at running back at Yale.

5. Tim Washington, Bristol Central (2001)

During his career for the Rams, Washington set several state records, including rushing yards in a career, rushing yards in a season, touchdowns in a career and touchdowns in a season.

Those marks have since been broken, by Thomas, but Washington still holds state records for most consecutive 100-yard rushing games with 29, points scored in a season (294 in 2000), point responsibility in a season (350 in 2000) and point responsibility in a career (806).

As a senior, he was a SuperPrep All-American, rated the No. 5 prospect in New England and the No. 35 running back in the country by SuperPrep. Rushed for 7,712 yards and had 9,021 yards of offense in his career. He attended Syracuse, and later the University of Massachusetts.

6. John Sullivan, Greenwich (2002)

An offensive lineman is seldom selected as the Register State MVP. Sullivan was an exception. As a senior for the Cardinals, Sullivan was a Parade and SuperPrep All-American, as well as a USA Today and second-team All-American.

He was rated No. 61 on the ESPN list of the nation’s top 100 players, and No. 14 among offensive linemen nationally by As a senior, led Rams to 12-1-1 mark, the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference title and an appearance in the Class LL state final. Made 20 tackles for a loss and 12 sacks in 2002 on defense as a nose guard.

At Notre Dame, Sullivan started 43 games on the offensive line, including 31 straight starts. Sullivan was a sixth round pick (187th overall) in the 2008 NFL draft, selected by the Minnesota Vikings where he is likely to start at center this season.

7. Kenny Tinney, Ansonia (2003)

The versatile Tinney excelled in several positions for the Chargers. He played quarterback, and had an above-average arm. But he was most effective when running the ball out of the pocket.

Tinney was also a dangerous special teams player, returning both kickoffs and punts, as well as a talented defensive back.

Tinney helped lead Ansonia to back-to-back Class S state titles in 2002 and 2003. He was a three-time coaches all-state and all-Naugatuck Valley League selection. He returned a state-record seven punts for touchdowns in 2003, which is one shy of the national mark.

Tinney would rate higher on the list but had a tumultuous college experience. He spent the 2004 and ‘05 seasons at Milford Academy in New Berlin, N.Y. Tinney had committed to UConn out of high school and then re-opened the recruiting process before committing to Syracuse after one season at Milford.

After he failed to qualify after the 2004 season, Tinney re-opened his recruitment again and eventually committed to Michigan State, before being kicked out of school. He also had stints at Grambling and Central Connecticut St., but never played in an official collegiate game.

8. Jermelle Lewis, Bloomfield (1999)

As a senior, Lewis was rated as the top running back on the East Coast, and the sixth best back in the nation by the internet recruiting site He was named an All-American by The Sporting News and a first team All-American by

Lewis helped his team win 35 straight games and claim three straight Class S state titles. In his junior and senior season, he tallied 54 touchdowns and nearly 4,000 rushing yards. He finished his career with 84 touchdowns. In addition, Lewis won New England indoor track championships in both 55-and 100-meter dashes.

Lewis attended Iowa, but his collegiate career was marred by injury. He gained a career-best 709 yards on 123 carries and eight touchdowns as a sophomore for the Hawkeyes.

9. Amari Spievey, Xavier (2005)

Spievey, who led his team to the Class LL state title, finished as the all-time leading rusher in school history with 3,606 yards and 50 touchdowns. He also caught 53 passes for 858 yards.

Spievey returned three punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns. He also played defensive back, where he recorded 87 tackles and 16 interceptions during his career.

At Iowa, Spievey, a junior defensive back, was named a pre-season First Team All-Big Ten by Phil Steele’s College Football and Lindy’s Football, and is listed as a first team corner back following spring practice for the upcoming season.

In 2008, Spievey was a second team All-Big Ten selection by league coaches, an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick by the league media, a second team All-Big Ten selection by Phil Steele’s College Football, a second team sophomore All-American pick by and he won a coaches appreciation award for his defensive efforts.

10. Jordan Brown, Glastonbury (2008)

Brown finished his career as the all-time leading rusher in school history. As a senior, he gained 2,134 yards and scored 34 touchdowns while leading the Tomahawks to the Class LL state title.

Brown compiled 4,404 rushing yards and 60 touchdowns, and finished with 6,652 all-purpose yards in his career. Eye-opening numbers considering Brown missed half of his junior season after suffering a knee injury.

He begins his first year of playing collegiate ball this fall at Bryant.

So what do you think?

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