East senior quarterback Isaiah Kinder has accounted for 2,328 yards and 31 touchdowns. He is the second-leading passer among Class AAA quarterbacks, having completed 120-of-223 passes for 1,878 yards, 22 TDs and just two interceptions.
If he played for any team in the Top 10 of the Daily Mail Class AAA Poll there would be a full-fledged Kennedy Award campaign well underway for Kinder.
Class AA has seen similar phenomena in the form of Westside junior running back Mike Mullens. When Renegades quarterback and multi-sport star Justin Cogar went down with an injury in the preseason it all but crushed Westside's playoff hopes. Cogar is now back in the lineup but the Renegades are 3-5 and out of the playoff hunt.
In eight games Mullens has 1,302 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Herbert Hoover junior Shaun Dotson has also performed well for a team on the verge of its season finale. Dotson has 1,043 yards and 12 TDs on 130 carries. He and Mullens are the top two underclassmen rushers in Class AA.
No one needs to look any further for a Class A example of this trend than to Putnam County. Winless Buffalo (0-8) has struggled with rebuilding and an injury bug that bit viciously and frequently in the preseason. In the wake of that upheaval junior Jordan Tucker emerged as one of the top backs in his class. Tucker has 1,180 rushing yards and has scored 124 points, good enough for third among small-school players.
An interesting development could - or could not - arise from the improved availability of information. With so many more statistics being available to writers - and coaches - across the state, the results of the annual All-State teams could look markedly different than in past years.
Typically, a team who has a good record, makes the playoffs and advances deep into the postseason can count on three, four or even in rare cases five players on the All-State first team. This has been a trend for the West Virginia Sports Writers Association, which selects the All-State teams, in the last decade-and-a-half.
With all writers who attend the All-State team selection meeting being able to see exactly where players rank when compared to others throughout the state, there is - at least in theory - less chance of a player being overlooked or kept out of a spot for the argument that Team X dominated the season and therefore deserves to have a large number of players on the team.
It's a step in the right direction for prep football in West Virginia, and it whets the appetite for 2014 when players like Nuse, Cline, Mullens, Dotson and Tucker come into their own as proven leaders.
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at derek.tay...@dailymail.com or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter @ItsreallyDT.