The AP's all-state team, coach and player of the year — selected by sports writers across the state — will be announced the week of Dec. 17.
Greene, Robeson County's Player of the Year and conference player of the year, came into this season ranked No. 1 in The Robesonian's Top 25 player rankings and finished a 14-game slate with county and school records in several passing categories including touchdown passes (51), yards (3,899) and completions (221). Greene accumulated nine 300-yard games through the air and also rushed for nearly 1,000 yards.
He was responsible for nine total touchdowns in the season opener at West Bladen. Under his direction, Red Springs won its first conference title in seven seasons and advanced to the third round of the playoffs.
Greene is up against five other finalists for one of the state's most prestigious awards, a list that includes Wakefield quarterback Connor Mitch (4,701 yards passing, 63 TD) and Northern Guilford's TJ Logan who ran for a record 510 yards and eight touchdowns in the state championship game.
Last season's state player of the year, Tarboro's Todd Gurley, rushed for 1,260 yards and 16 touchdowns as a freshman at Georgia this season and was an All-Southeastern Conference selection. The Bulldogs battle Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1.
East Columbus coach Toby Kasell is one of nine coaches in the running for the state's top coach. He led the Gators to a school-record nine wins this season.
Finalists for state player of the year
Blake Greene, Red Springs, QB, Jr., 5-11, 180 — Completed 221 of 357 passes for 3,899 yards and 51 touchdowns -- all Robeson County single-season records. Named county player of the year by The Robesonian. Conference player of the year. Also ran for 12 touchdowns and was responsible for 63 TDs, which led 1-A ranks and was fourth best in NCHSAA history. Led team to first league title since 2004 and reached the third round of the state playoffs.
Elijah Hood, Charlotte Catholic, RB, Jr., 6-1, 215 — Set Mecklenburg County rushing records with 3,309 yards and 48 touchdowns. Runs a 4.5 electronically timed 40. Led his team to 3-AA final, where he ran for 152 yards and two touchdowns. Charlotte Observer's region offensive player of the year. Has offers from Charlotte, Clemson, East Carolina, Georgia Tech, Michigan, North Carolina, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, South Carolina, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Virginia., Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
Peter Kalambayi, Matthews Butler, LB, Sr., 6-4, 240 — Had 101 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, six sacks, three forced fumbles and three pass deflections. Charlotte Observer's defensive player of the year for the region. A top-100 national recruit. U.S. Army All-American game pick. Among five finalists for national high school linebacker of the year award. Put up strong numbers despite teams always running away from him. An A student taking honors classes. Committed to Stanford. AP all-state pick in 2011.
TJ Logan, Northern Guilford, RB/DB, Sr., 5-11, 185 — Ran 266 times for 2,944 yards and 44 touchdowns to lead team to unbeaten record and state championship. Ran for finals-record 510 yards and tied the record with eight rushing touchdowns in the 3-AA championship, leading school to third straight state title. Ran for touchdowns of 46, 27 and 80 yards by halftime in the final, then ran for scores of 85, 19, 14, 82 and 73 yards after the break to help seal the win. Had 22 catches for 276 yards and five touchdowns on the season. Has speed, great vision and instincts. Terrific between-the-tackles runner. Played more defense during the playoffs than during the regular season. Committed to North Carolina.
Connor Mitch, Raleigh Wakefield, QB, Sr., 6-4, 215 — Threw for 4,701 yards and 63 touchdowns to lead team to 11-2 record. Set state records with 667 yards passing and nine touchdowns in 70-42 win against Raleigh Broughton. Owns the top three single-game passing totals in NCHSAA history. Ranked among top QB prospects in country. Committed to South Carolina.
Zac Pollard, South Caldwell, RB, Jr., 5-10, 190 — Ran 269 times for 3,073 yards and 36 touchdowns, according to unofficial totals. Ran for at least 100 yards in every game for conference champion Spartans, who finished 12-1. Had four 200-yard games and four 300-yard games, highlighted by a 24-carry, 366-yard effort in third round of state playoffs against Monroe Sun Valley. Also ran for 357 yards against Alexander Central. Averaged more than 236 yards rushing per game with 16 touchdowns of 35 or more yards and 11 of at least 50 yards. Has run for more than 4,400 yards with 54 touchdowns in two varsity seasons.