The defending state champ Rummel Raiders ran the gauntlet in 2012 with a sparkling 14-0 mark that included a 21-10 second-round defeat of Dutchtown. Rummel defensive backs Dwayne Eugene and Henre' Toliver committed to Arkansas Saturday, as did Dutchtown's Corey McBride and Torrance Mosley.
With Eugene and Toliver prowling the secondary, Rummel rolled to the state title, it's first ever, behind the strength of a stingy defense that never surrendered more than 21 points in a single contest. The Raiders held five straight foes to single digits during a regular season run and limited St. Augustine, which featured the nation's No. 1 player in RB Leonard Fournette, to 18 points in an easy victory.
Eugene and Toliver perhaps saved their best effort for last as Rummel routed Barbe in the finals, 35-14. Heading into the championship game Barbe's offense -- paced by four-star receivers Desean Smith (TE) and Trey Quinn (WR) -- was on fire with the Buccaneers scoring 49, 45 and 38 points in their previous three playoff wins.
On film Eugene shows his football intelligence by virtue of his ability to quickly read and diagnose plays. He doesn't have lightning speed but makes up for it by not taking false steps and arriving at the ball in a timely manner. He's able to make the tricky interception in traffic due to above-average hands.
Once Eugene swipes a pass he has a nose for the end zone and runs with the abandon and fury of a fullback. He explodes from his safety position and uncoils with big-time pop at the point of contact, knocking down physically overmatched wide receivers attempting to run-block.
As stated earlier, Eugene might not have 4.4 speed but he's able to get down the field and corral RBs -- with a bad angle, to boot -- to save six points. In other words his wheels are sufficient and he has that "on the field speed" that doesn't necessarily directly correlate to the track.
Eugene played last year at 6-0 to 6-1 and 205 pounds. He's now up to 215 pounds and says the Razorbacks project him to the fill the role of a hybrid OLB/S.