State Scouting Report: Justin Stockton

Justin Stockton is one of the state's top sophomore backs. Can he carry it through his senior year?

Stockton is an intriguing prospect because of the speed that he has demonstrated at such a young age. When he was clocked by the Cibolo Steele staff in the spring after a highly effective freshman year — Stockton averaged nearly 10 yards per carry behind Malcolm Brown — he ripped off a 40-yard dash time in the mid 4.4-second range. And Stockton continued his testing results in the weight room, putting up outstanding lifting results for a player his age.

As a football player, he's still growing into those strengths. You can certainly see flashes, like when he makes a cut and accelerates past the defense, but he hasn't quite put it all together yet. Then there's the question of his size. While he still has plenty of time to grow, Stockton is short and currently about 160 pounds, leaving one to wonder whether he'll be more than a situational back.

In the state championship game, Stockton had some moments, but more often he struggled to break free from tacklers and at times didn't show the ability to make something out of nothing.

Therein lies the trouble, at this point, in projecting Stockton. He has outstanding speed, the kind that has led some people to compare him to former San Antonio Madison standout and current Nebraska Cornhusker Aaron Green. But Stockton, while he ran for more than 1,400 yards this year, hasn't quite demonstrated Green's vision yet, his ability to always make the first guy miss and his patience in picking and sliding to find gaps in the defense.

But over the next two years, Stockton will certainly have a chance to work on those traits. He's coachable, and made a big improvement from a role player to the team's primary running back in a year. He'll be a running back to watch for 2014.

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