Fresh Legs

Can these young guys carry the load?

     Arizona's top underclassmen running backs


This season the valley has numerous running backs that we as fans will miss once they graduate come May.  Guys with pure speed like Peoria's Keegan Herring or Red Mountain's Channing Trotter, or guys who will try and flat out truck you if they get the chance like Matt Clapp from PV or Gilbert's Bobby Ili, not to mention the guys who can do both like Centennials Terry Longbons or Sunnyside's Xavier Smith.  However, valley high school football fans need not worry, the underclassmen running around on Friday nights will do their best to replace these guys next season.


Heading that list is Jermaine Williams of Maryvale high school.  Jermaine is a stud of an athlete and is very fast for a guy of his size.  He was named to Street and Smith's preseason top 50 juniors in the country.  He will be heavily recruited next season.  Centennial's Tim House is sharing the backfield right now with Longbons, however House and his abilities have not gone unnoticed.  To this point in the season House has 1231 yards rushing, a whopping 12 yards per carry and a total of 18 touchdowns.  Glyndon Bolasky from Sabino is having a great junior season, rushing for 1388 yards and 16 scores and is averaging 9.3 yards a carry.  Dobson's Marcus Richmond at one point during the season was leading the East Valley in rushing. At 6'2 and over 200 pounds expect to hear his name often next season.  Super fast back Sherrod Austin from North Canyon will be a name to remember for next year.  He has 812 yards rushing this season and 13 touchdowns, with his speed he is a real burner who will be a nightmare next season for opposing coaches.  Lake Havasu's Sean Michaels put up 1588 yards rushing, an 8.8 yard per carry average and reached pay dirt 24 times. 


It's not easy replacing an all state back but Hamilton's Cody Engelbrecht is quickly making a name for himself this season, averaging over 8 yards a carry and scoring more than 10 touchdowns for a Hamilton team that is trying to repeat as state champions.  Plus, next season the state of Arizona has a couple of guys who are dual threats as both runners and receivers heading that list are Greenway's Kenton Thomas and Millennium's Aaron Gentry.  Thomas has ideal size at 6'1 190 and has put up 1300 total yards this season and scored 14 times for the Demons.  Gentry has been the Tigers main offensive threat this season, with over 1300 all purpose yards and reaching pay dirt 16 times.


Yes, of course, we will miss this years seniors and yes it will be very hard to duplicate what these young men have done in their careers.  Rest assured there will be plenty of talented young men carrying the ball next season.

AZ Prep Report Top Stories