IN THE HUDDLE: Chance Attaway

When the 2004 football season came to a close, there may not have been a better two-way performer in the state of Florida. We take a look a small school standout who continues to watch his stock rise as he heads toward his final season in North Florida.

During the spring and into the summer, www.floridakids.us will bring you our IN THE HUDDLE segments with football players throughout the state of Florida.

These are similar to the evaluations we pass on to the hundreds of colleges who visit our website, call us on the phone and correspond via e-mail.

Here is another top football player to keep an eye on this season – and beyond.

PLAYER: Chance Attaway
POSITION: RB/LB/S
SCHOOL: Blountstown
HEIGHT: 5-10
WEIGHT: 198
40 SPEED: 4.51
HEAD COACH: Bobby Johns
www.floridakids.us Pre-Spring Rating: 60

As the final few weeks of the 2004 high school football season began to wind down, we were introduced to a 1A program that had not been in the state playoff mix for a number of years.

In the large shadow of Tallahassee and the outstanding football teams that had long churned out quality players, here were there Tigers who emerged from Main Street in a community that had watched tremendous football, but usually from opposing teams.

When Bobby Johns came from Polk County, where he coached at Lake Region, which is near Lakeland, he brought with him some impressive philosophies about the game and just how to put this Blountstown program on the map.

In 2001, Johns returned the Tigers to the playoff mix. He would do it again in 2003, but as Todd Wertenberger and Dennis Kizziah had failed to do in their trips to the playoffs, Johns would see his playoff trips end in the first game.

This past season, with Attaway running the ball and playing solid defense, things changed. They beat Baker, 65-12, crushed Hilliard, 64-35, handled Vernon, 32-7, and then knocked Jacksonville Trinity Christian out of the opportunity to defend a title they won two straight years, 36-20.

The chance to put a player such as Attaway in the spotlight along with his teammates came in the 1A title game against Fort Meade. Despite losing the game to the Miners, Coach Johns team proved something to themselves, dropping a heart-breaker, finishing 14-1 and the serving notice that this team would be back again – in 2005 in Miami!

STRENGTHS: As you watch him run the ball, you tend to believe that he is as good as anyone in the state. While athletes such as C.J. Spiller, Courtney Jones and Chevon Walker have been running away with the pre-season publicity, I tend to take a look at someone who was dazzling in person as well as the films and I have had the pleasure of watching

While I was listening to those who had never watched him play, tell me that he couldn't compete at a major college level, I continued to rely on what has worked for three decades – to trust in what I see with my own eyes.

I pay no attention to the 4.51 times he has posted at camps/combines. To me, the belief that he can compete for any team in the nation is the understanding that he is a tremendous line of scrimmage runner who can get you those 50, 60 and 70 yard runs at this level, and perhaps 10-20 yard bursts at the collegiate level.

Attaway is a very good blocker, which playing on the defensive side of the ball has helped. He did have over 135 tackles last season.

His ability to run the ball and use his instincts and vision is another reason that his 1,530 yards and 26 touchdowns made him one of the state's elite juniors.

WHAT HE NEEDS TO WORK ON: While his blocking skills have been improving and getting better all the time, I feel, from watching him play, that he needs to start learning to filter out of the backfield on passing downs. He is not just a back you want to use on running downs. He needs to wear down the defenses with his huge, strong frame.

OVERALL: There are several reasons why the Tigers went as far as they did last year, and of course, picked by many to get to Miami in December, but when you watch Attaway on both sides of the ball, you can understand how impressive he has made himself to all colleges, and not just the mid to lower D1A programs that some have suggested.

COLLEGES ON THE HORIZON: There are a number of programs who have started to take a look at this standout. With summer camps being another opportunity to showcase his skills, Attaway has already considered places such as Auburn, Central Florida, Florida State, Maryland, Miami and North Carolina State

Get IN THE HUDDLE with some more of Florida's emerging stars:
IN THE HUDDLE: GEORGE ROBINSON – MIAMI CENTRAL
IN THE HUDDLE: TIMOTHY BROWN – MIAMI NORTHWESTERN
IN THE HUDDLE: XAVIER HARRIS – FORT LAUDERDALE
IN THE HUDDLE: DANIEL LINCOLN – OCALA FOREST
IN THE HUDDLE: PATRICK ADOLPHE – DELRAY BEACH ATLANTIC
IN THE HUDDLE: QUINTIN HANCOCK – ST. AUGUSTINE
IN THE HUDDLE: CHARLES DEAS – LAUDERDALE LAKES BOYD ANDERSON
IN THE HUDDLE: DONALD BOWENS – ST. PETERSBURG
IN THE HUDDLE: ROBERT LOVE - PAHOKEE
IN THE HUDDLE: CAZ PIUROWSKI – LAND O'LAKES
IN THE HUDDLE: STERLIN JAMES – SPARR NORTH MARION
IN THE HUDDLE: JOHN WARE – FORT LAUDERDALE CARDINAL GIBBONS
IN THE HUDDLE: MARKEVIOUS POWELL – ORLANDO EVANS
IN THE HUDDLE: BILLY LOWE - LAKELAND
IN THE HUDDLE: JAVON HILL – MIAMI MONSIGNOR PACE
IN THE HUDDLE: CODY CLINTON – BOCA RATON
IN THE HUDDLE: JARED MARTIN – DAVIE WESTERN
IN THE HUDDLE: COLIN MCCARTHY – CLEARWATER CENTRAL CATHOLIC
IN THE HUDDLE: DONTAE JONES – ORLANDO EVANS
IN THE HUDDLE: DAMON PIFER – GREEN COVE SPRINGS CLAY
IN THE HUDDLE: CHRIS SORCE - PACE
IN THE HUDDLE: SHOMARI GRANT - HIALEAH
IN THE HUDDLE: DARRELL ROSEMAN - DUNEDIN
IN THE HUDDLE: JAMES POE – ORLANDO FREEDOM
IN THE HUDDLE: RYAN ELLIS – PONTA VEDRA BEACH NEASE
IN THE HUDDLE: COURTNEY JONES: PENSACOLA
IN THE HUDDLE: BRYAN THOMAS - ZEPHYRHILLS
IN THE HUDDLE: JORDAN DALRYMPLE - OVIEDO
IN THE HUDDLE: PRESTON PARKER – DELRAY BEACH ATLANTIC
IN THE HUDDLE: SABBATH JOSEPH – MIAMI CENTRAL
IN THE HUDDLE: RYAN KHAWLY – HOMESTEAD SOUTH DADE
IN THE HUDDLE: BRANDON JAMES – ST. AUGUSTINE
IN THE HUDDLE: KEITH HOUSTON – IVES ESTATES DR. MICHAEL KROP
IN THE HUDDLE: REGGIE ODOM - DELAND
IN THE HUDDLE: C.J. SPILLER – LAKE BUTLER UNION COUNTY
IN THE HUDDLE: RILEY COOPER – CLEARWATER CENTRAL CATHOLIC
IN THE HUDDLE: JAMES JAMISON – STARKE BRADFORD COUNTY
IN THE HUDDLE: DESMOND GEE - MADISON COUNTY
IN THE HUDDLE: RICKY GARY - PAHOKEE
IN THE HUDDLE: LAURANCE MARIUS – KEY WEST
IN THE HUDDLE: KENRICK ELLIS – GREENACRES JOHN I. LEONARD
IN THE HUDDLE: RICHARD JACKSON – CLERMONT EAST RIDGE
IN THE HUDDLE: LABRANDON GLOVER - PENSACOLA

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