Sunday, August 11, 2013

2013 OC Football Watch List -- Running Backs

Richard Wilson – Birmingham Detroit Country Day
As dangerous of a running back as you will find in the state this season, Wilson has proven to be nearly unstoppable carrying the ball or catching it out of the backfield after he posted over 30 touchdowns and totaled over 1,500 total yards of offense as a junior in 2012.

Ian Eriksen – Clarkston
Was as productive as it gets last season after posting over 2,100 yards rushing and 34 touchdowns in what turned out to be the definition of a breakout season. Eriksen will likely carry the ball close to 300 times once again this year as the bell cow in the Clarkston backfield.

Brian Walker – Birmingham Brother Rice
A true power back between the tackles, Walker has proven that he can and will be a workhorse out of the Brother Rice backfield and will be one of many key explosive threats that the Warriors have to offer in 2013.

Shon Powell – Birmingham Brother Rice
If Walker is the “Thunder” out of the Brother Rice backfield, then Powell is the “Lightning” for the Warriors after emerging in a big way in the 2012 playoffs, proving to be a legitimate home run threat in the run and the passing game.

Joshuwa Holloman – Auburn Hills Avondale
Turned heads over the summer at a camp held at Alabama University where he turned in a 40 yard dash time of 4.23. After sharing time at running back last year, Holloman will be the go-to guy out of the Avondale backfield and will be as good of a big play threat that there is at the running back position.

Jermaih Johnson – Pontiac Notre Dame Prep
Was as productive as it gets out of the Irish backfield in 2012 after rushing for nearly 1,200 yards in the regular season to go along with 19 touchdowns, while proving to be one of the most versatile backs in Oakland County.

Lorenzo Collins – Farmington Hills Harrison
Can and will do a little bit of everything for the Hawks as he’s proven to be dangerous carrying the ball between the tackles or outside and is one of the better pass-catching running backs that Oakland County has to offer.

Chauncey Bridges – North Farmington
One of the most versatile backs you will find, Bridges has shown the ability to make defenses pay with his ability to run the ball or catch the ball and gives the North Farmington offense a number of different ways to use him.

Ross Williams – Birmingham Groves
Speed is the name of the game for Williams, who is as exciting as it gets when he gets into open space. Williams can and will hurt teams in a number of ways, including on special teams and in the passing game to go along with running the ball.

Jacob Studdard -- Southfield
A multi-dimensional back who can do a lot of everything for the Southfield offense, Studdard is more than capable of handling the majority of carries out of the backfield, but is also skilled enough as a received to line up out wide as well.

Jeremy Gates -- Southfield
A flat out speed demon out of the backfield, Gates has the ability to make a big time run at any time as he's proven to be one of the best at making plays in the open field. Look for Gates to bring big play potential on every down to an already explosive Southfield offense.

Ben Line – Oxford
Another “bell cow” type running back, Line proved that he could handle the majority of the workload out of the Wildcats backfield last year and is one of the top power backs that Oakland County will have to offer in 2013.

Johnny Kelly -- Oak Park
Had a breakout sophomore campaign where he proved to be one of the best home-run threats that Oakland County has to offer, Kelly can do a little bit of everything on offense for the Knights, whether running or catching the ball.

Chris Leigh – Lake Orion

An absolute barn burner who will see plenty of action out of the Lake Orion backfield, Leigh is also versatile enough to make a big time impact for the Dragons as a receiver as well with his ability to make big time catches.

Jeff Baker – Novi
Rushed for nearly 1,000 yards for the Wildcats in 2012, Baker will once again be one of the more punishing backs that Oakland County has to offer once again this fall for a Novi team looking to rebound from last year.

Emanuel Jackson – Novi
A true up and comer on the gridiron, Jackson has only begun to scratch the surface after a freshman season where he rushed for over 600 yards and eight total touchdowns and will be a nice change of pace to Baker.

Zack Bock – Novi Detroit Catholic Central

A player who can get the job done out of the backfield in a number of ways whether it’s running the ball outside, or inside for the Shamrocks and could make an impact on special teams as well.

Jeff Robinson – Orchard Lake St. Mary’s
Has some big shoes to fill as the power back out of the OLSM backfield, but Robinson fills the traditional Eaglet RB/FB mold almost perfectly. A downhill, powerful runner and is an elite blocker in both pass protection and in the run game.

Christopher Crump – Orchard Lake St. Mary’s
Another back who will look to pick up some of the load left behind from graduated players, Crump has big play ability and can break off a big run at just about any time. Look for him to make an impact in the run game as well as the pass game.

Malik Green – Walled Lake Western
A big time playmaker in a number of different ways for the Warriors, Green is capable of running between the tackles and picking up tough yards or bouncing it outside and using his speed to hurt defenses.

Zack Goor – Walled Lake Central
A bruising back who isn’t afraid to lower his shoulder to get the tough yards but can also make teams when he gets into space, Goor proved he could be a workhorse in the Viking’s offense last season and should do more of the same in 2013.

Nico Woods – South Lyon
A speedy, athletic back who is as dangerous as it gets when he gets out into open space, Woods is capable of making a play going nowhere into a big time gain for the Lions and adds a big play threat to an already strong offense.

Sean Thomas -- Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes
A dangerous runner out of the Lakes backfield, Thomas proved to be a legitimate threat running the ball for the Lakers in 2012 as he proved he can get the tough yards between the tackles or bounce it outside for big gains as well.

Danny Wallace – Milford
A true power back, Wallace is as good as it gets when it comes to picking up the tough yards and running between the tackles after rushing for nearly 1,000 yards last year in a powerful rushing attack for the Mavericks.

Shaquan McGriff -- Ferndale
A punishing running back who doesn't shy away from contact, McGriff is one of the stronger backs you'll find when it comes to running the ball inside and is an elite blocker in the run and pass game as well.

Dalton Christie – Lakeland
The go-to guy in the Lakeland backfield, Christie has proven he can be both a power back or someone who can make plays out in space and will get the majority of the carries this year for the Eagles.

P.J. Kern – Walled Lake Northern
Another big power back, Kern is the definition of a power runner and will play a big role in the Northern backfield after several losses from last year’s team. Kern could have a breakout year running inside for a high-octane Northern offense.

Alex O’Brien – South Lyon East
Will likely get more carries this year after the Cougars lost Cam Thomas, but O’Brien is more than capable of handling the load at running back as he’s proven to be one of the more versatile backs around.

Josh Schneider -- South Lyon East
A speedy back who was a contributor on the track team last spring and can spell O'Brien from time to time in the backfield, Schneider can be a dangerous weapon for the Cougars if he can get into open space.

Danotiss Smith – Waterford Kettering
An electric athlete who can hurt teams in a number of ways with his speed and athleticism when the ball is in his hands, Smith will make a big impact for the Captains in the run game as well as the aerial attack.

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