Exciting Pinellas County Running Backs

Jarvis Stewart, Largo, RB

The running back position is one of the more glamorous positions on the field, as it is often integral in both the passing and running attack. A well-rounded halfback is commonly viewed as a big part of a team’s success. The RB is responsible for carrying the rock on the majority of running plays, and often used as a receiver on passing plays. In today’s game, an effective back must have a blend of both quickness and agility as a runner, as well as sure hands and shrewd vision up field as a receiver.

I have listed 6 of the best running backs in Pinellas County that excite me. Not necessarily, who is the better player, but who excites me as a player and what he is able to do on the field.


1 Diomi Roberts, Countryside, 2012
Roberts has flash and spunk. His ability to make plays is unmatched by any running back in Pinellas County. He is small, but with excellent feet and awesome straight ahead speed. Roberts possesses excellent lateral movement, able to side step defenders, plant and accelerate and make an east or west play, quickly go north. Plenty of times Roberts took away the angle of the pursuing tacklers, put a move on one tackler and taking it to the house. Roberts has the ability to turn any play into a home run. You tend to hold your breath each time he touches the ball, because after about 5 seconds, 6 more points can be added to Countryside’s score due to Roberts’s efforts.


2 Brent O’Neal, Canterbury, 2012
If you have never heard the name, you may have been living under a rock for the last 3 years or live in Hillsborough County (j/k haha). O’Neal surprises you with a scary combination of speed and power. Not once have I seen this young man shy away from a big hit, step out of bounds to save his body or go down on the first hit. This kid is solid, powerful and fun to watch. O’Neil is a tremendous inside/outside runner which makes him just that much more of a threat to the defense and an asset to the offense. He has sweeeet feet and lowers his pads in the hole. He runs with a low center of gravity and excellent pad level.


3 Ryan Green, St. Pete Catholic, 2013
Green is a strong runner who is more agile than you would expect. He can run between the tackles, where he is best. Punishing defenders and taking names later. Or, he can get to the corner of the defense and make your secondary look foolish. Many Pinellas football fan regard Green as the best running back in the county because of what he is able to do. He has magnificent vision, runs with a low pad level and smells the end zone.


4 Denzal Dillard, Boca Ciega, 2013
You can’t mention top running backs in Pinellas without having Denzal Dillard come out your mouth. Simply put, the kid can go. Dillard gives Boca a legit homerun hitter each time he touches the ball. Whether he gets the ball handed to him or receives the ball on a screen play, Dillard will make defenses come to a standstill. His vision is good and his feet are better. He also has really good balance and rarely goes down to the first tackler.


5 Jarvis Stewart, Largo, 2014
Stewart is the youngest of the six backs on this list, but you can see the potential jumping off the screen. Stewart is a strong runner that has a huge burst to explode away from the defense. He has plenty of room to grow, but as a youngster he is a very talented runner that has some things you can’t coach; balance and vision. Both are key to being a big time back. Stewart never stops churning his legs. Always pumping his knees attempting to get out of any tackle.


6 Emmanuel Stewart, Gibbs, 2013
Emmanuel Stewart may fall at the bottom of this list, but not to say he is not a good player. Stewart’s best assets are his vision and quick burst. Stewart can anticipate defenders moves and runs very smart; wraps up the ball when needed, switches hands outside of traffic, puts his head down at the right time and runs hard. His burst allows him to quickly get out of trouble and accelerate to the next level of the defense. Because Stewart is a small back, he is already low to the ground which makes it harder for the defense to find him and gives him better balance and agility.


-I like Kenny Blanch, Palm Harbor also. Just have not seen enough of him. Watch this clip: