As we slowly make our way to the season, we’ll start to share some new names we have discovered over the last six months. Today we’ll drop players who move the chains: The Running Back.
Brendon Barrow, Clearwater Academy International 2021 RB 5-9/180-190: By now you should have heard the noise CAI is making. Not only have they put together some stellar seasons, but they have also produced some big-time college football prospects. Next in line is Brendon Barrow. He’s a strong runner at his size. Possesses some power between the tackles and has a vision like former Sickles and Clemson star Ray-Ray McCloud. Three games over 100 yards last season along with four multi TD games. An impressive 11.1 yards per rush average and 5 games with double-digit carries. Keep your eyes and ears open about this kid.
Kev’on Williams, Hernando 2021 RB 5-9.5/175-185: Last season Hernando had 23 different players who accounted for a total of 370 carries. Seven players who accounted for double-digit attempts. At the top of that list was Mr. Williams with 127. His stats were not overly impressive. 750 yards, 7 TDs. But that can be attributed to having Hernando spread the ball around in the backfield. Every down back. Ability to slip tackles. Attacks defenders. He needs to eat (more carries) this season. If so, a 1500 yards season is doable.
Travis Bates, Berkeley Prep 2022 RB 5-11/190-200: What is there not to like about Bates? He is a great combo of size and speed. A very balanced runner with the ability to decelerate and accelerate to avoid defenders. Bates was very productive in 2019. In only eight games, Bates held a 7 yard per rush average and 10 TDs. He was a problem for Tampa Catholic and Calvary. Had the best performances of the 2019 season versus those two opponents; 288 combined rushing yards and 3 TDs. Four 100 yard games and 122 attempts last season.
Reggie Kellum, Lakeland 2021 RB 5-11/170-180: Once again the pride of Polk has another stallion in the stable. Kellum is a monster and most people outside of Lakeland High wouldn’t know it because of the production Clemson signee Demarkus Bowman for the last 3 seasons. Kellum was 4th on the team in carries; just 33 attempts. With his burst through the line, excellent balance, vision, and light feet, this Dreadnaught still finished the season with 575 rushing yards, an amazing 17.4 yards per rush, and three 100 yard games. If you thought the Naughts would take a year off post Bowman, think again.
Tre’quan Hilton, Northside Christian 2021 RB 6-0/215-225: 1,925 – The total rushing yards for Hilton in 2019. 25 – The number of rushing TDs for Hilton last season. 175 – The average yards per game for Hilton last season. If those numbers don’t impress, we don’t know what will. Size, good vision, yards after contact are crazy and he has really deceptive speed. Pinellas County hasn’t built a back like him in a while. He’s like a truck with better brakes and agility.
Zyre Roundtree, Zephyrhills 2021 RB 5-10/185-195: Lateral Suddenness. Protects the ball well. Instant acceleration. 1,205 all-purpose yards last season, including 903 rushing yards. His burst and speed allow him to pull away from the opposing defense. In a 44-28 win verse Wesley Chapel, Roundtree rushed 25 times for 250 yards and 2 TDs. The last two games of September, Roundtree put up 350 rushing yards by himself.
Jordaan Bailey, Hillsborough 2022 RB 6-0/160-170: Older generations will remember at one point HHS being coined RBU, Runningback University. The Terriers kept dominant backs. Bailey fits right in “RBU”. He’s a North/South Runner. Excellent separating speed. Takes what is given but can bust a big run at any time. To open up the 2019 season, Bailey rushed for an astounding 191 yards on 14 carries. 14 yards per run that game and 8 yards per rush for the season. The first 5 games last season, Bailey was super solid; 647 rushing yards 6 rushing TDs. If the Terriers are going to make a deep playoff push this season, they will need to ride the “Baily Train.”