There are a bunch of great tailbacks that will return in the fall for our 806 teams; from big school, to small school competition. Some running backs just missed the cut like Trendan Jackson of Plainview and Evan Paez of Muleshoe, who both just rushed for under 1,000 yards in 2015. Here are our top twelve running backs that return, including some sleepers that may breakout this season on the gridiron.
806 TOP 12 RUNNING BACKS RETURNING FOR 2016:
1. JAELIN FORD- CANYON EAGLES
Jaelin was a beast for the Amarillo Sandies last year, rushing for 2,032 yards and 32 scores in that power running attack for Amarillo. He has moved to Canyon, in 3-5A district, and will immediately be a dangerous asset for Coach Bryant and the Eagles. With a very low center of gravity, it is very hard to take him down with one tackler in the open field. Expect a huge season for him as he now has an all-state caliber quarterback in the backfield with him in Gunner Palacios.
2. QUALIN MILLER- LEVELLAND LOBOS
Qualin is a baaad man! In an already dangerous offense, he produces and brings the power element into the attack for the Lobos. Quiet, humble, and vicious between the trenches in 2015 allowed him to rush for 1,128 yards and 13 touchdowns in his Junior season at Levelland. This year will be an even bigger one for Qualin as he will be counted on to pound defenses again for Levelland and finish off games in the fourth quarter.
3. RICHARD LONGORIA- SEAGRAVES EAGLES
Richard has waited for his chance to be the number one back in Seagraves, and this year will be the time for him to go and make the best out of it. Deadly fast out of the backfield, especially on the lead sweep, look for Longoria to have a breakout season for the Eagles at a variety of different positions for Coach Heryford. He will play Quarterback, Running Back, Receiver, and will be on defense as a Linebacker as well. All-State is calling his name for sure.
4. TIM CHILDERS- CROSBYTON CHIEFTAINS
Timothy has picked up right where his brother left off in 2014, rushing for 1,447 yards and 20 scores last season! He also plays tenaciously on the defensive side of the ball as a linebacker! He will put up those numbers again this year and maybe more as he will be the bellcow for the Chieftains.
5. DAVID DICKSON- MEMPHIS CYCLONES
You cannot take David down with one guy. He is a special tailback for Memphis and he put up 2,300 yards and 14 scores last year in their Regional Semifinal run in 2A DII. Memphis comes into 2016 as a heavy championship favorite. Don’t doubt these guys as I think they may get it done, and David will be a major key in the cog if they do go to Jerry’s World!
6. JOSE TELLEZ- WELLINGTON SKYROCKETS
Jose is a great kid and powerful running back for the Skyrockets. Watched him in person a few times and he is very elusive and has quick feet in the hole which helped him garner 1,145 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns last year. Wellington is a dangerous team and will be in the Regional Quarterfinals in 2A DII with a chance to win a title like they accomplished in 2013.
7. AJ REED- POST ANTELOPES
AJ AND AJ… Lookout… Post has a two-piece combo to hit opponents with this year with Reed and Escobedo all game long. Reed rushed for 1,050 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2015 while splitting carries with Cambry Gilbert, who has moved on to Eastern New Mexico. Expect AJ to really have a monster season along with Post; who may have a chance to win it all if they get by Stratford in the 2A DI Regional Final.
8. COREY MATHIS- FLOYDADA WHIRLWINDS
Corey surprised last year with the Whirlwinds as he tallied up 1,098 yards and 13 touchdowns for the Whirlwinds in their playoff season. He will look to build on his success, along with Floydada, who should be contenders for the 2-2A DI crown in 2016. If he can amass that same yardage and touchdown input, the ‘Winds will be playoff bound again.
9. LINK WILKES- SUNDOWN ROUGHNECKS
Link will carry the load again for the ‘Necks in 2016 as he did in 2015 when he rushed for 1,100 yards and 10 six-packs as a Junior. He likes contact and will deliver a crushing blow as a linebacker as well for Coach Steve Smith too. Sundown will be in the playoffs, and they will be led by Wilkes, again.
10. BO LOTT- CHILDRESS BOBCATS
A rare combination of speed and power is what Bo possess. Scary quick, and he took a punt and kickoff back for scores in 2015 to go along with his 1,006 yards on the ground and nine rushing touchdowns. Childress will make some noise this year as they are returning some key players in skill positions. Can Bo know two wounds deep in the playoffs? We will see in 2016.
11. TRENTON BAIRD- SPEARMAN LYNX
Tough as nails. Determined. Leader. Champion. I think of all these characteristics when I look at Trenton from Lynxland. He is a leader for Spearman and can play some great defense as well as tote the rock! He rushed for 1,072 yards and scored 14 times in Spearman’s power ground game attack. They will be in a tough district with Childress and Canadian, but they will be ready for the challenge with players like him on the roster!
12. BOSTYN ANDREWS- BUSHLAND FALCONS
Bostyn is an do-it-all tailback for Bushland. He runs up the tackles, catches screens, punts, and most of all..Lays down some thunderous blocks for the Falcons! A player that can be counted on in any capacity, he will be great for the next quarterback for Bushland as Kameron Mathis is off to UTPB. He should have another outstanding season.
BREAKOUT STATUS: CHRIS DOUGLAS-LITTLEFIELD WILDCATS
Chris split time with Nate Herrera and Bryson Calaway last year in the Wildcats backfield. This year, he should be the man in Coach Huseman’s run it in your mouth offense. He will be the guy that goes over 1,600 yards and has 20 touchdowns. Count on it!