Last season could be categorized as the “year of the running back” in DMV high school football. Blake Corum, Antwain Littleton and MarShawn Lloyd made the national news, while Marquez Cooper rewrote the record books. Pound for pound, running back was one of the most talent-rich positions in the region.
Many of last season’s top performers are graduating, thereby opening the door for a new wave of big-time student athletes. Here are 7 young men primed for breakout campaigns in 2020.
1. Jeremiah White | Quince Orchard
For years now, the name Marquez Cooper has been synonymous with the Quince Orchard Cougars, and for good reason. The diminutive running back powered his team to a state championship and himself into the Montgomery County all-time record books.
Coop has now graduated and the keys to the Cougars’ dominant rushing attack will be handed over to the aptly prepared Jeremiah White.
Two seasons ago, White split time with Cooper as the duo formed a dynamic 1-2 punch. During his junior year, White started at linebacker and finished the season as the Cougars’ second-leading tackler.
White has been biding his time for this opportunity. With blazing speed and big play capabilities, anticipate this Cougar to have a breakout year.
2. Elijah Solomon | Archbishop Carroll
Elijah Solomon helped the Archbishop Carroll Lions “restore the roar” in 2019 as the sophomore back rushed for 1,126 yards in his first season in Carroll green.
Solomon splits carries with senior Lorenzo Green last season -- otherwise, what was already a productive season, may have reached epic proportions. What Solomon lacks in size, he more than makes up for in vision, balance and toughness. Expect fireworks in his junior campaign.
3. Sean Aaron | Good Counsel
In 2019, Good Counsel paraded what was arguably the most potent rushing attack in the DMV. Opposing defenses knew what was coming but due to the Falcons’ execution, they could not stop it.
Sy’Veon Wilkerson was magical. The shifty back carried GC all the way to a WCAC championship. Wilkerson will be suiting up next season for Delaware St.
Enter Sean Aaron. Aaron flashed brilliance in 2019, often coming up big in the biggest of games. Sans Wilkerson, the Falcons will bring back a majority of their starting offense, including quarterback Chase Williams and a potentially unassailable offensive line, led by 5-star stalwart Landon Tengwall.
Aaron’s size, low center of gravity and propensity to break off big runs could give WCAC defensive coordinators nightmares in 2020.
4. Charlie Miska | South County
Charlie Miska did a little bit of everything for the state champion Stallions. Beyond running back, he also lined up as a Wildcat QB, slot receiver and special teams contributor.
Miska runs with power and has deceptive speed. With the graduation of seniors Matthew Dzierski and Zion Dayne, expect the ball to be in Miska’s hands even more in 2020.
5. Sieh Bangura | DeMatha
Bangura is an explosive, long-striding Stag equally adept at running between the tackles or getting to the edge for big gains. Bangura is a one-cut runner with excellent vision. He has an uncanny ability to change direction on a dime and is proficient at making would-be tacklers miss in space.
In 2019, Bangura split time with 5-star running back, Marshawn Lynch. Anticipate a breakout year from Bangura in 2020.
6. Aaron Jones | Walter Johnson
Aaron Jones ran for 1,245 yards and 16 touchdowns in leading Walter Johnson to their best season in many years.
Jones displays physicality at the point of contact while maintaining the requisite speed to score from anywhere on the field.
In 2020, look for Jones to challenge for the rushing title in Montgomery county.
7. Jaquan Blake | Friendship
Jaquan “Country” Blake is an old-school running back. With his low center of gravity, Blake runs with bad intentions. He plays behind his pads, allowing him to routinely run through would-be tacklers. Though he excels in short-yardage situations, he is capable of picking up large chunks of yardage at a time.
In 2019, Kevon Campbell was the bell cow back for Friendship. In 2020, Blake will shoulder those responsibilities. With the graduation of quarterback Dyson Smith, the defending DCSAA champion Knights will lean on their rushing attack -- Blake is ready to carry the load.
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.
MORE HIGH SCHOOL NEWS: