Area Running Backs to Watch in 2021

By Jordan Burton (For OzarksSportsZone.com)

There are many talented running backs across our coverage area that features more than 60 teams. Below are some of the top running backs to watch this season. This list is in alphabetical order.

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Breakout Players to Watch – CLICK HERE

NOTE: Some worthy players may appear on one of our other five football watch lists. A player can only appear on one list.

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Eli Chaney, Nevada Senior

Anyone that puts up 168 yards and a pair of touchdowns against Lamar can play. Chaney having monster games became a normal occurrence in 2020, with him earning All-Big 8 honors behind 1,152 yards and 13 touchdowns in a loaded backfield. With standout Kaden Denney gone, Chaney should see even more carries this fall.

Logan Crockett, Lamar Junior

Logan Crockett playing for Lamar just makes sense. His running style is about as blue collar as it gets, which perfectly fits the Tigers. As a sophomore, he rushed for 862 yards and 16 touchdowns on just 77 carries. He’ll likely see more touches this season, which will lead to a 1,000-plus yard season.

Braxton Davis, Cabool Senior

We’ve been seeing Davis do crazy things for years at this point. Not many guys have had more Friday night carries than Davis. As a junior he rushed for 614 yards and 10 touchdowns, earning him All-SCA honors. Running behind an offensive line led by Eddie Swisloski will equate to a huge senior season.

Ramone Green, Nixa Junior

His sophomore season ended with 1,300 yards and 18 touchdowns on 240 carries. There were backs with more yards, but no one is more physically gifted. He runs with speed, power and wiggle, but what sets him apart is his ability to catch out of the backfield and block. He’s as complete of a high school back as we’ve seen in the O-Zone era.

Dupree Jackson, Webb City Senior

Jackson is yet the latest installment of Webb City having a freak of nature running back. In 2020 he turned 116 carries into 836 yards and 12 touchdowns. Like previous standouts Terrell Kabala and Devrin Weathers, Jackson runs with speed and power. He finishes runs with a ton of physicality. Basically, he’s yet another perfect back in John Roderique’s splitback veer.

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Eric Richardson, Waynesville Senior

Last year saw Richardson assume more of a feature back role and he produced, rushing for 678 yards at more than six yards per carry in nine games. Richardson is a big play waiting to happen with breakaway speed and a shifty approach. He’s another guy that is also a threat catching the ball.

Kohl Rohlman, Aurora Senior

If he gets his hands on the ball there’s a really good chance he’s going to score. Rohlman turned 116 carries into 940 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also added a receiving touchdown and punt return score. Also a defensive standout, Rohlman will be a four-year starter at Aurora.

Corgan Strong, Forsyth Senior

Strong is yet another two-way standout, rushing for 1,021 yards and 12 touchdowns while adding 46 tackles and eight TFLs from his linebacker spot. The common denominator on both sides of the ball is Strong’s toughness; he never shies away from a hit.

Dakota Wilson, Marionville Senior

High school kids are too young to remember Lee Flood shattering rushing records at Marionville, but if you want to know what it looked like just watch Dakota Wilson on a Friday night. He racked up 1,779 yards and 33 touchdowns last year, making him the area’s returning leader in rushing yards. So much of what makes him effective is pure relentlessness.

Jackson Willison, Thayer Senior

Similar to how Spike treated the Little Giants, watching Jackson Willison run through defenses is oddly entertaining. He ran around, away and through defenders to a 1,319-yard, 21-touchdown season. At 5-foot-9, 205lbs he’s a problem in the backfield at any level but especially Class 1. He’s also an All-State defensive end.

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OTHERS TO WATCH

Owen Bushnell, Willard Junior
Landon Clement, Diamond Senior
Justin Moore, Mount Vernon Senior
Hayden Fane, Rolla Senior
Jaxson Graham, Seneca Senior
Isaiah Harvey, Central Senior
Bailey Hurst, Houston Senior
Clayten O’Hara, Pierce City Junior
Blake Russell, Hollister Junior
Dante Sample, Hillcrest Senior
Connor Sandridge, Republic Junior
Jaren Smith, Buffalo Senior
Ethan Umfleet, Monett Senior

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