(This is part of the AJC’s “30 in 30″ series — with quick hits on top high school football teams across the metro area and state during spring football practice. We’re doing 30 football teams in 30 days. Click here for a master list. Hey AJC, what about spring sports? You know, the non-football sports? Go here)
Is Isaiah Crowell of Carver-Columbus the best running back in the USA?
At least one recruiting service thinks Crowell is among the nation’s elite, with Scout ranking the 6-foot, 215-pounder as No. 2 in the country.
Last year as a junior, Crowell rushed for 1,907 yards and 22 TDs on 175 carries. He also caught 18 passes of 241 yards and 3 TDs. He has more than 40 scholarship offers, with Alabama and Georgia as his leaders, according to CUTigers.com.
The recruiting services — and colleges — always love high school running backs from Georgia. Last year, the national lovefest was with M.L. King’s Mack Brown (signed with Florida), who didn’t come anywhere close to meeting his enormous expectations, partly due to a nagging leg injury.
Ironically, Crowell and Brown have a lot in common as running backs. Both are speedsters, a threat to score from anywhere on the field. Crowell is a little bit bigger and stronger than Brown was before his senior year, while Brown has an edge over Crowell with his shiftiness in the open field, along with more raw speed. Like Brown, Crowell doesn’t appear to have much interest in blocking, at least in high school.
You can pretty much bank on Crowell having a monster senior year. He is surrounded by far more talent at Carver, therefore defenses won’t be able to key completely on him, as they did with Brown this past season.
Carver defensive tackle Gabriel Wright (6-2, 265) has nearly as many offers as Crowell, while offensive tackle Quincy McKinney (6-3, 300) is closing fast with offers from Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Duke and Michigan State, among others.
Dell McGee, Carver’s coach, is expecting breakout seasons from a few other players:
Justin Brown, OL, 6-2, 270: “He will be the vocal leader of our offensive line and adds a lot of experience and accountability to the unit.”
Dequindre Adams, WR, 5-11, 190: “He was hampered by a hamstring injury last year. He has speed to burn, and we are expecting a lot of explosive plays … and will have opportunities due to our run game.”
Trey Simpson, DT, 6-0, 270: “He will be the vocal leader on the defensive line, and is just one piece to a talented defensive front.”
Everybody knows that Carver has moved down to Class AA, where it will challenge Buford for supremacy. The two powerhouses play each other on Sept. 3. Carver also has a non-region game vs. LaGrange (Sept. 16) which could be shown on national TV.
Team: Carver Tigers
Spring Game: May 20
Last year’s record: 11-2
Starters lost: 9
Head coach: Dell McGee
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