The Bay Area has seen few players come through its ranks as talented as current Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best
Best, the former Salesian (Richmond, Calif.)
standout, rushed for an astounding 3,017 yards and 40 touchdowns as a senior. He also posted blazing times on the track, clocking a time of 10.31 seconds in the 100-meter dash.
Needless to say, Best was one of the Golden State’s top prospects and delighted Cal fans when he signed with the Bears, where he gained more than 4,000 total yards and registered 35 touchdowns.
Three years later, Byron Marshall
of Valley Christian (San Jose, Calif.)
, another sensational running back from Northern California, is starting to generate a similar level of excitement. On the radar since his freshman season, Marshall came into his own as a sophomore, gaining 1,035 yards on the ground and recording 17 touchdowns. He also caught 11 passes for 331 yards and four scores.
A mutli-dimensional threat, Marshall has showed no signs of slowing down as a junior. He’s already rushed for 458 yards and four touchdowns this season.
Marshall has been particularly deadly on special teams. In a 52-23 victory against Serra (San Mateo, Calif.)
on Saturday night, he had punt return touchdowns of 63 yards and 71 yards to put the game away for Valley Christian.
"It’s kind of possible that he’ll play on Sundays," Serra coach Patrick Walsh told the San Bruno Patch. "You're talking about one of the best players to come through this league and this area."
His time of 10.67 in the 100-meter sprint may not be approaching Best's mark of 10.31, but Marshall could be a better overall athlete. He has jumped over 23 feet in the long jump and also started for Valley Christian’s basketball team as a freshman.
Marshall’s older brother Cameron is a standout at Arizona State, and his sister Dahlys runs track at Arizona.
While both schools have connections to Marshall, don’t count out Cal. With Best, Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett, the Bears’ recent track record for developing and churning out NFL running backs is certainly impressive.JUNIOR TRIO STICKS TOGETHER
Alabama's class of 2012 is shaping up to be stocked with elite recruits, and it appears that one lucky school is going to land three of the best.
Although they all play at different schools, linebacker Reggie Ragland
, quarterback Jameis Winston
and linebacker Kwon Alexander
all plan to play together in college, both Ragland and Winston confirmed.Each ranks among the best at their respective positions, and each was a MaxPreps Sophomore All-American last season.
The Crimson Tide appears to be the favorite, but Auburn is also heavily recruiting all three. Ragland was present in Auburn for the Tigers' victories against Clemson and South Carolina.DARNELL GREEN-BECKHAM MAKING A NAME FOR HIMSELF
The younger brother of Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.)
star receiver Dorial Green-Beckham
, freshman Darnell Green-Beckham
, is beginning to make a name for himself on the gridiron.
With opposing defenses focused on slowing down Dorial, 6-foot-3 Darnell has proven to be a capable threat that needs to be accounted for. In a win against Waynesville last week, he grabbed two passes for 46 yards and one touchdown.
Entering high school, Darnell was thought to have more natural talent on the hardwood, but he’s been productive as a ninth grader on the football field.QUICK HITS
- 2013 athlete Khleem Perkins
continues to show his versatility. He’s played some quarterback, running back, and wide receiver for San Bernardino (Calif.)
this season but is most gifted at safety.
- Sophomore linebacker Wesley Norris
from Shelby (N.C.)
has 33 tackles and three sacks thus far this season and has been one of the area's best defensive players.
- Leon McQuay's
three intereceptions of Plant (Tampa, Fla.)
quarterback Phillip Ely
back up the hype that the sophomore defensive back from Armwood (Seffner, Fla.)
has been getting.
- With Warren Ball
and Brionte Dunn
both committed to Ohio State, it will be interesting to see who lands 2012 running back Rushel Shell
. The Buckeyes were in the mix for Shell, but with two other premier backs in the same class, it’d be surprising to see Shell end up in Columbus.