Viva Loudoun college intern Joe Bushrod a graduate of Loudoun County High School and current student at Old Dominion University, has been scouting the returning Loudoun football players and will offer his top 5 at each position.
Previously Joe covered the Top 5 quarterbacks, top 5 offensive guards/centers, top 5 offensive tackles, top 5 defensive ends, and top 5 tight ends. Today he continues with his top 5 running backs and the No. 1 returning player at this position is Sterling Dailey of Stone Bridge.
1.Sterling Dailey (SR) Stone Bridge 5’10 175
If you attended a Stone Bridge Bulldogs game in 2012, then you should be well aware of the explosiveness of Sterling Dailey. Last season he posted over 1,700 rushing yards which doesn’t really reflect his capability as he would often end his night early when the Bulldogs ran away with the score. Take it into account that Dailey helped lead the way to 14 wins last year, 9 of which came by 20 points or more. With his top end speed he just may be the fastest player on this team, which says a lot considering All-State wide receiver D’ante Yarborough graces this gifted roster.
It almost seems as if Sterling Dailey was born to play in this deceptive offense. Not only does he have the speed to run the sweep but he has the balance and footwork to execute the spinner offense with fluidity and quickness. By the time linebackers are deciding which player has the ball, Dailey can be found hitting his head on the goalpost, which he did 22 times last season. Regardless of how much I explain to you how quick and elusive Sterling Dailey may be, you must witness it yourself to see a great running back utilize a great offensive line. With that being said, a new quarterback era is on the way at Stone Bridge, putting more pressure on Dailey to have another great year.
2.Josh Sweet (SR) Woodgrove 5’10 220
I predict that Josh Sweet is the player who I will receive the most flack this summer for not putting this gifted runner No. 1. It is without question that he is every bit deserving as Dailey, but with a tougher schedule each week and still posting such dominate numbers, I had to give the slight edge Dailey. Now back to Josh Sweet. The first thing that pops up to me is his astounding leg strength. Josh Sweet sure can pack a punch to opposing tacklers and a lot of the reason is due to his relentless leg drive. Another key aspect of his game is his capability to plant his foot in the ground, switch directions, and turn on the afterburners. With Woodgrove only bound to get better in coach Mike Skinner’s second season, expect more “Sweet T” touchdowns and big games.
3. Noah Reimers (JR) Tuscarora 5’11 200
Coming in at the No.3 spot on our list is another home run hitting running back in Noah Reimers from Tuscarora. Reimers can run through, around, over, or just about any other way to beat a defender. Many times you see three or four would be tacklers jump on or at Reimers only to bounce off or be left pulling and dangling as he keeps moving forward out of their grasps.. Reimers provides a nice mixture of the two previous running backs in Dailey and Sweet. On one end he has the great feet and some shiftiness of Dailey, all while holding the same relentless powerful style of Josh Sweet. Noah Reimers is a leader on and off the field for the Huskies. When asked about Reimers, 2012 senior Husky linebacker Cortez Day stated,” Noah was the hardest working kid I’ve ever played with, he’s different, some kids want to play in the NFL, but he has the drive to play in the NFL, he works at it everyday, his discipline is crazy.” Don’t forget Reimers is also the leader on defense for Tuscarora at the safety position while he continues to dominate on offense.
4. Corey Hilberath (SR) Broad Run 5’10 175
No.4 on our list is looking to become the 1st 1,000 rusher for Broad Run since TJ Peeler left his mark in 2010. Corey Hilberath is a talented athlete that can do a number of things on the football field. This kid has some shake to him that I like. A little bit of flair in his game that definitely shows when he breaks someone down with a stutter step before he blows by them. Clearly this kid just needs the ball in his hands as they often try to get it to him by any means necessary. Sometimes he’s the motion man from the backfield, other times he’s catching the direct snap in the S-Wing T, and of course the traditional running back position he still tends to dominate. With Brady Reitzel at QB and Hilberath at tailback, the Spartans have a nice little combination to keep those defensive ends honest, as both can make plays with their legs.
5. Andrew Cordani (JR) Loudoun Valley 5’11 165
You know we have a group full of talented running backs when our No. 5 player on the list totaled over 1,000 yards last year on his way to scoring 12 touchdowns. At 165 pounds you won’t see Andrew Cordani running over linebackers every down on his way to running over the safety at the goal line. Although he did have a similar play last season versus Park View in which he broke the first defender at the 5-yard line, before he carried the second tackler through the third defender over the goal line for a touchdown. What you will see on an every down basis is a ball carrier that knows how to utilize his blockers and find the proper cutback lane. Almost every time before he gets tackled he finds a slight crease to fall forward to or breakthrough which really compliments his football IQ and his field awareness. Cordani was a vital piece to the Vikings offensive success in 2012 and that role will only look to increase over the next two seasons.
Others to Watch:
*Luke Adams (SR) Loudoun County
*Henry Argueta (JR) Park View
*Andrew Bushrod (SR) John Champe
*DaQwan Earl (SR) Broad Run
*Chris Larco (SR) Briar Woods