High 10 operating backs for the 2021 highschool soccer season

Michigan high school football season kicks off in less than two months and brings a new exciting campaign with increased expectations.

Few players influence a game like an elite-level running back who can turn any everyday 2-yard carry into a 75-yard touchdown that breaks a game wide open. After highlighting some of the top quarterbacks to see next season last week, we wanted to shed light on the ground game MVPs and highlight some of the best running backs to see as we enter the 2021 season.

Here are 10 running backs that we think will be worth the price of entry this fall season.

Dexter’s sophomore year Cole Cabana. (Photo provided by Wendy Martin)

COLE CABANA, DEXTER

Height: 5-11

Weight: 170

Class: 2023

The Junior for the Dreadnaughts already has 13 scholarship offers from schools including Cincinnati, Syracuse, Louisville, and West Virginia. His list of offers should see another spike this fall as the electrifying athlete hopes to build on his sophomore season storming 592 yards and nine touchdowns and catching an Ann Arbor area that scored 46 passes for 468 yards and six touchdowns caught.

Michigan Center vs. Constantine in Division 6 high school football regional finals

Constantine’s Brayden Clark (4) runs the ball during a regional final of MHSAA Division 6 high school football at Gull Lake High School in Richland on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. Constantine won the game against the Michigan Center, 33-14.
J. Scott Park | MLive.com

BRAYDEN CLARK, CONSTANTINE

Height: 5-10

Weight: 185

Class: 2023

The all-purpose weapon for Constantine flashed as a ready-to-play freshman, proving it wasn’t a coincidence in the second fall as he stormed 1,309 yards and 13 touchdowns on 132 carries while adding 172 yards and two scores on four catches for the 9-2 district – and regional champion falcons.

Ypsilanti vs. Ypsilanti Lincoln High School Football

Lincoln’s Jorden Collier (2) rolls over during the Ypsilanti Lincoln game against Ypsilanti at Lincoln High School in Augusta Township on Friday, October 2, 2020.

JORDEN COLLIER, YPSILANTI LINCOLN

Height: 5-11

Weight: 180

Class: 2022

The traffic jam for the Railsplitters was the only player to beat 1,000 yards of rushing in the Ann Arbor area in 2020 as he recorded 1,052 yards and 11 touchdowns at 182 carries and had five games of 100 or more yards of rushing, including two games rushing with more than 200 meters. He received the First Team Awards of All Conferences and is likely to be a candidate for all states in 2021.

TIM KLOSKA, GRAND RAPIDS WEST CATHOLIC

Height: 5-11

Weight: 190

Class: 2022

Kloska stormed for 1,222 yards and 14 touchdowns at 159 carries averaging 7.7 yards per carry to keep the Falcons on the ground last season. The senior playmaker will again be a focal point of the West Catholic attack in 2021 as they hope to build on a 6-2 season in 2020.

Millington Football receives Hemlock for the TVC West Championship

Hemlock junior Robert Knapik, 39, intercepts a pass during a soccer game against Millington at Millington High School on Friday, October 16, 2020. (Kaytie Boomer | MLive.com)Kaytie Boomer | MLive.com

ROBERT KNAPIK, HEMLOCK

Height: 5-9

Weight: 175

Class: 2022

The all-state running back for the Huskies helped his squad hit an 8-1 record last season, ending with 1,296 yards of rushing (8.85 yards per carry) and 14 touchdowns. He was also a weapon in the passing game as he racked up 13 receptions for 167 yards and one more touchdown.

Frankenmuth receives Marine City in the quarter-final soccer game of Division 5

Frankenmuth’s junior Cole Lindow (26) speeds away from the Marine City defense during the Division 5 quarter-final soccer game in Frankenmuth on Saturday, January 9, 2021. (Kaytie Boomer | MLive.com) Kaytie Boomer | MLive.com

COLE LINDOW, FRANKENMUTH

Height: 5-9

Weight: 180

Class: 2022

The bruising full-back for Frankenmuth disrupted a talented stable of ball carriers in 2020 when he scored 1,184 yards and 13 touchdowns on 167 carries. He also caught five passes for 73 yards while leading the Eagles to an appearance in the Division 5 State Championship. He ended the 2020 season with four straight 100-yard playoffs against Corunna, Marine City, Lansing Catholic and had 101 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries against Grand Rapids Catholic Central in the Division 5 state championship game.

Brian Morgan

Brian Morgan of the Houghton Lake Football Team for 2020. (Courtesy)

BRIAN MORGAN, HOUGHTON LAKE

Height: 5-10

Weight: 200

Class: 2022

Morgan used his rare combination of speed and strength to overwhelm opposing defenses, often stacking the line of scrimmage to slow him down. The 5-foot-10, 200-pound deficit averaged 200 yards per game last season after scoring 1,372 yards and 15 touchdowns on 201 carries as his team’s workhorse of offense and was named the Highland Conference MVP.

Davison faces Sterling Heights Stevenson in the Division 1 soccer semi-finals

Jordan Ramsey (5) of Sterling Heights Stevenson runs with the ball across the field during a Davison vs. Sterling Heights Stevenson Division 1 semi-final soccer game at Troy Athens High School on Saturday 23 November 2019. Mary Lewandowski | MLive.com

JORDAN RAMSEY / JORDAN KWIATKOWSKI, STERLING HEIGHTS STEVENSON

The tandem for Sterling Heights Stevenson proved to be a difficult task for most opposing defenses in 2020. The Central Michigan signings helped the Titans score a 7-2 season last year, though Ramsey missed all but two games due to an injury. In his absence, Kwiatkowski carried the burden of offense and stormed for 1,012 yards and a total of 13 touchdowns.

MHSAA Soccer: Oak Park vs. West Bloomfield - September 18, 2020

West Bloomfields Dillon Tatum (5) attempts to tackle a tackle from Darnell Boone (24) of Oak Park during their high school football game at Oak Park High School in Oak Park on Friday, September 18, 2020. (Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)Mike Mulholland | MLive.com

DILLON TATUM, WEST BLOOMFIELD

Height: 5-11

Weight: 190

Class: 2022

Tatum will star for West Bloomfield after graduating from Donovan Edwards last season. The four-star contender is referred to as an athlete by most recruitment services, but his main job will be backlogging for the Lakers, who won the 2020 Division 1 state championship. Tatum already has more than 30 scholarship offerings including Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Arizona State, Florida, Georgia, and Texas A&M.

Oakridge junior running back Corey Vanderputte

Oakridge junior running back Corey Vanderputte (22) takes a pass from quarterback Ethen Dailey (3) during a game against Montague at Oakridge High School in Muskegon, Michigan on Friday, September 25, 2020. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)

COREY VANDERPUTTE, OACRIDGE

Height: 5-10

Weight: 166

Class: 2022

Vanderputte put together an impressive season as a junior in 2020, hitting the best 1,506 rushing yards in the Muskegon area and 22 touchdowns at 129 carries (11.7 yards per attempt). He also made six receptions for 149 yards (24.8 per catch) with two touchdowns and will also be the focus of the Eagles’ offensive attack in 2021 as they look to build on a 7-2 season last year.

Grand Rapids Catholic Central vs. Frankenmuth in the MHSAA Division 5 High School Football Championship - January 23, 2021

Nick Hollern, 23, of Grand Rapids Catholic Central runs during the high school MHSAA Division 5 football championship game against Frankenmuth at Ford Field in Detroit on Saturday, January 23, 2021. Grand Rapids Catholic Central won the game 48-21 . (Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)Mike Mulholland | MLive.com

AWARD

Joshua Burnham, Traverse City Central

Cole DiPiazza, Allendale

Shamar Heard, Chippewa Valley

Trent Hill, Chelsea

Elijah Jackson-Anderson, Grand Blanc

Brayden McKenna, Lapeer

Kaydin Hiland, Michigan Center

Joe Wiedyk, Bay City Western

Nick Hollern, Grand Rapids Catholic Headquarters

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