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2016 Michigan High School Football Watch List - Running Backs

Football   | Jeff Dullack

State Champs! Sports Network

With football practices underway, it's time for Part Two of the Positional Watch List Series as we list some of the state's best running back to watch in the 2016 season


Antjuan Simmons – Ann Arbor Pioneer

One of the favorites to win this year’s Mr. Football Award, Simmons is a menace on both sides of the football playing running back and linebacker. At running back, Simmons is both a power and speed runner and is also capable of making plays in the passing game as well. Simmons is committed to Ohio State.

Allen Stritzinger – Warren De La Salle

Already committed to Syracuse entering his senior season, Stritzinger burst onto the scene as one of the state’s top running backs during his sophomore season in 2014. Now as a senior, Stritzinger is one of, if not the more versatile running back in the state and can beat defenses running the ball or catching it.

Kaiser Carleton – Macomb Dakota

Carleton’s breakout season came during his junior year last season and figures to have an even bigger and better season this season. Another back who can make plays running and catching the ball, Carleton has also proven to be a dangerous punt and kick returner for the Cougars as well

Markus Sanders – Canton

After a junior season where he put up monstrous numbers (2,495 rushing yards, 31 touchdowns), Sanders enters his senior season as a player to keep an eye on in the Mr. Football race. Figuring to be the lead back this fall, Sanders could put up even bigger and better numbers this fall coming out of the backfield for the Chiefs.

Ernest Allen – Birmingham Groves

Allen shared time out of the backfield with C.J Boswell a season ago, but now, Allen is the unquestioned lead back for the Falcons this fall. Allen is one of the toughest backs in the state to bring down, because of his size and speed and should be one of the focal points of the Groves offense in 2016.

Tim Cheatham – Detroit Cass Tech

After bursting onto the scene at the beginning of last season, Cheatham returns this fall looking to build on a strong 2015 season. Plenty of attention will be paid to Cass Tech’s passing attack this fall and that should open up running lanes for Cheatham all season long.

LaTommy Scott – Muskegon Catholic Central

While Scott plays at the Division 8 level, there is no overlooking the type of production he has had in his high school career. Muskegon CC enters this fall in pursuit of a fourth straight state championship and Scott has been a big reason why this program has been as successful as it has over the previous three years.

Lance Mitchell – St. Clair Shores South Lake

A season ago at Madison Height Madison, Mitchell rushed for over 1,600 yards and totaled almost 30 touchdowns and will look to continue that type of production this season as he suits up for South Lake.

Keith Fields – Waterford Mott

Rushed for over 1,100 yards as a junior at Lake Orion a season ago, Fields should prove to be a dynamic playmaker out of the backfield in his senior year for Waterford Mott. A quick, shifty running back, Fields gave defenses in the OAA fits a season ago and should do more of the same this year in the KLAA.

Jared Smith - Pewamo-Westphalia

As a commenter pointed out in the section below, Jared Smith is a name that clearly belongs on this list. One of the most productive running backs in the state's history, Smith rushed for over 3,000 yards last year to go along with an MHSAA Record 53 touchdowns after a sophomore season where he put up over 2,000 yards rushing. It's fairly safe to say that Smith should have yet another monstrous year as a senior in 2016.