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High School Football Preview: The Running Backs

Stevie Rocker (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

THE RUNNING BACKS

Just like the QB position, graduation hit Southern Arizona hard with seven 1,000-yard rushers graduating including Salpointe standout Bijan Robinson. Robinson’s career is legendary, and perhaps a once in a decade talent, so the current crop of backs should move forward free of any realistic comparison.

Desert View had two 1,000-yard rushers last season (Serge Gboweiah and Carlos Alvarez) and Sahuaro came close to having three.

STEVIE ROCKER, CANYON DEL ORO

Canyon del Oro senior running back Stevie Rocker (6-0, 195) missed two games a sophomore for the Dorados but he still managed to gain 1,163 yards on 130 carries for 8.9 yards a pop with 12 touchdowns. His junior season was hampered by an ankle injury and he was only able to add 371 yards to his total but he was able to condition and add ten pounds to frame to prepare for his senior season.

Rocker committed to play for the University of Arizona last week:

“It means more than I can explain, it’s awesome being able to represent the homegrown product.”

BIJAN ROBINSON RECORDS

BIG SCHOOL CAREER RUSHING
(7,036)

ARIZONA CAREER TDS
(114)

BIG SCHOOL RUSHING TDS
(103)

POINTS IN A CAREER
(686)

NOTABLES
Third player in Arizona history to rush for 7,000 yards.
Only player to have three 2,000-yard rushing seasons.
Only two-time Ed Doherty winner.

THE NEXT TEN

Serge Gboweiah, Desert View Jr. (1,404/10)
Carlos Alvarez, Desert View Jr. (1,078/10)
Hunter Ogle, Santa Cruz Sr. (1,844/13)
Gabe Levy, Cienega Sr. (982/11)
Jamir Gasaway, Sahuaro Sr. (942/11)
Evan Lovett, Pusch Ridge Sr. (779/9)
Trevion Watkins, Sahuaro Sr. (760/11)
Tory Walters, Buena Sr. (760/11)
Giovanni Walls, Flowing Wells Sr. (736/9)
Isiah Hill, Amphitheater Sr. (706/9)

STATE RECORDS FROM SOUTHERN ARIZONA

Former Sabino standout Nathan Wize (1997) is still in the record books with 51 touchdowns in a season and 306 points in a season. He rushed for 3,101 yards in 1997 but that mark was passed in 2002 by Marcus Thomas of Tolleson (3,573). Wize went on to play for Cincinnati.

Nathan Wize (Family Photo)

LINK: THE QBS

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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019 and he is a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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