Chaffey’s Michael Dean ready to hit the ground running

VIDEO: Chaffey’s Michael Dean talks about preparing for his season.

Last year Chaffey High School’s Michael Dean rushed for 1,373 yards with more than 100 yards in 10 of 11 contests. He also played defensive back and was a big-play threat on special teams.

He was a first team All-CIF and first team All-Inland Valley selection.

But the college offers didn’t exactly start flowing in. He admits it was a little discouraging. But chalk that up to his size rather than his ability. He stands only 5-foot-5. No matter what your speed, 5-5 isn’t going to land you many offers.

But some are starting to see past the size, or lack there of.

Two offers came last month, the first coming from NCAA Division II Western New Mexico, the other coming from NAIA Trinity International (Chicago, Ill.).

Azusa Pacific, which has made quite the splash in its infancy at the Division II level, has shown a lot of interest and he admits that option looks enticing should he actually get an offer.

“That definitely takes the pressure off,” he said of the two offers he has now. “I am starting to feel a lot better about things.”

Dean has worked hard during the off-season to prepare for the coming season, bulking up about 15 pounds and adding some muscle to his diminutive frame. He averaged 15 or so carries a year ago but with backfield mate James Oxier and quarterback James Leon both having departed, coach Chris Brown says he could get twice that.

He is used to playing full-time on defense too but if he needs a break, that’s where his break will come.

He had always competed in track in the spring but did little this year because he had a broken bone in his pelvis. That sidelined him for two months but he is back stronger than ever.

His speed has gotten better, improving from a 4.48 to a 4.40 in the 40.

“I feel really good,” he said. “I’m really excited about this season and being able to do everything I can to help us win.”

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