I’m expecting a huge year from the backs, there are going to be games where the top backs go for 250-300 yards and five and six touchdowns. I could have gone ten deep easy, but we’re going with this top five and a sleeper at No. 5 from Workman. Just an FYI, Walnut’s Leonard Rhodes would have been on this list, but I don’t want to double up, he will be featured later on defense. In fact, Rhodes is arguably the biggest impact player in the Valley. BTW, I think Adam Muema should change his number to 12. That way we could nickname him “Adam 12” in honor of one of my favorite TV series from the 70s. I know, it’s lame, but I can’t come up with anything better than Awesome Adam, can you?
Area’s Top Five Running Backs
1. Adam Muema, Charter Oak, Sr.
Height: 6-1, Weight: 190
The skinny: The Miramonte League first-team selection helped lead the Chargers to the Southeast Division championship and was among the area leaders with 1,922 yards and 29 touchdowns, averaging 137 yards and over eight yards a carry. Sought after by many top-notch Division I schools, Muema has all the tools, quick, strong, fast, agile and shifty, and can change a game in an instant. He’s the reason why many are predicting that the Chargers will win back-to-back divisional titles.
2. Ricky Johnson, West Covina, Sr.
Height: 6-0, Weight: 190
The skinny: Was the surprise underclassman of 2008 after a breakthrough season that earned him San Antonio League first team honors and a Tribune all-area second team selection. He helped lead the Bulldogs to the San Antonio league title and a Southeast Division semifinal appearance. He gives as hard as he gets, and has breakaway speed in the open field.
3. Jordan Canada, South Hills, Sr.
Height: 5-10, Weight: 195
The skinny: Had a monster season for Duarte High School before transferring to South Hills. He rushed for 1,956 yards and 19 touchdowns, averaging 195 yards a game. He rushed for over 200 yards in six games, topping off with a 347-yard, four touchdown performance in a 54-0 win over Bassett. Now in the Huskies’ green-and-white, he’s not only hoping to lead South Hills back to the San Antonio League title and Southeast Divisional title, but also is playing for a division one scholarship.
4. Andre Holmes, Glendora, Sr.
Height: 6-0, Weight: 190
The skinny: Was the perfect compliment to former quarterback Drew Kaluzny, rushing for 1,131 yards and 14 touchdowns for the Sierra League champions. In the CIF-Southern Section Central Division first-round game, Holmes was handed the ball a season-high 23 times, and showed what he could do with it, rushing 260 yards with three touchdowns in a 56-21 blowout over West Valley Hemet. With a bigger role expected in 2009, Holmes could be the stable force that drives the Tartans attack.
5. Kalin Bradford, Workman, Sr.
Height: 6-0, Weight: 215
The skinny: A sleeper selection that could end up leading the area in rushing and touchdowns when the season is through. Many are considering the Lobos to be one of the favorites to win the Montview League and with the departure of Duarte’s Jordan Canada to South Hills, Bradford emerges as the league’s top returning back after rushing for 774 yards.