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Greatest High School Running Back You Ever Saw Play?


NT03
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I know this is a off UNT Football topic , but it's the off season and finding a " HOT" topic can be hard to come by. The signing of the Vernon Lion's Williams brought back some memories for me. Vernon was a powerhouse in the late 80s and early 90s. They had a few memorable battles with the Southlake Carroll Dragons that I attended. While watching these games and a few others , I saw one of greatest High School Running Backs, Vernon's Derrick Richardson. I know he was recruited by all the big boys at the time , Notre Dame, Miami,Florida St., etc. Richardson lacked the SAT scores to get in. I believe he went on to a JUCO college , but I never heard anything else from him. I never got to see Cedric Benson in HS , so he might have gotten this vote if I had. So my vote goes to

Derrick Richardson 1989-90(?) Vernon Lions.

A few other greats I got to see in person , Skip Hicks , Burkburnett ( UCLA, Washington Redsins)

Tyson Thompson , Irving ( SJSU, Dallas Cowboys)

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Although I barely remember it b/c I was just a tot, I got to see the "Tyler Rose" Earl Campbell run all over my Longview Lobos. I was just in grade school at the time, but remember thinking, "Why is that MAN out there playing high school football?"

I also saw Cedric Bensen play in a state championship game in DKR Memorial Stadium. I think it was against Austin Westlake. Aside from Cedric bowling over people I remember the offensive line meeting seperately from the rest of the team during the pre game ritual. As great as Cedric was in high school, he still owed a lot to his o-line.

GO MEAN GREEN !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I saw Cedric Benson play twice when he was in high school, and he was definitely a man amongst boys, but a year later I watched a kid from Austin who played for Reagan High School who was the the closest thing to Barry Sanders i had ever seen. His name I believe was Caron Arterberry. In playoff game against the Bastrop Bears he was the sole reason they beat Bastrop. It seemed like ever time he touched the ball he ran for no less than twenty yards. I remember that game going down to the wire and Arteberry having the most impressive performance I have seen to this day (with exception to Sam McGuffie but that was just on youtube).

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I'm deviating from the topic a bit...but i was a high school kid in Fort Worth (this is how I'm quantifying my response) and I remember going to almost every home TCU game and watching LaDanian Tomlinson run around, through and over WAC linebackers and safeties every week. He was an absolute joy to watch play the game and hands down my favorite NFL player to this day.

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I'm deviating from the topic a bit...but i was a high school kid in Fort Worth (this is how I'm quantifying my response) and I remember going to almost every home TCU game and watching LaDanian Tomlinson run around, through and over WAC linebackers and safeties every week. He was an absolute joy to watch play the game and hands down my favorite NFL player to this day.

My first thoughts, too. I witnessed (at my Miner's expense) his 400+ yard game that broke the NCAA record (all divisions? can't remember) for most yards in a game.

I saw LT at least two or three times and I have yet to ever see anything match him. He was the best north-south and east-west running I ever saw, and once he got behind the defense's LB bubble he knocked off pursuing DB's like flies. The guy just has everything: strength, speed, etc. I've heard his squat in the weight room is un-f'n-real. Like CBL, he's one of my favorite NFLers to watch.

Back to the high school theme, the greatest running backs I've ever seen in person were both from Midland Lee: Benson and his immediate predecessor...can't remember his name though. He was a little bit slower than Cedric, but could run through the line like a train.

PS: I forgot Eric Winston was from Lee. He played TE for them and was an absolute beast. Lee and my alumn (EP Franklin) frequently meet each other year in and out in the regular season and playoffs.

Lee on Wiki

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The best high school back I ever saw was Paul Rice when he played for Lewisville High in the early seventies. He was recruited by every big college in the country. Unfortunately, he pissed all of his chances away with poor behevior.

He was kicked out of USC, Ranger Jr. College, SMU and TCU and still was signed as a free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles. He was one of the last players cut.

All that talent and no common sense.

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The greatest high school running back I saw in person was Tellis Redmon from Grapevine/Colleyville fame. I played for Coppell so we met on the field. The greatest HS back I saw in person was a quarterback and that was Odell James of Aldine Macarthur. That guy was amazing.

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An old teammate of mine,whom you guys my recognize, Byron Hanspard from DeSoto, Texas. He went on to rip up Div 1A at Texas Tech.

Greatest High School Back I've ever seen.

This is mine too. When I was in high school DeSoto was still in our district and he torched South Garland in every way possible. I believe he had two special team td's and over 150 on the ground. Hands down the best hs rb I've seen in person.

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Shawn Walters from my alma mater Arlington Lamar is my choice. He played in the early nineties and took Lamar to the state championship game (where the aforementioned Odell James ran all over us, as a sophomore!). Walters was 230 pounds in high school with speed.

He was the starting tailback at USC for one season before he got hooked up with boosters and was kicked out of school. I think he tried Canadian football, but it didn't work out. Another waste of a great talent.

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I saw Jerod Douglas of Converse Judson for three years. He was the most amazing RB I've ever seen. He was a mix between Barry Sanders and LT. He went to Baylor and had a decent career, but I don't know what happened to him.

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Steve Worster of the Bridge City Indians. Saw him play in a bi-district game near Clear Lake City (near Houston).

DKR signed him at UT where he joined a backfield that included Super Bill Bradley, Chris Gilbert and ___?___ Bertelson. That group of UT Longhorns would win 30 games in a row.

Then in 1969 UT played for the national championship in the (then) Game of the Century versus Frank Broyles UA Razorbacks (which was largely composed of a team that the Mean Green had all but had beaten only one year before).

In fact, the Mean Green's late, great Ron Shanklin told me (and Abner Haynes) at Fort Worth's Dos Gringos years ago that a former Razorback on that team later told him UNT really got screwed in that game by the SWC zebras and should have won the scoreboard aspects of that game. Just think what kind of quality must have been on our 1968 University of North Texas Mean Green football team?!?!? :blink:

PS: Also saw Paul Rice of Lewisville when they played Denton HS at their old Bronco Stadium. He didn't seem to be on his game that night, though.

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Steve Worster of the Bridge City Indians. Saw him play in a bi-district game near Clear Lake City (near Houston).

DKR signed him at UT where he joined a backfield that included Super Bill Bradley, Chris Gilbert and ___?___ Bertelson. That group of UT Longhorns would win 30 games in a row.

Then in 1969 UT played for the national championship in the (then) Game of the Century versus Frank Broyles UA Razorbacks (which was largely composed of a team that the Mean Green had all but had beaten only one year before).

In fact, the Mean Green's late, great Ron Shanklin told me (and Abner Haynes) at Fort Worth's Dos Gringos years ago that a former Razorback on that team later told him UNT really got screwed in that game by the SWC zebras and should have won the scoreboard aspects of that game. Just think what kind of quality must have been on our 1968 University of North Texas Mean Green football team?!?!? :blink:

PS: Also saw Paul Rice of Lewisville when they played Denton HS at their old Bronco Stadium. He didn't seem to be on his game that night, though.

Out of the same Texas backfield, I saw Billy Dale (#22) and his Odessa Permian team play at Amon Carter Stadium against Texarkana. Dale wasn't particularly impressive, but (like he did in the first Texas/Notre Dame Cotton Bowl game), he got the job done. Texarkana's Robbie Patman was much more impressive that day, but Permian, and Dale, made the plays when they had to.

During the same era, I saw Jacksboro's Glen King play. He was an all-state RB and ended up playing for Oklahoma.

I also saw a pretty impressive performance from John Griggs of Plano in a regional game vs my old High School (Decatur) in 1966.

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Dexter Butler put on quite a show for Vernon against Carroll in the early 90s. I heard he dropped out of school and went to the army.

I forgot all about that guy , yes DB was a stud. Vernon has always had a great athletes. The only one I can recall making to the NFL was James Dixon , who went on to play KR/WR for a short time with the Cowboys.

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---I live in Midland... Benson was very good. and the person prior to him was named Strambler who also excelled at being a jerk. He did nothing in college. I also saw Steve Worster of Bridge City who later led UT to a National championship in 1969 when they ran the wishbone and won 30 consecutive games. The day I saw him against Brownwood he got 30 whooping yards until reserves played the final couple of minutes... however Brownwood had shut out 9 opponents that year (plus Bridge City) and only one team had managed more than 10 points. I was a Brownwood highschool/elementary school classmate with Max Emfinger and he very good considering his size. He was very determined, quick, and hard to bring down because he had the ability to often spin out of tackles..

My vote for THE BEST is Earl Campbell, did not see him, but knew a lot of people who did. He was a man playing with a bunch of kids.

Edited by SCREAMING EAGLE-66
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