Top 5 AA/A Runningbacks in WV for 2019

Photo by Michael Uhl (The Parkersburg News and Sentinel)

For a look at all offensive positions, download our 2019 Offensive Skill Scout Sheet for $7.99 ~ spreadsheet of nearly 100 players with metrics and our chipping system!

Honorable Mention

Zhantei Calloway (Nitro) 2020
Owen McClanahan (Poca) 2020
Zackary Frye (Man) 2020

#5 Donathan Taylor

Photo by Michael Uhl (The Parkersburg News and Sentinel)

School: Williamstown
Height: 5’11
Weight: 175
Year: 2020

Taylor had a breakout junior campaign partnering with now graduated quarterback, Carter Haynes, to return the Yellowjackets to the A title game. He was a force not only at runningback but also defensive back- he could be top five on either list. He runs much bigger than 180 pounds and has potentially breakaway speed if given the space. Taylor runs with aggression and has a variety of moves. The Williamstown offense will revolve around him even moreso in the coming season as they attempt to return to Wheeling.

#4 Mark Rucker

School: Tyler Consolidated
Height: 6’0
Weight: 200
Year: 2020

Rucker was predicted to be a playmaker in 2018, and he delivered. Beside Griffin Phillips, Rucker was one of the more prolific dual-threat athletes on offense being a capable runner and receiver. His strides are long and that length allows him to keep defenders off him while also being a dominant receiver. The Silver Knights had a powerful offense that put up the most points all season on defensive juggernauts Doddridge County and Wheeling Central. Rucker will have one last go around and will look to get even more touches to finish off a memorable career.

#3 Hunter America

Photo by Sam Santilli (WV News)

School: Doddridge County
Height: 5’8
Weight: 185
Year: 2020

America arrived on our 2018 list as a to-watch player and ended as the have-to-watch player. Quickly, he started off with bonker performances including a 450-yard outing week two. His pace never dropped much despite missing games and/or not playing second halves. He would finish with almost 3,000 yards, 40 touchdowns, and among the national rushing leaders. America is explosive, tenacious, and such a mixture of grit and legit football athleticism that his numbers make sense. He, along with a handful of other all-state players, returns for Doddridge County as the apparent best shot to keep Wheeling Central from a three-peat.

#2 Ethan Payne

School: Poca
Height: 6’1
Weight: 210
Year: 2021

Poca was West Virginia’s sweetheart program of 2018. Turning a long losing streak into a 3-7 season then Seth Ramsey hitting the gas and going 9-2 the next year. The Dots had many good players but their engine was Payne. Before his season-ending injury, Poca was undefeated and ranked in the top eight of the all-class by our C&C ratings. He is a pure athlete. Tall, fast, agile, and strong. Payne is a standout in multiple sports and has been a force on the gridiron running the ball since his freshman year. His ceiling is high as he returns for unfinished business in 2019.

#1 JJ Davis

Photo by Jessica Nuzzo (Bluefield Daily Times)

School: Bluefield
Height: 6’1
Weight: 200
Year: 2020

Well, if you thought the river ran dry after Mookie Collier, Truck Edwards, Arnold Martin, and Juice Edwards… we have some troubling news. Despite splitting carries with two other all-state backs, Davis still boasted over 1,000 yards on minimal carries. In 2019, he will be the lone feature back most likely. He is as prototypical of a three-down back as they come. Good height, long strides, slasher mindset, and the speed to break the big plays. Davis has waited and grinded to be the lone feature back and expect him to output hellacious numbers for Fred Simon this year.

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