Football Preview: Top 10 running backs

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A look at the area’s best running backs this season.

1. Ivory Kelly-Martin, Oswego East senior, 5-11, 195 pounds

Kelly-Martin rushed for 2,036 yards (a 10.7 average) and 33 touchdowns at Nazareth last season before transferring to Oswego East. Kelly-Martin has committed to Iowa.

2. Prince Walker, Montini senior, 5-10, 180

Walker has breakout speed and exceptional field vision. Committed to Western Michigan, Walker helped lead the Broncos to the class 6A state title last season.

3. Jordan Rowell, IC Prep senior, 6-2, 188

Rowell gained 1,682 yards and averaged 8.4 yards last season. Rowell, who is committed to NIU, is expected to play defensive back at the next level, but is athletic enough to make an impact all over the field.

4. Justin Hall, Homewood-Flossmoor junior, 5-10, 180

Hall exploded onto the scene this summer with big performances at every camp on the circuit. He played mostly defensive back last season because of the Vikings’ depth.

5. Jordan Nettles, Romeoville senior, 5-9, 180

The speedy Nettles is explosive and hard to catch and bring down if the turns the corner.

6. Kamari Mosby, Phillips senior, 5-10, 180

Mosby has speed and ability to make something out of nothing. He helped lead the Wildcats to the Class 4A state title last season.

7. Cameron Ruiz, Lakes senior, 5-10, 165

The Northwestern commit, who totaled 733 yards and eight touchdowns last season, also plays cornerback, safety and special teams. In addition to his football prowess, Ruiz won the long jump and triple jump at the Class 3A state track meet in May.

8. Michael Kennedy, Mount Carmel senior, 6-2, 195

Kennedy is a powerful athlete who can make an impact in the run and pass game. Has committed to NIU.

9. Tyler Pennington, Cary-Grove senior, 5-11, 220

An impact player for the Trojans since his sophomore year, amassing 4,376 rushing yards in his career. The consistent fullback averages 130 yards per game.

10. Rondel Jamison, Carmel senior, 5-9, 180

The two-time all-conference player scored 13 touchdowns and had 1,159 yards on 171 carries last season. He could become the leading rusher in school history this season and has drawn interest from Purdue.

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