High school football preview: The top 10 running backs

A pair of three-star prospects committed to Power Five schools highlights the list of the area’s top running backs.

SHARE High school football preview: The top 10 running backs
Joliet Catholic’s Jordan Anderson runs the ball during practice on August 12, 2021.

Joliet Catholic’s Jordan Anderson runs the ball during practice on August 12, 2021.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

A pair of three-star prospects committed to Power Five schools highlight the list of the area’s top running backs.

1. Jordan Anderson, Joliet Catholic

Illinois coach Bret Bielema has made big, powerfulbacks a centerpiece of his offense over the years. So it’s no surprise that Anderson has committed to the Fighting Illini. The 6-3, 215-pounder is 19th in the state’s senior class and 82nd nationally among running backs according to the 247Sports composite rankings.

2. Maurice Edwards, Warren

Southeastern Conference schools don’t recruit the Chicago area heavily, but Vanderbilt was impressed enoughwith Edwards to make him a priority. The effort paid off with a commitment from the 6-foot, 198-pounder, who is 16th among the state’s seniors and No. 66 nationally among running backs in 247Sports.com’s composite rankings.

3. Aaron Vaughn, Brother Rice

The 5-10, 185-pounder broke onto the scene as a freshman for Providence in 2018 and remains one of the area’s most productive runners. After transferring to Rice for his senior season, Vaughn islooking to be all-conference in the tough CCL/ESCC for the third straight year.

4. Trevor Burnett, Glenbard South

Air Force is among the schools that have offered Burnett a scholarship. The 5-10, 190-pounder is a top-40 player in the state according to 247Sports.

5. Nick Hissong, Cary-Grove

At 6-1 and 230 pounds, Hissong is the prototypical fullback for the Trojans’ option attack. His power running is especially well-suited for the playoffs, when bad weather can cause problems for pass-oriented teams.

6. Ben Clawson, Hersey

Armyand Air Force have offered Clawson, who had asgood of a spring season as anyone in the area. The 6-foot, 190-pounder averaged 11.7 per touch, finishing with 1,395 yards and 19 touchdowns in six games. Twice he scored five TDs in a game.

Loyola running back Marco Maldonado tries to avoid the defense at practice in Wilmette, Friday, August 20, 2021.

Loyola running back Marco Maldonado tries to avoid the defense at practice in Wilmette, Friday, August 20, 2021.

Kevin Tanaka/For the Sun-Times

7. Marco Maldonado, Loyola

It’s Maldonado’s time now that Sun-Times Player of the Year Vaughn Pemberton has headed off to college at Ball State. The 5-11, 183-pounder split time with Pemberton in the spring against the state’s toughest schedule, averaging 6.0 yards per carry, so he’s ready to carry the load thisfall.

8. Tony Phillips, Bishop McNamara

A 5-6, 170-pound sophomore from a small school may not be on a lot of fans’ radar. But Phillips has exceptional speed and offers from Tennessee, Syracuse and Florida Atlantic, so his profile will only rise.

9. Jalen Buckley, Batavia

The 6-foot, 205-pounder does a little bit of everything for the Bulldogs as a running back and strong safety. He averaged 9.0 yards per touch in the spring with four TDs and also was a state-qualifying long and triple jumper.

10. Kendrick Washington, Shepard

The South Suburban Red Player of the Year in the spring was productive on both sides of the ball: 556 yards (10.2 per carry), nine TDs on offense, four interceptions and one touchdown on defense. A 6-foot, 185-pounder, he has interest from several Division I programs.

The Latest
“It was only because the patient received high-quality CPR immediately that she survived,” said a trauma physician at Stroger Hospital.
“If we had a quarterback last year, we could have won state,” Raiders coach John Ivlow said.
Someone wake Matt Nagy: This play is what the Justin Fields offense is supposed to look like.
The Bears’ pass rush looked good with Quinn and Al-Quadin Muhammad playing together for the first time. Matt Eberflus misses a challenge opportunity. And Trevor Siemian has looked competent as the backup quarterback.