High school football preview: The top 10 running backs

A four-star prospect and three Public League standouts are among the area’s top running backs.

SHARE High school football preview: The top 10 running backs
Morgan Park’s Tysean Griffin (1) takes off on a 48-yard touchdown run against Amundsen.

Morgan Park’s Tysean Griffin (1) takes off on a 48-yard touchdown run against Amundsen.

Kevin Tanaka/For the Sun-Times

A four-star prospect and three Public League standouts are among the area’s top running backs.

Here’s a rundown:

1. Tysean Griffin, Morgan Park

The 5-11, 165-pounder didn’t play his first high school game till March 2021 because of the pandemic, but had his first Division I offer two weeks later. Now the versatile two-way standout has 13, from the likes of Arkansas, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Michigan State, Tennessee and Wisconsin. He’s a four-star prospect ranked eighth in Illinois and in the top 325 nationally in the 247Sports.com composite ratings.

2. Darrion Dupree, Mount Carmel

Another junior from the South Side, Dupree is a three-star prospect ranked 22nd among junior running backs, ninth in Illinois and 350th overall nationally. He has 17 offers, including Cincinnati, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Rutgers.

3. Tony Phillips, Kankakee

The 5-6, 170-pound junior already has won four state track titles, sweeping the Class 1A 100- and 200-meter dashes each of the past two seasons. A three-star transfer from Bishop McNamara, he’s a top-15 player in the state and top-40 running back nationally. His 10 offers include Arkansas and Tennessee.

4. Vinny Rugai, St. Ignatius

Few players fill a stat sheet like this 5-11, 190-pound senior. He ran 198 times for 1,275 yards and 16 touchdowns last year; at linebacker, he had 58 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. He’s a four-year starter and a big reason for the Wolfpack’s breakout season in 2021.

5. Jaydon Wright, Bishop McNamara

The 5-10, 220-pounder is ranked 13th among Illinois juniors and 35th nationally among running backs. He has 11 offers, including Minnesota and Purdue.

6. Nathan Greetham, Prairie Ridge

When the Wolves have a proven fullback in their trademark option offense, they tend to play deep into November in Class 6A. Greetham, a 5-8, 175-pounder, fits that description and he’s also a standout in the classroom with a 3.8 grade-point average.

7. Ethan Middleton, St. Rita

Yet another junior from the South Side, this 5-11, 180-pounder is a three-star prospect ranked in the top 15 among Illinois juniors and 78th nationally among athletes. He has a Penn State offer and likely will be getting many more.

8. Joshua Robinson, Bolingbrook

The Raiders have a long tradition of producing quality backs and Robinson is the latest member of the club. A 6-2, 210-pounder, his 12 offers include Air Force, Army and Northern Illinois.

9. Andre Crews, Simeon

One of the area’s premier two-way players, Crews was a first-team All-Public League pick last season as a defensive back. The 5-9, 180-pound senior is being recruited primarily as a cornerback and his seven offers include Kentucky and Air Force.

10. Davonte Johnson, Kenwood

The Broncos have as much top-level talent as any program in the area and Johnson is part of that group. The 5-11, 170-pound senior’s offers include Army and Navy.

The Latest
The relationship has suffered since the ornate cake stand shattered.
Ald. William Hall and Pastor John Boston at Shiloh Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 7000 S. Michigan Ave., led prayers for the community and families of victims of violence.
The result marks the Ramblers’ first home victory against a ranked team in 38 years. Loyola moved a half-game behind first-place Richmond in the Atlantic 10.
The man, 48, was inside his home when a man he knew attacked him with a knife during an argument.