Run, baby, run.
Even though the high school offense has evolved over the past 10 years to more the spread, no-huddle, mostly passing game, there is not a shortage of running backs in Arizona from which to put together an impressive top 10 list.
Like at quarterback, Chandler High has become a running back factory with two making this list.
Everybody on here possesses speed, power and electrifying moves to make Friday nights must-see football.
Here are my top 10 running backs for the 2015 season:
No. 10 Micah Reed-Campos, Chandler, 5-9, 185, Sr.
On most other teams, he’d be the game changer, the guy with the ball the most. But when he did get the ball the few times he saw it last season, wow, watch out. He made things happen. He had 657 total yards on 59 total touches and 16 touchdowns last season. He’ll catch it, run with it, make you miss. Very good in the slot, and, in space, it’s hard to get a handle on him. Too quick and elusive.
No. 9 Cole McLafferty, Oro Valley Ironwood Ridge, 5-9, 180, Sr.
He will be a third-year starter, gaining speed and swagger each year. Last season, he ran 127 times for 1,079 and 14 TDs with an additional 10 catches. McLafferty is very good in space. When he gets the ball, you never know which way he is headed. When he finds a hole, he gets through in milliseconds and is on his way to the end zone.
No. 8 Dionte Flores, Tucson Flowing Wells, 5-10, 190, Sr.
Incredible moves, Flores ran for 1,423 yards and 24 TDs, playing in only nine games last season. He is very graceful with the ball, and when he sees an opening, he is gone. Flowing Wells is a playoff team with Flores running the ball. The Caballeros will load up on the line and feed Flores the ball as much as possible.
No. 7 Dominique King, Phoenix Thunderbird, 5-8, 185, Sr.
Great last name, because he is king on Friday nights when he has his hands on the ball. King has been getting personalized training this summer and it will show this fall with more speed, durability and strength. Watch for him to easily surpass last year’s numbers: 1,427 rushing yards, 22 touchdowns.
No. 6 Joe Logan, Goodyear Estrella Foothills, 5-11, 195, Sr.
Logan wants to leave the school known as the greatest athlete in its history. He has good company to beat out, because the Hawkins brothers, led by Corey, a basketball scoring machine, went through there. Logan is a freak of nature who is a lock-down defender in basketball and a break-away runner in football with great skills. He averaged almost 10 yards a carry last season. He is looking to score more than the 19 touchdowns he had on the ground last season.
No. 5 Ethan Johnson, Mesa Westwood, 5-9, 195, Sr.
Watch out for this guy under new coach Jim Ewan, who will make sure the workhorse has enough touches to carry his offense. He ran for 1,891 yards and 25 touchdowns, averaging nearly 9 yards a carry, last season when the Warriors made the Division II playoffs. With more muscle and speed, Johnson is ready to join the 2,000-yard club.
No. 4 Roshaun Johnson, Goodyear Desert Edge, 6-1, 230, Jr.
Hard to believe he will only be a junior. He looks like a major-college athlete now. He will be a wrecking ball in the middle of the line, breaking through tackles. It will be difficult for one player to bring him down. This is the player coaches talk to their defenses about when they want to stress multiple players needing to tackle him. He averaged 7.7 yards a carry, running for 1,013 yards and 12 TDs last season when he also caught 16 passes for 264 yards and four TDs.
No. 3 Ryan Velez, Phoenix Brophy Prep, 6-1, 195, Sr.
This will be his third year as the starter, and should be his best yet by far. A workhorse in the weight room, it carries over to the field where he is able to break free of tacklers and take it to the house with exceptional speed. He ran for more than 1,000 yards and 13 TDs and had 16 catches for 110 yards helping the Broncos reach the Division I semifinals last season.
No. 2 Amarii Keyes, Mesa Skyline, 6-0, 190, Sr.
He recently picked up a BYU offer. He is a blur on the field and when tacklers do get their arms around him, he can bust loose. Keyes ran for 1,131 yards and fumbled only once on 162 carries last season. His athleticism and change-of-speed gears put him in the upper echelon. With the move down to Division II, Keyes is the Coyotes’ key to a state championship.
No. 1 Chase Lucas, Chandler, 6-1, 180, Sr.
He has been a varsity starter since his sophomore year, making big gains each year. Now, he’s on top, and there is no going back. He hits the hole faster and harder than anyone in Arizona. He is expected to have his best season yet after playing a key role in the school’s first state championship since the AIA began doing a playoff system in 1959. He saved his last three playoff games last season for his best: 144 yards, four TDs vs. Chandler Basha; 116 yards on 10 carries vs. Phoenix Mountain Pointe; and 101 yards on 15 carries against Chandler Hamilton.