Outside the Huddle and Blitz are counting down who it feels are the top 50 individual players in northeast Indiana heading into the 2020 season.
Today, we unveil five of the best in the area at positions No. 50-46.
No. 50: Isaiah Maxwell, Snider – Junior, OLB
Arguably the most valuable player on defense regardless of scheme or style is the versatile athlete who can line up at all three levels.
Maxwell is that guy for the Panthers.
The junior was one of the leading tacklers for Snider as a sophomore a year ago, amassing 33 total tackles to go with a single sack.
Now a year older and wiser at 6-foot, 190 pounds, expect Maxwell to emerge as one of the more impressive defenders regardless of position in the SAC. While he can line up on the edge up front, his biggest assets are being able to be a punisher at outside linebacker, as well as a guy who can drop in coverage, physical enough to bump a receiver off of his route and athletic enough to break up a pass or grab an interception.
COACH’S QUOTE ON ISAIAH MAXWELL
“Isaiah is a very athletic player that has the ability to play many places on the field. He gives our defense a lot of versatility in the schemes we can employ vs. offenses.” – Snider coach Kurt Tippmann
No. 49: Christian Summersett, South Adams – Senior, RB/LB
When it comes to affecting a game on both sides of the ball, South Adams is loaded with such players. One of the best is Summersett, who accounted for over 1,000 all-purpose yards while 53 tackles and four INTs in 2019. His added bulk will see him move from safety to linebacker this season.
At running back, Summersett’s best game a year ago came in a 15-0 shutout of Woodlan in which he rushed for 266 yards on 40(!) carries. He finished the year with 866 yards on the ground and 11 TDs.
Expect another huge season out of Summersett in 2020.
COACH’S QUOTE ON CHRISTIAN SUMMERSETT
“Summy is one of our toughest and grittiest players. He may love contact more than any player I have ever met. This will be his fourth year starting on defense for us and he will be moving from SS to inside LB. He has great vision at RB and is someone that our better not try to tackle above the waist.” – South Adams coach Grant Moser
No. 48: Jackson Barbour, Leo – Junior, QB
Leo coach Jared Sauder took a chance last year when he tossed the sophomore Barbour into the deep end of the prep football pool – right into starting on Friday nights.
Barbour looked overwhelmed at times, but showcased his potential plenty of instances in helping Leo to a 10-win campaign.
Overall, Barbour threw for 858 yards and eight touchdowns against six INTs while rushing for an additional four scores. The junior’s dual-threat ability may be his greatest asset, similar to fellow junior Jeff Becker at Carroll.
COACH’S QUOTE ON JACKSON BARBOUR
“Jackson has worked extremely hard over the offseason and it has shown so far in our preseason workouts. We are excited to see how he leads our offense and have high expectations for him this upcoming season.” – Leo coach Jared Sauder
No. 47: Nick Munson, East Noble – Junior, WR
On the big stage last season late in the 4A playoffs, East Noble’s sophomore class rose up and performed.
One of those was Munson, who hauled in a combined 14 receptions for 132 yards in the semistate and state championship rounds of the tournament.
Listed at 5-10 and 180 pounds in 2019, Munson wasn’t much to be afraid of when he lined up opposite of defensive backs, but his athleticism and great hands allowed him to be one of quarterback Bailey Parker’s favorite targets.
All told, Munson finished 2019 with 56 receptions for 624 yards and three TDs, second only to Hayden Jones in yardage. He is also very dangerous in special teams as a returner.
Expect Munson to be a safety blanket for new QB Dalton Stinson.
COACH’S QUOTE ON NICK MUNSON
“Nick is going to have a breakout year. Last year he came into the season and really surprised the coaching staff with his toughness, his ability to get open and make big plays. This year he will take the brunt of better defenders, but this offseason he turned himself into an even better athlete and an exceptional route runner.” – East Noble coach Luke Amstutz
No. 46: Tyler Grossman, Concordia Lutheran – Senior, WR
One of the more dynamic big-play receivers in the SAC a year ago, Grossman did not garner much attention during discussions about top wideouts in the league.
But Blitz is here to tell you, Grossman lives off being underestimated. Eight of his 38 receptions in 2019 went for touchdowns and he averaged over 17 yards per reception.
The expected jump in the play of QB Brandon Davis will benefit the Concordia offense in general and Grossman in particular.
This season has the makings of being a year that Grossman finally gets his due.
COACH’S QUOTE ON TYLER GROSSMAN
“Tyler is arguably our best and biggest playmaker on offense and provides good leadership for our team on and off the field. He’s been a productive player for us since he was a sophomore and we expect big things from him during his senior season.” – Concordia Lutheran coach Tim Mannigel
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