Outside the Huddle and Blitz are counting down who they feel are the top 50 individual players in northeast Indiana heading into the 2021 season.
Today, we continue unveiling the best players in the area with positions No. 35-31.
No. 35: RB Tyrese Brown, senior, Snider
Lost in all of the focus on Snider going “only” 5-5 in 2020 was the play of Brown, who eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season in the Panthers’ sectional game loss.
A quick, elusive back who has breakaway speed, Brown enters the season as one of the best at his position in the SAC. He bursts through the hole with purpose and his lateral movement can make defenders miss almost effortlessly.
Brown led Snider with 13 touchdowns a season ago to go with 1,004 yards. He averaged 6.3 yards per rush and routinely went over 100 yards in a game.
With Snider poised to have a more explosive offense in 2021, Brown will be the beneficiary. A more dynamic passing attack will lead to more opportunities in the run game as defenses are forced to respect both.
Look for Brown to easily eclipse his rush total from a season ago.
COACH’S QUOTE ON TYRESE BROWN
“Tyrese brings a year of experience and being a 1,000-yard rusher to our offense. He has gained 10 lbs. of good muscle and has worked hard to increase speed this off-season. He will be a huge asset to our offensive run game.” – Snider coach Kurt Tippmann
No. 34: K Carter Dixon, senior, Homestead
With one of the strongest and most accurate legs in the area, Dixon is quite the weapon for Homestead in all facets of the kicking game.
Last year, close to 30 percent of his kickoffs went as touchbacks, while he averaged over 40 yards per punt. He hit a season-long 42-yard field goal against South Side and was as close to automatic as it comes in extra points.
Special teams is often overlooked, but can be the difference between a win and a loss in big games. The Spartans have a guy they can trust in that regard with Dixon.
COACH’S QUOTE ON CARTER DIXON
“Carter has a strong leg and has been pretty consistent for us as a kicker.” – Homestead coach Chad Zolman
No. 33: WR/CB Trey Schoch, senior, South Adams
Sometimes the hype of the moment can get the best of players. Trey Schoch is not one of those players.
As a junior on the big stage in the Class 1A State Championship last November, Schoch scored a pair of touchdowns in South Adams’ close loss. Overall, he caught 40 passes for 758 yards and nine scores for the Starfires while also serving as the team’s primary return man.
Defensively, Schoch is one of South Adams’ top on-ball defenders, with three INTs and five passes defended. He exploded onto the scene last year in the playoffs on that side of the ball and will be a bigger presence in 2021.
Now a senior, Schoch is expected to be one of the top playmakers in all of the ACAC.
COACH’S QUOTE ON TREY SCHOCH
“Trey is electric. He has the chance to take it to the house every time he touches the ball. He loves the big stage. He had two touchdowns in the state championship game last year. We are expecting big things from him.” – South Adams coach Grant Moser
No. 32: LB/RB Rylan Whitacre, junior, Heritage
When Whitacre set the single-game tackle record for Heritage a season ago against Norwell with 16, it opened many people’s eyes to the Monroeville talent.
Turns out, Whitacre would equal that number against Adams Central and six times went for double-digit tackles overall in 2020.
Whitacre has the mindset that many coaches wish their players had. He doesn’t care how big he is or a ball carrier is, he is attacking with 100 percent effort. He goes every play just as hard as the previous snap.
Still just a junior, Whitacre should be able to eclipse the 100-tackle mark this season. He is also very underrated when it comes to creating havoc in the offensive backfield.
COACH’S QUOTE ON RYLAN WHITACRE
“Relentless. All. The. Time.” – Heritage coach Casey Kolkman
No. 31: RB Julius Jones, senior, Warsaw
Anytime you have a running back who averages a first down PER CARRY, you know you have someone special.
Enter Jones, who did just that for the Tigers a season ago in Coach Bart Curtis’ flexbone offense.
A season ago, Jones finished with 77 carries for 770 yards, with Curtis pointing out to OTH how the “stupid head coach” should have fed him the ball more.
Jones will contribute in a variety of ways for Warsaw in 2021. He will returns kicks and punts, can play quarterback when the need arises and can contribute on defense in a pinch. But his bread and butter is in the offensive backfield, where he is one of the best at his position that not many in this area know about.
COACH’S QUOTE ON JULIUS JONES
“Julius has done such a great job working to make himself stronger, faster and better. The bigger the game, the bigger the arena, the better he plays. The greatest thing about the kids is he is a fun kid to coach.” – Warsaw coach Bart Curtis