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. 25-21.
No. 25: DE/TE Jack Tippmann, senior, Bishop Dwenger
When talking matchups, Tippmann at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds is a problem on both sides of the football.
Defensively, his quickness on the edge coupled with his length is a problem for offensive linemen.
As a tight end, he is quick enough to beat a linebacker in coverage and strong enough to shrug off tackle attempts by defensive backs.
Factor in that Tippmann rushed for over 500 yards and three touchdowns in 2020 and you have a complete package in the senior, a player who can succeed almost anywhere on the field.
An All-State selection as a junior, Tippmann has the tools to stand out on a field full of solid Dwenger players, as well as a field full of Tippmanns.
COACH’S QUOTE ON JACK TIPPMANN
“Jack is a big, strong, athletic defensive end and tight end. He is looking to build upon an outstanding, all-state performance from last season.” – Bishop Dwenger coach Jason Garrett
No. 24: WR/SB Nick Munson, senior, East Noble
Slotting Munson in at one particular position is extremely difficult, considering Coach Luke Amstutz plans to move his senior playmaker all over the field in 2021.
Whether it is outside, inside, in the backfield or back deep in the return game, Munson can do it all. He even sees some spot action on defense when the need arises.
Munson accumulated 1,257 all-purpose yards a year ago and should be an even bigger impact guy as a senior, particularly as East Noble preps to start a sophomore at quarterback. Look for the Knights to find a multitude of ways to get the ball in the hands of Munson.
COACH’S QUOTE ON NICK MUNSON
“Nick may be the heart and soul of the 2021 Knights. He is one of the most unselfish, versatile and talented players we’ve ever had. Look for Nick to line up all over the field and for us to get him the ball however we can. He has worked so hard over his career to turn himself into the best player possible, but the most impressive part about this young man is what kind of teammate and leader he is. I can’t wait to watch Nick have a monster senior year.” – East Noble coach Luke Amstutz
No. 23: DL Matt Miller, senior, Homestead
Interior linemen don’t often get a lot of love. After all, in many schemes they are there just to take up space and to filter plays to the outside where the edge players clean things up.
So it can go without saying that true defensive linemen can get lost. But Miller is tough to miss due to his size and his play. He can anchor the nose spot or shuffle between either tackle positions up front. Homestead likes to move him around to find the mismatch, and Miller is excellent at exploitation.
Miller was named All-SAC Second Team last year after notching 33 tackles and four TFL. Pedestrian numbers perhaps, but his dominance was often not seen in the box score as teams schemed away from the monster up front.
As Homestead looks to capture the SAC Victory Bell for the third straight time, Miller will be a key component of a defense that could be poised to lead the way.
COACH’S QUOTE ON MATT MILLER
“Matt loves the weight room. He is a great athlete who will be a handful to block. He can play all three down lineman positions on defense.” – Homestead coach Chad Zolman
No. 22: RB/DB Sir Hale, senior, Bishop Luers
Big things come in small packages, even in the SAC.
At all of 5-7, Hale punches above his weight on both sides of the football for the Knights. He accounted for 1,361 all-purpose yards in 2020 – scoring eight rushing touchdowns, four receiving and one on a kickoff return. He averaged over seven yards per carry and over 14 yards per reception. Many of his big-yardage receptions went as short routes that he was able to break open with next-level speed and shifty moves.
On defense, Hale is a sure-handed tackler who isn’t afraid to mix it up with players bigger than him. He is a physical defensive back who can play both corner and safety, although he is at his best surveying the defense and calling out adjustments to teammates.
What may be Hale’s greatest asset is his leadership. He isn’t afraid to speak up when needed and has the trust of his coaches to grill a teammate to get him refocused.
COACH’S QUOTE ON SIR HALE
“Sir is a dynamic football player in all three phases of the game. He can tackle and cover from multiple positions on defense. He runs with speed, agility, and power as a running back. He catches the ball well out of the backfield and from the slot. He’s also willing to give himself up as a blocker. His abilities make him a threat in the return game every time he’s back deep… Yet he may be an even better cover player on special teams. His best attributes are the intangibles he brings to the team: hard work, selflessness, and leadership. In short, he’s a special all-around football player who gets it done wherever he’s at on the field.” – Bishop Luers coach Kyle Lindsay
No. 21: RB/FS Shawn Collins, senior, Wayne
Is Collins the best-kept secret in the SAC? Not sure it is possible considering he is entering his third year as a starter, but Collins continues to not get the respect he deserves.
Consider the rushing totals. Over two seasons and 166 carries, Collins has AVERAGED 7.3 yards per carry, an impressive feat considering Wayne has gone 2-19 over that span.
Add to Collins’ resume his playmaking abilities in the receiving and return game and you have the makings of a true stud off Winchester Road.
While Collins will likely see more time on defense as a senior, his bread and butter will remain on offense. If the Generals can take another step forward after a two-win campaign in 2020, Collins should finally get the pub he deserves.
COACH’S QUOTE ON SHAWN COLLINS
“Shawn might be the best non-QB offensive player in the SAC. He has 4.4 speed, 187 pounds with great hands and super cutting ability.” – Wayne coach Sherwood Haydock