Outside the Huddle and Blitz are counting down who they feel are the top 50 players in northeast Indiana heading into the 2022 season.
Today, we continue unveiling the best players in the area with positions No. 45-41.
No. 45: WR Kamari Juarez, senior, Snider
While Snider was taken down by Bishop Dwenger in sectional play a year ago, Juarez did his part with a pair of receiving touchdowns and a long return on a kickoff that put the Panthers in good field position.
Juarez was Snider’s leading receiver last season in receptions, yards and touchdowns, and returns in 2022 hauling in balls from the same quarterback – Luke Haupert.
Juarez’s straight-line 4.5 speed allows him to blow by corners who line up in man across from him, even quick enough to shrug off jam attempts right after the snap. But the quickness is only one aspect of the senior’s game. He is one of the best at playing the ball in the air, turning his head and getting himself in position as the pass comes in. It sounds simple, but merely because Juarez makes it look so.
Don’t be surprised if Juarez goes over 10+ receiving touchdowns this year for the Panthers.
COACH’S QUOTE ON KAMARI JUAREZ
“Kamari has been a two-year starter for us and brings a wealth of experience to our WR group. He is a WR that possesses the speed to win one-on-one matchups and has great ball skills to win 50-50 type balls. He also is a home run threat in the kick return game as he has multiple returns for TDs in his two years. I am most proud of his leadership development over this past offseason and really looking forward to watching him help our offense excel this season.” – Snider coach Kurt Tippmann
No. 44: QB Riley Buroff, senior, Churubusco
You don’t have to put up gaudy offensive numbers to be considered a good quarterback. Sometimes, it is how you run a particular scheme that puts you on the radar.
Enter Buroff, who attempted just 71 passes a year ago with the Eagles. But in a scheme that prioritizes running and…more running, Buroff is the perfect complement.
Knowing every fake, counter and read behind center is critical to Churubusco’s success. With multiple years as a starter, all that is second nature to Buroff. He threw for 752 yards and eight touchdowns in 2021, but also rushed for 475 yards and 10 scores.
The moment you allow yourself to get comfortable defending the run against the Eagles, Buroff strikes through the air.
COACH’S QUOTE ON RILEY BUROFF
“Riley is a very gifted athlete who trains year-round to get faster and stronger. His work ethic and approach to training and practice is a great example for his teammates. We are fortunate to have him as a part of our team for one more year.” – Churubusco coach Paul Sade
No. 43: RB/LB Mav Summersett, senior, South Adams
Not many players compete with the toughness and tenacity that Summersett does.
No opponent is too big to tackle or to run over when it comes to Summersett’s demeanor. Last season, he rushed for over 550 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Starfires while accumulating 139 tackles, a pair of sacks and an interception.
A two-way stud who never seems to tire, Summersett will continue to be the top running back for South Adams, but in 2022 he will move to middle linebacker as he looks to continue his aggressive ways as one of the focal points of the defensive unit.
COACH’S QUOTE ON MAV SUMMERSETT
“Mav has put an emphasis on the weight room over the last couple years. He is our most physical player on both sides of the ball. He runs the ball in a bad mood looking for contact.” – South Adams coach Grant Moser
No. 42: OL/DL Dylan Velez, junior, Bellmont
Many folks went into the 2021 season not knowing who Dylan Velez was, even in the NE8.
By season’s end, he had shown why he is one of the top two-way linemen around, evidenced by his selection to the All-NE8 First Team.
The 6-foot, 220-pound Velez demands attention on both sides of the line of scrimmage. A versatile player who can play multiple positions, identifying where No. 52 is pre-snap has become customary for opposing coaches.
As a sophomore, Velez was one of the Bellmont’s leaders in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks. The fact that he was relentless every snap despite playing both ways showcased just how hungry he is.
As Bellmont looks to move up in the league, it is players like Velez who are going to help make it happen.
COACH’S QUOTE ON DYLAN VELEZ
“Dylan came into his sophomore year as kind of an unknown around the conference. He quickly made a name for himself. He’s strong, fast and physical and he demands a double team on every play. He will end up being a four-year starter on both sides of the ball once he graduates and should add a few more accolades these next two seasons. I look for Dylan to have a big year for us and to be one of our leaders on and off the field.” – Bellmont coach Nick Hall
No. 41: OL Jordan King, junior, North Side
Big, hulking offensive linemen with a nasty edge aren’t necessarily commonplace in these parts, but North Side definitely has one in Jordan King.
At 6-foot-5, 310 pounds, most picture King as a slow-moving behemoth. While he definitely fits the behemoth description, he is far from slow moving – evidenced by the fact that he also suits up for the North Side basketball team.
But King’s forte is football, and destroying defenders at the point of attack. His leverage is sound and is footwork is deceptively active. And he carries his 300+ pounds well considering how tall he is.
So much talk about the Legends’ offense entering this season revolves around the skill positions, but the role of King up front cannot be overlooked.
COACH’S QUOTE ON JORDAN KING
“Jordan is a flat-out beast. He earned his first Division I offer from Ball State with many more to come. He has started every game for us since his freshman season. He can play all five positions on the offensive line. I am excited to see how he plays this year for us because he had a great offseason in the weight room..” – North Side coach Ben Johnson