BLITZ: Five potential snubs from our preseason top 50 after Week 1

Bishop Dwenger quarterback Sam Campbell warms up prior to August 19’s game against Wayne.

When Outside the Huddle puts together its annual preseason top 50 list, there are always some folks that feel a key player here or there was left off.

Make no mistake, OTH doesn’t pretend to have all the answers, just most of them.

Between potential preseason snubs that bothered Blitz and exceptional Week 1 performances, here are five players that may have legit beef on being left off the top 50; the breakout players from our first Friday night of high school football.

LB Da’von Doughty, senior, North Side

Some folks close to Blitz were shocked that Doughty was left off the top 50, and the senior himself let his displeasure known to this fuzzy bear on Friday.

Doughty is a difference maker on the defensive side of the ball. His physicality and tenacity makes him a player who can force a turnover at any opportunity.

That was on display on Friday against Snider when he blocked an extra point, coming right up the middle and making himself known wearing the No. 1 for North.

Doughty missed the first quarter of last Friday’s game, but the defensive unit was lifted instantly when he checked in in the second.

WR Ajani Washington, junior, Concordia Lutheran

If Blitz had known that the dynamic basketball player was going to hit the gridiron this fall for the Cadets, he would have considered him for the top 50.

The junior’s performance in Week 1 only proved that theory as he hauled in three receptions for 114 yards – all of which went for touchdowns.

Washington is a burner who can get downfield in a hurry, leaving defenders to play catchup. His 6-foot-2 frame gives him an advantage over smaller corners, and his hops are evident in his basketball highlights.

Now a known quantity, we will see if Washington can continue to feast on SAC defenses.

TE/DE Aiden Furnish, junior, Leo

There wasn’t a ton to like for Leo in its 33-13 loss to Kokomo on Friday, but Furnish was a bright spot.

While he is someone who will contribute offensively at tight end, on the edge on defense is where Furnish could make his biggest impact. Against Kokomo, the junior amassed five tackles, two TFL and a sack, while also providing some much-needed vocal leadership on the sidelines. Furnish also supplied a great blindside hit on Kokomo’s quarterback in the second quarter on Friday that forced a fumble and set up a field goal that put Leo up 10-0.

Furnish’s impact may only get more pronounced as the season goes on.

QB/DB Sam Campbell, senior, Bishop Dwenger

While we knew that Campbell was a very solid player on the defensive side of the ball, and his ability at wideout flew under the radar, the question was still out on if Campbell would be a viable QB or not for the Saints.

Now, we are only one week into the season, but so far so good.

Campbell went 10-of-14 for 274 yards and three touchdowns in the Week 1 victory over Wayne. He also added 43 yards rushing that included picking up a pair of first downs with his legs, showcasing his ability to be a dual-threat guy. We knew Campbell was good, not we know he can be good at quarterback and also make great reads on the defense in the process if he has to adapt and take off with it.

RB German Flores-Ortega, senior, Warsaw

Through the first games of last season, Flores-Ortega was the Tigers’ top rusher with close to 600 yards and a team-high 10 touchdowns. But injury issues sidelined him for the rest of the 2021 campaign.

Back and healthy, Flores-Ortega has picked up where he left off, torching a very good Michigan City team for 184 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries in a 28-point Warsaw victory.

The fullback is such an important position within Warsaw’s offensive attack, and Flores-Ortega’s contributions fit the spot perfectly.

Look for him to continue to put up big numbers and show Blitz that he made a mistake leaving him off the top 50 list.

These opinions represent those of Blitz and Outside the Huddle. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers. Follow Blitz on Twitter at Blitz_OTH

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