Blitz and Outside the Huddle are counting down who they feel are the top 50 individual players in northeast Indiana heading into the 2023 season.
Today, we enter the top 25.
No. 25: DB/WR Kam Zeisloft, junior, Leo
Smooth, shifty and smarts are a trio of adjectives that can be used to describe Zeisloft, who broke out in a big way as a sophomore in all three facts of the game.
He was one of the area’s leaders in interceptions with six on the season to go with 49 solo tackles, six passes broken up and a pair of forced fumbles.
The junior plays bigger than his 5-foot-9 frame with an impressive ability to high point the ball and bring in balls in traffic both as a defender and as a receiver.
Zeisloft’s versatility also shined offensively as he hauled in 32 receptions for 384 yards and four TDs. He also ran for a pair of scores and served as one of Leo’s primary returners on the kickoff and punt teams.
COACH’S QUOTE ON KAM ZEISLOFT:“Kamden is a great all-around football player. He possesses great instincts at safety. He is great in pass coverage but also physical in the run game. Offensively, he is an explosive receiver who can make big plays happen. He also helps in the return game as well.” – Leo coach Jason Doerffler
No. 24: OL Ethan Dodson, senior, Snider
The 6-4, 280-pound Dodson is a vicious dude. He is quick to get leverage out of his stance and utilizes his big frame and power to drive opposing players off the play.
Dodson is one of those linemen that will not stop until he hears the whistle – and even then he will complete the block to the ground.
While big, Dodson is far from lumbering, with footwork that allows him to stay engaged and keep defenders off Snider’s skill players.
When you look at the Panthers’ ability to command the line of scrimmage this season offensively, Dodson is a big piece of the equation.
COACH’S QUOTE ON ETHAN DODSON:“Ethan is an Air Force commit and a very experienced O-lineman for us. He is a big man with ability to move his feet. He will also play on both sides of the ball. A player with great character, work ethic and leadership for our team..” – Snider coach Kurt Tippmann
No. 23: RB/LB Mickey Daring, senior, Bishop Luers
Daring is one of those players that seems to have been around forever. He has in a sense, having made an impact as a freshman and growing from there.
With deceptive speed and the ability to move a pile forward, Daring rushed for 300 yards and eight touchdowns last year.
Utilizing his leverage built from his years on the wrestling mat, Daring excels at owning the point of attack at linebacker. He finished with 49 tackles, 10 TFL and a team-high four sacks a season ago closer to the line of scrimmage. Now with more freedom to roam at linebacker, Daring is in line for a stellar 2023 campaign.
COACH’S QUOTE ON MICKEY DARING:“Mickey is a talented young man with a motor that never stops. His understanding of leverage from the wrestling mat, combined with strength, quickness and agility, have helped him shine at any position he’s lined up at. He’s been a force since his freshman year on the defensive line and will look to become one of the top two-way players around this season at middle linebacker and running back. Above all else, Mickey sets the standard for his teammates when it comes to work ethic, leadership and coachability. We are very much looking forward to seeing what Mickey does his senior year.” – Bishop Luers coach Kyle Lindsay
No. 22: LB/WR Jacob Sharin, junior, Wayne
Underestimate Sharin at your own risk, because he can make you pay in a variety of ways. He is strong, quick and seeks out contact from his spots on either side of the ball.
Before going down with a leg injury late last season, Sharin was Wayne’s top two-way player. He was second on the team in receiving with 26 receptions for 452 yards and four touchdowns.
Defensively from his linebacker spot, Sharin amassed 51 tackles.
COACH’S QUOTE ON JACOB SHARIN:“Jacob is a very physically tough player whose motor never stops. SPEED, SPEED AND MORE SPEED. A player whose goal is to be the most conditioned player on the field. He is a playmaker on both sides of the ball and special teams.” – Wayne coach Sherwood Haydock
No. 21: WR/DB Jamari Pearson, junior, North Side
How many long snappers make the Top 50? Pearson serves that role for the Legends, but it is far from the only thing he does. DB. WR. Return man.
Owner of over a half-dozen Division I offers, Pearson is dangerous wherever he is on the field. Defensively, he is one of the top cover corners in the northern half of the state, with the speed to stay with the area’s best and the tall frame and body control to put himself in position to make plays.
Colleges see the potential in Pearson, and so does North Side coach Ben Johnson, who will utilize the emerging junior on offense much more than a season ago.
COACH’S QUOTE ON JAMARI PEARSON:“Jamari is special! He holds seven Division I offers with a ton more interest so far. He is dynamic with the ball in his hands. He can shut a whole side of the field down from his corner position.” – North Side coach Ben Johnson