Hermitage running back Derrick Green is one of the most sought after high school seniors in the state, rated by some as the top recruit in Virginia.
But he’s not the top running back in the Central Region, at least not by the numbers. That title belongs to Atlee senior Morris Jackson who has 1,471 yards rushing and 25 touchdowns in just 6 games so far this year, for an average of over 245 yards per game.
"We knew he was going to be special" said Atlee head coach Roscoe Johnson of Jackson as a junior. "He understood the situation and that this year would be his turn."
The "situation" Johnson refers to is two-fold. First, he was playing behind Jared Hall who had a very good senior year last year for the Raiders. Second was a knee injury that limited Jackson to mostly special teams duty as a junior.
Because college recruiters have so little to see of him, he still does not have a scholarship offer for next year. Johnson has sent out tapes of Jackson's work to at least 50 schools but so far, nothing definitive has come back.
"They (college teams) are in the meat of their schedule and more worried about their season" Johnson said. "Normally recruiting will kick back up at the end of November and in December and I think that's where a lot of schools will start coming in."
For his part, Jackson remains patient and humble, deferring to his coaches and the play of his offensive line when describing his success this year. But he is looking forward to knowing more about his future both academically and athletically.
"It's tough because I just want to know where I'm going to be next year" Jackson admitted. "A lot of seniors this year, even if they aren't playing athletics [know where they will go to college]. I'd just like to know where I'm going."
Johnson says most recruiters ask about Jackson's academics, which Johnson says are very good. Then, they watch the tape they've been sent.
"Then they say 'Oh my gosh, he's amazing!'"
Johnson has also told Jackson that many of the bigger schools will offer running backs in their junior year of high school. Jackson didn't have the luxury of playing last year, so he is trying to make the most of his one shot to show recruiters what he can do.
"With [Jackson] I really believe there's going to be a 1-AA school, or a small division one school that's going to get an unbelievable back."