TXHSFB 303: Texas high school football’s most unstoppable runners

Taking a deep dive into the hidden storylines of the 2016 Texas high school football season.
Photo by Thomas Hays

Photo by Thomas Hays

Over the course of January, TexasFootball.com presents The TXHSFB 303, a deep dive into the hidden storylines in the 2016 Texas high school football season. Have an idea for an angle? E-mail DCTF managing editor Greg Tepper.

Today: Texas high school football’s top rushers in 2016

There is every reason in the world for Texas high school football rushing totals to dip.

Think about it: in the age of the spread-it-out, throw-it-around offense, running games have become something of a relic. Beyond that, the days of the 40-carries-a-game running back tend to be going by the wayside in favor of more diverse backfields that keep runners fresh and defenses guessing.

You’d think, with all those factors and many more going against the running game, that ground game numbers would be diminishing, or at least stagnating. You’d think.

Yet once again, the 2016 Texas high school football season was a banner year for dozens of runners across the state, putting up impressive numbers all the same.

A caveat you should acquaint yourself with: Texas high school football statistics are not monolithic. Unlike the NFL or even college football, there is no one-stop shop for Texas high school football statistics. Some places, like our friends at MaxPreps, are better than most, but no place is perfect. I’ve tried my best to find every player’s numbers who should be mentioned here, but it is entirely possible that I missed somebody. If that is the case, please e-mail me and I’d be happy to amend the piece.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 statistical rushers in Texas high school football in 2016.

Player School (Class) Rush Yards Rush YPC Rush YPG TDs
Keyshawn Wyatt Grapevine Faith Christian (Private) 2,888 10 206.2 39
Calvin Tyler Silsbee (4A DI) 2,861 11.6 260.1 29
Kennedy Brooks Mansfield (6A) 2,853 10 219.4 40
Deion Hankins El Paso Parkland (5A) 2,812 7.9 234.3 23
Roshuud Paul Bremond (2A DII) 2,661 12 177.4 50
Eno Benjamin Wylie East (5A) 2,604 7.1 200.3 32
AJ Reed Post (2A DI) 2,512 8.6 193.2 29
Joshua Fields El Paso Americas (6A) 2,477 7.5 206.4 26
Ean Beek Katy Taylor (6A) 2,401 6.8 200.1 20
Trelon Smith Cy Ridge (6A) 2,241 7.5 160.1 29

Not who you were expecting at the top of the list? In a state littered with high-profile running backs, it’s little ol’ Keyshawn Wyatt from little ol’ Grapevine Faith Christian that led the Lone Star State in rushing this season. And “little ol’” isn’t an insult — it’s an accurate description of the 5-foot-5, 172-pound senior. He was a workhorse for the Lions, averaging more than 200 yards per game and a staggering 10 yards per carry in guiding Grapevine Faith to the TAPPS Division II state championship.

And he needed every one of his 2,888 yards, as he topped Silsbee’s sensational Calvin Tyler by a mere 27 yards. The amazing thing about Tyler is that he did his damage in just 11 games, which allowed him to lead the state in rush yards per game.

There are a surprising number of big-school running backs peppered through the list as well — four from Class 6A, led by Mansfield superstar Kennedy Brooks, and another two from 5A, anchored by the absurdly underrated Deion Hankins from El Paso Parkland.

There’s also one guy here who is not like the other (and, frankly, is like no other that we’ve ever seen in Texas high school football): Roshauud Paul. That’s because Paul is a quarterback, and led Bremond to a third straight championship to finish his career 47-0 as a starter. No wonder we named him our Mr. Texas Football Player of the Year.

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