In this second entry of my five-part series of the Top 20 Prep Football Players In My Eyes in the state, I will list the top running backs and wide receivers I have seen in person over my lifetime so far.
Before getting to it, I want to explain what some may perceive as missing players, and gap in time that accounts for it. From 1982-1987, I was not even in Louisiana, as I was serving in either the U.S. Marine Corps, or attending a school to serve some time in the Louisiana Army National Guard.
Also, the missing quarterbacks that you may think would or should have been on my previous list will now appear on my Top 20 Athletes list that will come out with linebackers and defensive backs in part five of the series.
In ranking the running backs, I had to look at all the criteria that I had used to select the quarterbacks, especially the 'wow factor' watching them play. In my list, you will find NFL players, current college players and just memorable guys that only played in high school. There are also running back duos, like a set from Dutchtown and a pair from Denham Springs, where the playmakers were totally interchangeable. Oh, I did see one running back in a game in my National Guard days while on leave.
The Top 20 Running Backs I have seen in person:
1) Garry James, West Jefferson
2) Eddie Lacy, Dutchtown
3) Marshall Faulk, Carver
4) Joe McKnight, John Curtis
5) Eddie LaFrance, Belle Chasse
6) Micah Eugene, Acadiana
7) Matt Forte, Slidell
8) Gill Fenerty, Jesuit
9) Tyrone Duplessis, O.P. Walker
10) Dalton Hilliard Jr., Brother Martin
11) Justin Lathers, Denham Springs
12) Chris Markey, Jesuit
13) Mike Barthelemy, S. Plaquemines
14) Nick Giglio, Central
15) Darrell Triplett, West Jefferson
16) Chad Encalade, John Ehret
17) Lyle Fitte, Belle Chasse/S. Plaquemines
18) Kelvin York, Dutchtown
19) Errol Ragas, Belle Chasse
20) John Simon, Denham Springs
As for the wide receivers -- with a couple of tight ends thrown into the mix -- this list was especially hard on me because I have a nephew that played this position well for Shaw, but unfortunately for him, probably the best two receivers in Archbishop Shaw's history also played during his prep career. But a note to Steve Marchese Jr.. I got your name in here anyway, so enjoy your honorable mention.
Top 20 Wide Recievers/Tight Ends I have seen in person:
1) Chris Henry, Belle Chasse
2) Larry Foster, West Jefferson
3) Reggie Wayne, John Ehret
4) Jarvis Landry, Lutcher
5) James Wright, Belle Chasse
6) Cooper Manning, Newman
7) Ronald Bellamy, Shaw
8) Al Edwards, Bonnabel
9) Wil Briscoe, Central
10) Odell Beckham Jr., Newman
11) Terrell Harris, Shaw
12) Beau Fitte, S. Plaquemines
13) Otis Peterson, Belle Chasse
14) Jeffrey Hampton, Newman
15) Marlon Favorite, West Jefferson (TE)
16) Dino Encalade, John Ehret (TE)
17) Anthony Woodson, Bonnabel
18) Gino Giambelleluca, Holy Cross
19) Beau Mothe, Jesuit
20) Kyron King, Destrehan
Please feel free to give us your lists. Have fun with it!
Before I close, I want to mention that a Memorial Plaque in the honor of Chris Henry along with a ceremony that will also honor the 2001 3A State Runners-up from Belle Chasse High will happen on Friday September 9, before the Cardinals' game against John McDonogh.
Johnny Marchese is the play-by-play voice for Belle Chasse High School football and a radio co-host of Prep Plus on WGSO 990AM New Orleans.
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