SIAA Freak of the Week: Josh Hough
Freak is a term thrown around too much in the sports world but sometimes it's the first phrase that crowds the cranium when a gaudy athletic feat takes place.
What about an entire game's worth of head-turning and gasp?
SI All-American continues a salute to these dominant high school football players in a weekly feature, of course titled 'Freak of the Week.'
High school football is underway in several states and the wild, almost Fantasy sports-type statistical performances are piling in. FOTW candidates can be dominant in the trenches or beyond the numbers, and we're back on offense and in the state of Pennsylvania with perhaps the most gaudy yards per carry average to be seen for some time.
How does 60.75 yards per carry sound?
It's what Beaver Falls (Pa.) High School running back and Syracuse commitment Josh Hough did on Friday night against Elwood City (Pa.) Lincoln High in a 54-26 win. His final line required a double take or two:
Four carries for 243 yards and three touchdowns.
“I just went out there and did my job," he told SI All-American. "My O-line is serious, they make the big plays possible.”
The future Orange back is listed at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds by his high school team. The notion that he may be among the larger backs in the class of 2021 isn't one slowing down his preparation to tote the rock in the ACC.
“I took more time to concentrate on training while everything was shut down," Hough said. "I worked on my agility, footwork, and that first step burst. It helped me improve my game overall. Nobody knew if we were even going to have a season at that point so my goal was to be ready for Syracuse next year.“
SI All-American analyst Edwin Weathersby II thought the offense took advantage of Hough's size in their scheme.
"Beaver Falls' rushing attack featured 21-personnel, with Hough in deep I-back/off-set I alignments," he said. "They utilized toss schemes to get Hough to the edges, to not only capitalize on his size, but to also gain plus numbers with a fullback lead and pulling an OL. This allowed Hough to get his legs churning while squaring his pads to the posts to come downhill, which is a tough site for a defense when you have a 6-foot-2, 235-pound runner like Hough screaming at you.
"Hough displayed solid vision and mental processing, with 1-cut ability after his lead blockers properly got fits and hats on defenders. The big man also showed off contact balance, along with a stiff-arm on a carry when challenged while clearing the second level. Hough also ran with a smooth stride in the open field, something you don't see often from runners his size."
To say Hough was surprised to learn of the Freak of the Week news would be an understatement.
Nearly a TD every touch is hard to beat.
“It’s crazy!" he said. "Just knowing that people I don’t know have seen me play and they enjoy watching. I have a lot of fun out on the field, and to see my name in the papers and online is just amazing to me.
"It motivates me even more to go out and be the best player I can be.”
Hough and Beaver Falls are 3-0 on the 2020 season, averaging better than 43 points per game thus far.
Check out Hough in action from Friday night below:
Freak of the Week - 9/22 - 2023 DB Aaron Gates
Freak of the Week - 9/17 - 2021 RB Corey Kiner