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Vote: Who is the best rusher in Central Florida midway through the 2023 season?

We’ve selected 20 candidates for your voting consideration

In an era of pass-happy offenses, Central Florida athletes are showing that the running game is alive and well in 2023.

Halfway through the 2023 season, at least two players have crashed the 1,000-yard barrier for rushing yards and many more are expected to eclipse that mark by the time the postseason has ended,

We took a look at schools in seven counties (Orange, Osceola, Lake, Seminole, Volusia, Brevard and Indian River) and came up with 20 candidates that we nominated for Best Rusher in Central Florida at the midway point of 2023.

We ask you, the fan, to decide who should be the top rusher selected. Voting will conclude on a date to be announced.

Editor’s note: Our corresponding poll is intended to be fun, and we do not set limits on how many times a fan can vote during the competition. The poll is specifically for fans to vote on the players that have been nominated and in no way discredits any other player that may not be mentioned in our poll.

Voting concludes October 31st at 11:59 p.m.

Here are the nominees:

Jamarie Pierre, Junior, Horizon (Winter Garden): One of the top running backs in the state has rushed for 1,161 yards and 14 touchdowns on just 159 attempts for a 7.30 yards-per-carry average. His longest rush is an impressive 93 yards. He has helped the Hawks to a 4-2 record.

Jamarie Pierre

JT Bronaugh, Senior, Foundation Academy (Winter Garden): Powerful back (5-foot-11, 182 pounds) recently smashed the 1,000-yard barrier with 1,019 yards and 13 TDs on just 56 carries for a whopping 18.20 yards-per-carry average, helping the Lions to a 4-3 start.

JT Bronaugh

Jermaine Hardy, Senior, Evans (Orlando): Has helped the resurgent Trojans (4-3) by rushing for 845 yards and eight TDs on 75 yards for an incredible 11.27 yards-per-carry average. He has an offer from Syracuse.

Chris Peterson, Senior, Evans (Orlando): The talented dual-threat quarterback is one of the top rushers in Florida with 840 yards and nine TDs on 95 carries. He has received multiple offers, including Ole Miss, Oregon State, Arkansas State and Middle Tennessee State.

Chris Peterson

Dane Thompkins, Junior, Lake Minneola: Lake County’s premier running back (5-9, 180) has rushed for 823 yards and nine TDs on 109 carries. He has helped the Hawks to a 5-3 record playing one of the state’s toughest schedules.

Dane Tompkins

Tyler Davis, Junior, Tavares: The two-way star has been a big bright spot on offense with 798 yards and seven TDs on 147 carries for the Bulldogs (4-2).

Isaiah Nell, Senior, Windermere: Two-way player has helped the resurgence of the Wolverines (3-4) by rushing 55 times for 785 yards and 11 TDs. He has multiple offers, including Central Michigan.

Isaiah Nell

Kevens Charles, Senior, South Lake (Groveland): Multi-talented athlete (6-2, 215) has pounded the rock 138 times for 727 yards and six TDs to help the Eagles become relevant again in Lake County.

Li’darious Pryor, Sophomore, Evans (Orlando): Talented 10th-grader is a key part of the Trojans’ rushing attack with 720 yards and five TDs on just 64 carries for an impressive 11.25 yards-per-carry average.

Ldarious Preyer

Tay Welch, Junior, Eau Gallie (Melbourne): Explosive athlete is a big part of the Commodores’ offense with 73 carries for 680 yards and six TDs for a sparkling 9.32 yards-per-carry average. Welch, who has multiple offers, including FAU, has helped EGHS to a 6-1 start and become one of Brevard County’s top teams.

Tay Welch

Bobby Thomas III, Junior, Lyman (Longwood): Strong runner has sparked one of the more inspirational teams in Seminole County, rushing 112 times for 676 yards and eight TDs to lead the upstart Greyhounds to a 5-2 record. Lyman is one of the county’s best teams after enduring years of tough competition.

Chris Boddie, Junior, Pine Ridge (Deltona): Has been a big factor in leading the Panthers (3-3) into the spotlight in Volusia County, rushing 77 times for 664 yards and nine TDs. He has several All-American Game invitations.

Chris Bodie

Brogan McNab, Sophomore, Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy (Melbourne): The stellar dual-threat quarterback has rushed 60 times for 641 yards and 10 TDs for a sparkling 10.68 yards-per-carry average. His efforts have helped the Tigers to a 6-1 start as they battle for a playoff spot in Class 1 Suburban.

Brogan McNab

Isaiah Thomas, Junior, Lake Mary: Talented running back/wide receiver (5-10, 185) has helped the Rams become a versatile offense with 73 carries for 619 yards and four TDs. His play has helped the Rams (6-0) become the top team in Seminole County and a favorite to do well in the Class 4 Metro state playoffs.

Isaiah Thomas

Kevin Watson, Senior, Oviedo: Great athlete has filled the shoes nicely of two departed seniors DJ Scott and Omari Muhammad-Wyatt by rushing 85 times for 617 yards and three TDs. He has helped the Lions to a 4-2 record.

Kevin Watson

Noah Ellis, Senior, Orangewood Christian (Maitland): Two-way standout has rushed for 79 times for 614 yards and eight TDs to lead the Rams to a 3-3 record.

Desmond Poulis, Senior, University High (Orlando): Has played well for the Cougars, rushing 109 times for 587 yards and six TDs.

Noah Flores, Freshman, Satellite (Satellite Beach): Talented athlete has rushed 103 times for 578 yards and four TDs for the upstart Scorpions (5-2).

Jamarion Stephens, Junior, Titusville: Powerful running back (5-10, 180) has rushed 65 times for 576 yards and nine TDs for an 8.86 yards-per-carry average, helping the Terriers race to a 7-0 start – their best since the 1970s.

Jamarion Stephens

Romelo Ware, Senior, Olympia (Orlando): Transfer from small school power Lake Highland Prep has rushed 69 times for 570 yards and nine TDs, helping the Titans to a 4-2 start and stay in contention for a playoff spot in Class 4M. He has an offer from Northern Illinois University.

Romelo Ware