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With the 2020 high school football season past the midway point, we're continuing to take a look at the top players in Mississippi, position by position.

Here’s a look at the top running backs in the state. The list is in alphabetical order. (Feature photo by Keith Warren)



Duke Arnold - Senior - Madison Central

Twitter: @dukearnold2

Madison Central's offense has been stuck in reverse due to injuries, but the Jags' 5-foot-11, 200-pound masher Duke Arnold has been consistently solid.

Arnold has drawn a good bit of interest from college scouts after rushing 138 times for 686 yards with six touchdowns as a junior.

While he doesn't have that big-time offer, he's being recruited by Air Force, Kentucky and Mississippi State, among others, according to

Cayden Betts - Senior - Corinth


Respect My Decision!!

— Cayden Betts (@cb1417iv) August 25, 2020


Corinth's 6-foot, 200-pound bowling ball of a tailback is another guy who is being recruited at a different position — outside linebacker.

Betts has garnered a good bit of attention since leading Corinth to a state title as a junior last season, when he put up 713 yards on just 54 carries with 10 touchdowns.

Betts withdrew his commitment to the U.S. Naval Academy on Aug. 24 and reopened his recruitment. He currently holds offers from Oberlin College, Valparaiso and several junior colleges.

Marquis Crosby - Senior - Presbyterian Christian


The 5-foot-9, 195-pound Crosby has set the MAIS on fire this season, and the college recruiters are taking notice. Crosby is currently rated as a 2-star running back prospect by

He's been an integral part of the offense for PCS after transferring from Seminary following his sophomore season. Through eight games as a senior, he's carried the ball 210 times for 2,295 yards and 26 touchdowns.

Crosby committed to Louisiana Tech on Aug. 1, but also held offers from Arkansas State, East Carolina and Louisiana-Monroe.

Xavier Evans - Senior - Laurel


He may play quarterback for the Golden Tornado, but make no mistake — Laurel's 5-foot-8, 195-pound star is projected as a running back at the next level.

Evans is rated as a 3-star running back prospect by He put up 1,503 yards on 169 carries with 15 touchdowns as a junior and came back from an early-season injury to rush for a school record 404 yards in a 57-30 win over Natchez earlier this year.

Evans is currently committed to Arkansas State.

Robert Henry - Senior - Lumberton

Twitter: @Robert20677643

What can we say about Lumberton's 5-foot-10, 180-pound star running back that hasn't already been said? The reigning 1A Mr. Football doesn't get the respect afforded to players from higher classifications, but that's crazy.

Henry put up 1,976 rushing yards on 194 carries as a junior and scored 30 times. As of Oct. 13, he's also gone over the 6,000-yard mark for his high school career.

Henry holds an offer from Alcorn State, but remains uncommitted as of mid-October.

Amariyon Howard - Senior - Starkville


I’m honored and blessed to receive my third offer from Mississippi State University @jonesesyboi@BallCoachJoeMo#HailState @jdposs10

— Amariyon Howard (@AmariyonHoward) August 28, 2019


What's not to like about Starkville's bruiser of a back Amariyon Howard? He's bigger than most of the guys on this list at 6-foot and 200 pounds and packs a punch on first contact.

He earned a 3-star rating from after rushing for 833 yards on 140 carries and bringing in 18 receptions for 205 with eight total touchdowns as a junior.

Howard has been committed to Mississippi State since Dec. 6, and chose the Bulldogs over offers from Louisiana-Monroe and Southern Miss.

Jarquez Hunter - Senior - Neshoba Central


@jarquezhunter keeps his eye on the ball and comes down with a deflected pass for a toe-tapping TD. @NeshobaFootball looked great last night in the limited time I was there.

— BR0CC0 (@BR0CC0) September 19, 2020


Hunter may be the top tailback prospect in Mississippi this year, but he'd be high in the running at linebacker as well. At 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds, Hunter is the ideal size for an all-purpose back.

He's currently rated as a 3-star running back recruit by after turning in a 2,000-yard season as a junior in 2019.

The talented senior holds offers from Auburn, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Arkansas State and Louisiana, among others.

Matt Jones - Senior - Jackson Prep


Junior Tape 🎥🔥

— Matt Jones (@d1matt5) March 26, 2020


Being the heir apparent to a guy like Jerrion Ealy is tough, but Jackson Prep's 5-foot-9, 175-pound back Matt Jones has handled the challenge well.

Jones rushed for 1,504 yards on 202 carries with 30 touchdowns as a junior last season, pacing a Jackson Prep team that reached the state title game.

He holds offers from Arkansas State, Louisiana-Monroe, New Mexico and Alcorn State, among others.

K.K. Kendrick - Senior - Biloxi



— KrisshunKendrick (@KrisshunKendri1) October 9, 2020


K.K. Kendrick gets overlooked on the coast, but Biloxi's 5-foot-10, 185-pound burner roasts defenses who make the same mistake.

Kendrick rushed 185 times for 1,262 yards with 14 touchdowns as a junior.

He is currently committed to Holmes Community College.

Jeffery Pittman - Senior - Taylorsville


Ty Keyes may get all the attention in Taylorsville — and rightfully so — but the Tartars wouldn't be complete without do-it-all back Jeff Pittman. At 5-foot-10 and 200 pounds, Pittman has already helped his team to one state championship.

He's currently on pace to match his production from his junior season, in which he rushed for 1,421 yards on 167 carries and found the end zone 23 times.

Pittman holds offers from Memphis, Mississippi Valley State and Samford.

Austin Sanders - Senior - Nanih Waiya

Twitter: @austin6sanders

Nanih Waiya's 5-foot-10, 175-pound back Austin Sanders has been a big part of the Warriors' success over the past two years, and he's more than just a "system" guy.

Sanders rushed 103 times for 1,236 yards as a junior, but also caught 21 passes for 215 yards and finished with 20 total touchdowns. That was good enough to help propel Nanih Waiya to a 1A state title.

He earned 1A All-State honors for his efforts, and currently holds an offer from Coahoma Community College.

Carlois Walker - Senior - Newton County


He may not get the love some of the guys from the bigger programs receive, but Newton County's 5-foot-7, 190-pound spark plug Carlois Walker is a gamer.

Walker is off to another hot start this season after rushing for 1,657 yards on 188 carries with 20 touchdowns as a junior.

Walker holds offers from Army and Central Florida and has also drawn interest from Mississippi State and Southern Miss.

Justin Walley - Senior - D'Iberville


100% committed to the University of Minnesota

— Justin Walley🃏 (@JustinWalley_) August 23, 2020


The only reason Justin Walley isn't a highly touted running back recruit is because he's a highly touted cornerback recruit. At 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds, Walley is a shoo-in for player of the year in Region 4 if he can stay healthy.

Walley is relatively new to the tailback position after rushing just 26 times as a junior. But he averaged 13.4 yards a carry and has only improved on that number this season as the Warriors are off to a 5-0 start.

Walley has been committed to Minnesota since Aug. 23, but also held offers from Auburn, Baylor, Colorado and Kansas.