Prep football: Don’t forget about the running backs

St. Bonaventure running back Delon Thompson looks for room to run.
St. Bonaventure running back Delon Thompson looks for room to run as Inglewood’s Marshon Oxley closes in during a Division 2 playoff game at Ventura College last season.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
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Yes, passing is what most high school football teams do in Southern California. But championship teams are always able to run the ball successfully, so let’s take an early look at running backs to watch for in 2022.

The track season revealed a number of speedsters who will be tough to catch when they get loose. That starts with Jordan Washington of Long Beach Jordan and Dijon Stanley of Granada Hills. Stanley was the City Section 400-meter champion. Washington ran a 10.38 100 meters as a sophomore.

Delon Thompson of St. Bonaventure and Johnny Thompson of Oaks Christian have the same last name and reside in Ventura County, but don’t get them mixed up even though they figure to be 1,000-yard rushers.

Gardena Serra has two standout running backs in junior Cincere Rhaney and senior Kai Honda. What separates both is their versatility, size and ability to catch short passes.


Mater Dei’s Jordan Davison tipped his talent as a freshman. Kobe Boykin of Orange is a big-play junior. Brandon Johnson is an Arizona commit at Highland who rushed for 1,580 yards as a junior. Josh Joyner of Oxnard Pacifica is another standout junior from Ventura County.

St. Francis has high hopes for Texas transfer Devyn Turner. Beau Bruins of Ramona had 2,072 yards rushing and 35 touchdowns as a junior. Junior Kobe Boykin of Orange is coming off a huge sophomore season.

Junior running back Terrell Cooks of Sierra Canyon is one of the fastest the Trailblazers have had. Sophomore Jojo Solis of Aquinas rushed for 2,088 yards and 35 touchdowns as a freshman.

Middle linebacker Gabe Morin of Orange Lutheran, an all-Trinity League honoree, is going to be using his 225-pound body at running back. Santa Margarita has a promising freshman in Sklar Lendsey Vann.

In the City Section, Mikah Kindell of Mendez rushed for 1,746 yards as a junior. Robert Lamar of Venice had nearly 800 yards for the City Division I champions.

The 2022 high school football season could see some Southland receivers reaching standards set by past greats.

Aug. 1, 2022