By Codey Emerson

codey@thetimes24-7.com

CARMEL – We only a few short weeks away from high school football being back under the bright Friday night lights. One lucky player at the end of the season will have earned the title of Mr. Football in the state of Indiana. Is it way too early to start talking about that? Probably. But let’s do it anyway.

Kyle Neddenriep of the Indianapolis Star listed his “Way too early” Mr. Football candidates. In the article he mentions two players from Carmel that could potentially bring home the award.

First is senior running back Dylan Downing. Downing last season ran for 1,107 yards and also ran for five touchdowns. Injuries have hampered Downing the past few seasons according to head coach John Hebert. Hebert does talk about what makes Downing so special however.

“He’s very experienced and a very versatile player,” Hebert said. “He has had a really great summer. It looks like he has a spring in his step and is looking to help us win another state championship.”

The greyhounds have depth at the running back position with other guys like Zach White, and Gabriel Davin. One of things Hebert has seen from Downing is his ability to improve his route running abilities and his catching abilities. The Greyhounds want to be more versatile and Hebert is loving what he’s seeing so far.

“With his improvement this summer and his experience, I’m expecting a really good year out of him,” Hebert said. “I think when you’re talking about the best running backs in the state, his name has to be in the top three.”

In Neddenriep’s article he routinely mentions offensive players (as he should as the game is moving more in the offenses favor). However, there is one defensive player listed in the article and that player just so happens to be Cole Brevard, defensive lineman for the Greyhounds.

Brevard has already committed to continue his football career at Penn State. The future Nittany Lion has carved out quite a career for himself with the Greyhounds. Before committing to Penn State, Brevard had offers from some of college football’s biggest programs including Indiana, Iowa, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

He currently ranks 75th in the country in the ESPN 300 rankings. Hebert speaks very highly of Brevard in more ways than one.

“He is one of the most physically dominant players that I have ever coached,” Hebert said. “His physical prowess is beyond anything I’ve ever seen. It seems like he does something special on every play when he is on the field. He is also a great leader and motivator for our team. He’s a guy we can always count on.”

Being on the field is something that Hebert says the coaching staff has worked with Brevard on this summer.

“I think he’s in much better shape than he has ever been,” Hebert said. “He is going to give you 100 percent on every down he is out there. And that’s what we’ve been trying to work on with him is having him out there for more plays so he can make the biggest impact on the game. Whenever he isn’t out there on the field, that’s a disadvantage for us, so we’re trying to limit those things from happening.”

The last and only player to win Mr. Football from Carmel was Morgan Newton back in 2008 when the Greyhounds went 13-2 and fell in the state championship game to Center Grove 36-33. Newton went on to play at Kentucky and even got the chance to play professionally with the New York Giants in the National Football League.

Besides Downing and Brevard, Neddenriep lists these other players as potential candidates to bring home the award.

  • Kyle Adams, QB, West Lafayette
  • Ira Armstead, QB, South Bend Adams
  • David Baker WR, Scecina
  • Marion Lukes, RB, Charlestown
  • Donny Marcus, RB, Brownsburg
  • Charlie Spegal, RB, New Palestine
  • Kenny Tracy, RB, Decatur Central
  • Spencer Wright, QB, Western Boone

Honorable mentions include: Deontae Craig, DE, Culver Academy; Orin Edwards, QB Cathedral; Josh Fryar, OL, Beech Grove; Jay Higgins, Brebeuf Jesuit; and Brennen Schuttle, RB, Evansville Central