December 09, 2010
With the 2010 high school season football coming to a close it's time to look ahead to the Class of 2012. Cali High Sports is the first site to come out with its list of the top players for 2012 as we unveil our Cali High's Top 15 which will be re-evaluated and expanded to a top 25 over the spring and summer. For a look at our 2011 rankings, click here.
We start our top 15 with Valley Christian running back Byron Marshall, an absolutely electric playmaker who figured to be an All-American candidate.
#15 Byron Marshall
School: Valley Christian
Schools Considering: Cal, Stanford, Oregon State, Arizona State
NFL Comparison: Knowshon Moreno
Byron Marshall already has a closet full of awards and figures to only add more accolades as he continues his impressive career. As a sophomore Marshall was named California Sophomore of the year as well as receiving all league, all area and all state recognition. Marshall had another strong year for Valley Christian and simply looks like a man amongst boys on the field.
Marshall is one of the most impressive physical specimens on the West Coast. At 5'10 he packs on 190 pounds of muscle and while his height is a little on the shorter side he is big enough and physical enough to play smash mouth football. Byron is an aggressive runner who barrels over any blocker in his path. However despite his bulky frame, Marshall is one of the fastest players in any position at California, with a 4.38 40 yard dash. His combination of size and speed helps him keep defenses off balance as he can run it between the tackles or bounce it outside and turn the corner.
One standout strength of Marshall's is his incredibly quick first step. He doesn't need much time at all to get into gear and if there is even the slightest hole open he's going to make it through. His initial burst is incredible and he blows by defensive lineman as there just getting out of their stance. His aggressive first move makes him an easy guy to block for and makes it very rare for him to lose yards on a play.
Once in the open field Marshall has great vision and doesn't over cut. He picks his lane and sticks with it and doesn't dance around too much. He's more of a North and South runner, which is a good thing, and even though he doesn't over cut he has enough fluidity in his hips to juke defenders and make guys miss. He runs with a really low center of gravity and keeps his shoulders down making him hard to tackle and usually it's going to take more then one guy to bring him down. His footwork is excellent and he does a nice job of securing the ball.
Byron is also a threat out of the backfield as a receiver as his soft hands make him a reliable target for the quarterback. He's fast enough to even see time in the slot and is Reggie Bush like in the way he can make plays off passes coming from the backfield. He is a very solid and willing blocker and his stout frame allows him to body up linebackers coming off a blitz. Like any back he could use a little work recognizing when those blitzes are coming but he will develop his blocking skills more over time.
Byron Marshall is a stud. This game changer will go down in Valley Christian lore and has top Pac 10 schools fighting for his services.
The next level?: Marshall has an incredibly impressive list of offers headlined by Stanford, Arizona State, Oregon State and Cal. Expect more offers to come for this superstar who has interest from USC, UCLA and schools across the country. While Marshall is still a long time away from taking official visits, Arizona State figures to have the early edge on gaining his services as Marshall's brother Cameron is currently a running back for the Sun Devils.
Wherever Marshall goes, he could make an immediate impact. His size is already near college ready and his speed is truly elite. This guy is going to be a star at the next level and has freshmen All-American potential.
Cali High Grade: 89
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