July 23, 2010
Cali High Sports is coming out with the best and most accurate list of the top Cali players for each sport. We start with football in which an unusually deep California class has immense talent at seemingly every position.
We continue our countdown to number 1 with Central East High School running back and Washington commit Brendon Bigelow. Bigelow would be even higher on our last had he not been coming off a torn ACL. If Bigelow comes back healthy as expected he could shoot up even further on these rankings.
#11 Brendon Bigelow
School: Central East High School
Position: Running back
Schools Considering: Washington (committed)
NFL Comparison: Knowshon Moreno
Brendon Bigelow's speed creates running lanes where there are none. Almost all other backs don't have the speed or quickness to get through the holes that Bigelow gets through with remarkable consistency. Running backs at all levels, to a degree, have to be able to create something out of nothing.
Few other players in the country can make something happen quite like Bigelow.
Bigelow has electric speed and probably the best lateral quickness in the state. He has an incredible array of juke moves, side steps and stutter steps and is able to momentarily freeze defenders in place then use his blazing speed to blow by them. Brendon does a great job of finding a running lane, even if it is only open for a moment, and attacking it. He is able to fit through lanes and spaces that most backs can't, as he adeptly uses his smaller frame and attacks defenses with reckless abandon.
Brendon usually attacks a seam and looks for the first chance to break a run outside to the sideline. Once Brendon is able to get to the edge with space there is pretty much no stopping him as his breakaway speed is incredible. He runs with a nice, low center of gravity and keeps his shoulders square making him really hard to get a hold of and even harder to drag down to the ground. He has great vision and similar to Knowshon Moreno sees holes as they are developing, making it extremely difficult for defenses to react to the play.
What makes Bigelow truly a special player is that he isn't just one dimensional and is just as much of a threat as a receiver as he is a back. Central East uses Bigelow a lot on bubble screens where he uses his quickness and agility to weave through small spaces and almost always picks up positive yardage. He has very soft hands and runs crisp routes allowing himself to get separation from defenders and get the ball in open space. Brendon has been used and has been effective a slot receiver, as a receiver coming in motion out of the backfield and even lines up as a #1 or #2 option sometimes. Playing as a receiver allows Bigelow to find open pockets of space and he has proven to be lethal when he has any operating room.
Bigelow is an extremely special player and a great pickup for a on the rise Huskies program.
The next level?: Bigelow has to show he can recover from his ACL injury but assuming a full healthy recovery (it wasn't a full tear) he can be a game changer for the Huskies. Bigelow wouldn't get time on offense for the Huskies as a freshman but could definitely see the field plenty as a kick return where his speed and elusiveness would be a major addition to Washington's special teams.
By his sophomore year Bigelow will see time as a back and down to the road most certainly pictures to be a starter and definite game changer. Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian showed in his time at USC that he really knows how to use game changers like Bigelow. Bigelow is in a lot of ways similar to former SC backs Reggie Bush and Joe McKnight and under Sarkisian's guidance and offensive system at Washington Bigelow could very easily develop into an all Pac-12 (it will be by that time) performer.
Look for a nice bounce back year for Bigelow and for him to be a star at Washington.
Cali High Grade: 92