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Nevada Preps running back countdown — No. 3

Bishop Gorman’s Amod Cianelli comes in at No. 3 on our list of Southern Nevada’s top five running backs.

To create the list, we spoke with coaches from the Mountain and Desert Regions. A couple of the base questions were: “Who is the top high school running back today?” and “Who would you pick to start a team?”

Then we grabbed the statistics from last season, looked at the player’s collective rankings on recruiting websites and used our own judgment to fill holes.

Stay tuned for our wide receiver/pass catcher and defensive player lists that will be unveiled each week until the end of July.

Nevada Preps Running Back Rank: Bishop Gorman’s Amod Cianelli No. 3

Class

2019

Vitals

5 feet, 10 inches; 195 pounds

Honors

N/A

Recruiting

N/A

Last Year’s Stats

Cianelli just missed 1,000 yards, leading the Gaels with 997 rushing yards on 163 carries. He averaged 6.1 yards per carry and scored 19 rushing TDs. He also caught 12 passes for 98 yards and a TD.

What they are saying

— “The numbers come with the surrounding cast,” a Desert Region coach said. “We’re at a spot right now that Bishop Gorman is a mental thing more than anything with these kids. If you’re going to stop a running back like that you’ve got to believe you can get the job done.”

— ”He’s just a solid, really good high school football running back,” a Desert Region coach said. “He has great vision. He’s got above-average speed. One of the things that Gorman does to you, they make it pretty much impossible to take away one thing … We’ll see how it plays out this year … If they have a (big-time) passing game, then he’s going to flourish on the ground for sure.”

— “I think he’s a very good back,” a Mountain Region coach said. “Always downhill, always falls forward. Great balance. He’s not a flashy player, but he gets the job done.”

Nevada Preps Running Back Rank: Durango’s Tau Fotu No. 4

Class

2019

Vitals

5 feet, 9 inches; 185 pounds

Honors

All-state honorable mention (2017); All-Southwest League first team (2017, 2016 at OLB); All-Southwest Team second team (2017 at RB)

Recruiting

N/A

Last Year’s Stats

A two-way standout, Fotu led Durango with 1,011 rushing yards on 107 carries (9.5 yards per carry). He rushed for six touchdowns and caught eight passes for 93 yards. On defense, he led the Trailblazers with 65 tackles.

What they are saying

— “His big thing is his acceleration,” a Desert Region coach said. “His acceleration is at the top of the city, no doubt.”

— “He’s a good back,” a Desert Region coach said. “I think he’s a three-year starter. He’ll be a really solid player for them.”

Nevada Preps Running Back Rank: Canyon Springs’ Jayvion Pugh No. 5

Class

2019

Vitals

5 feet, 9 inches; 180 pounds

Honors

All-Northeast League second team (2017); All-Northeast League first team (2016)

Recruiting

N/A

Last Year’s Stats

Pugh was Canyon Springs’ second-leading rusher with 69 carries for 597 yards and eight touchdowns. He also caught eight passes for 203 yards and a score.

What they are saying

— “He’s definitely one of the top ones,” a Mountain Region coach said. “He’s a leader. He’s the total package.”

— “Very athletic,” a Desert Region coach said. “If they got some of those (offensive linemen) guys coming back, that’ll definitely help him.”

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