(10-6-20) Often overlooked in high school football is the accomplishments of small school players. One of those comes from West Central Ohio, Riverside’s (Sr) Kale Long (4.26 GPA | 27 ACT | 5’11 195 RB/LB). Long does it on both the field and in the classroom.

This year Long has put up some very impressive numbers, enough that when you pull up the Max Preps National rushing rankings you will see how great of a year he is having.

Although he is currently sitting at #2, he has played in one less game then Marquis Crosby of Presbyterian Christian (Mississippi) who holds down the top spot.

In a normal season, Riverside would be looking at least five more games, but this not a normal year.

Riverside who competes in the smallest division in Ohio D VII, have received a 1st round bye in the state playoffs for this weekend. Although teams who lose early in the playoffs can still schedule some regular season games.

courtesy Max Preps

Last week in a 34-26 win over Hardin Northern he carried the ball 31 times for 366 yards, including a 70 yard run and 5 TDs, his highest output for the season. In all six games this season he has rushed for over 170 yards a game. Helping to lead the Pirates to a 5-1 record.

courtesy Max Preps

His career rushing totals after last week pushed him past 3,000 yards (3,190).

This is what his Coach Bryce Hodge has to say about Long –

He has been impressive on defense for the Pirates (35 solo tackles, 16 assists 51 total), all a part of playing for small school.

So he is for from a small school, but he for sure is…. ‘BIG Time’.

Did you know…

A small school running back from Rockford (Illinois) Lutheran, James Robinson, has fought many of the same things Long has during his career.

Oh that’s nice…but look at all of the small schools he plays against, besides he’s not that tall or fast. So what did Robinson do in high school? He became the the all-time career leading rusher (9,045 yards) in Illinois (still is).

Overlooked by the big college programs he went to Illinois State, a FBS school, so how did he do? He ended his career ranked # 2 in the ISU record books in rushing yards (4,444), rushing touchdowns (44), all-purpose yards (5,218) and total touchdowns scored (46) … is third in total points scored (276) … ranks fourth in average yards per rush (5.58), rush yards per game (96.6) and all-purpose yards per game (113.4).

He went to the NFL Combine and had a solid showing….when the draft came along he was not drafted. But his chance came when the Jacksonville Jaguars signed him as a free agent.

So what happened at Jacksonville, the Jaguars released LSU alum Leonard Fournette.

James Robinson was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for his performance in the month of September.

Robinson had 339 scrimmage yards and ran for three touchdowns in his first month as the starting running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He rushed for 210 yards with 4.9 yards per carry, also catching 10 passes for 129 yards.

Lesson learned: Small school BIG time running backs can make it.