Editor’s note: This is part of our monthlong football previews.
HAYWARD — When Jaylen “Fresh” Ison was a youngster playing Pop Warner football, his father Clinton gave him some advice.
“My dad told me to just run to the green, just look for the open space and shoot for it,” Fresh said.
He has always remembered that advice, and it has served him well. The running back is a sight to behold when he gets to the second level of a defense and beyond. Last year as a junior, he averaged more than 15 yards per carry, rushed for more than 2,000 yards and scored 32 touchdowns on the ground.
“He’s just got it all,” Moreau Catholic coach Rob Gatrell said. “He’s very knowledgeable, he’s very tough, he’s got great vision. He sees a hole and he’s gone.”
Unfortunately for Ison, he might start the season on the sideline. The running back said he could miss the first few weeks while recovering from shoulder surgery May 29. Last week, he estimated that he was about 75-percent healthy. When asked if he would be able to play in Moreau Catholic’s opener, he said, “I don’t think so, probably Week 3 or 4.”
Ison’s focus is razor-sharp when he takes a handoff.
“Usually in my head, I think there is nobody there until somebody’s in my face,” said Ison, who is 5-foot-11 and 210 pounds.
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One of Ison’s jaw-dropping performances last season came in a 56-47 victory over San Marin in a North Coast Section Division IV semifinal game. He rushed for more than 395 yards and four touchdowns, one of five games last season in which he topped 200 yards.
He had runs of 36, 60 and 59 yards in the fourth quarter alone. The 59-yarder was a touchdown, and he also scored on runs of 65, 21 and 2 yards. But perhaps his most impressive play was a 23-yard touchdown catch in which he shed four tackle attempts.
“It’s unique,” Gatrell said about Ison’s big-play potential. “He’s got the ability to find an area, set up a defender and make a guy miss.”
Ison is rated as a three-star running back by 247Sports. He has offers from Northern Colorado, William & Mary and Howard. He also said that Arizona State, UCLA, Michigan and Utah are among the schools who have shown interest in him.
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Source:: The Mercury News – Sports