Focus 2012: Jerome Akintunde

Jerome Akintunde

Junior RB Jerome Akintunde finished the year with a flourish for Newman Smith, running for a season-high 105 yards with a touchdown vs. John Tyler in a third-round playoff loss. Which schools are recruiting Akintunde and do they all want him on offense? After all, he was also among the team leaders in tackles (as an outside linebacker).

Jerome Akintunde made his living on both sides of the football for Newman Smith in 2010. In fact, most of the junior's time was spent on defense at outside linebacker. However, he also played some running back and did it quite well, and college recruiters are taking notice of the powerful 5-foot-11, 215-pounder.

"I like running back better and think I'm better at that position," said Akintunde, who helped the Trojans to a 7-6 mark that included two playoff wins. "I have good balance and good vision. I find the hole."

For the year, Akintunde gained 255 yards on 41 carries (6.22 ypc) with four touchdowns, but he saved his best outings for the all-important postseason bonanza.

In the first-round of the playoffs, a 28-14 victory over Rockwall, the junior found the end zone twice. Two weeks later, he enjoyed what was easily a season-high of 105 yards on 22 carries with a TD in a 45-34 shootout loss to John Tyler.

"Tyler's linebackers were okay, but their secondary kept chopping my legs out from under me," recalled Akintunde. "That was the first playoff game that I started at running back. The coaches made the decision because I ran for two touchdowns against Rockwall."

At outside linebacker, Akintunde accounted for 44 tackles, three sacks, and he intercepted a pass. His best games, statistically, were versus Fossil Ridge and Frisco (eight tackles apiece). He recorded two sacks in the Fossil Ridge game (a 37-30 victory for the Trojans).

Which schools are recruiting the junior and what's the outlook for his senior year?

"I'm hearing from Nebraska and Wisconsin," he said. "I like those schools and I also like Baylor, Missouri, and Kansas.

"We'll have many young players next year on offense. We'll have a new quarterback, new wide receivers, and mostly a new offensive line - except for left tackle."

-Greg Powers-

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