Pinson Valley runningbacks are ‘exciting’
By Alex Headley
The Pinson Valley Indians offense is full of talent. Nick Gibson, Jaylyne Rhone and Aj Freeman have offensive coordinator Chris Mills “As excited as I’ve ever been.”
The Indians only lost one senior runningback for the season, Lorenzo Gray, who rushed 1200 yards and scored 16 touchdowns last year. “Obviously, we’ll miss him,” Mills said. “But all these guys are playmakers. We are going to do a lot of things with these guys and find them a lot of different ways to get them the ball.”
Sophomore Nick Gibson is already being scouted by major schools, and already has an offer from Mississippi State. “He only played in a few games last year but still had 500 yards rushing,” Mills said. “He can do a lot of things.”
Gibson had 500 yards rushing in just a couple of games last season before an injury took him out before the playoffs.
In the backfield is junior Jaylyne Rhone. “I’m excited about him, though he will be under the radar,” said Mills. “He has had an unbelievable off season and can be a great motivator for the team.” Rhone is 5’7 and 170 pounds but according to Mills is extremely strong.
Leading the group is senior Aj Freeman. “AJ does it all for us,” Mills said. “He can play any position on the field.” Freeman is small, only 150 pounds and 5’5 but squats 600 pounds and runs a 4:40.
Mills says his size doesn’t hold him back. “He runs like a 200 pound back.” Freeman had more than 600 yards rushing last season and averaged 7 yards per carry. “He had less play time but when he got the ball he did not disappoint.” Mills said.
Freeman has started in 23 games since his sophomore year. “We are really going to lean on him this year,” Mills said. “He has been one of the pieces that turned this program around from a 1-9 season his freshman year.”