Best NCHSAA football players in 2024? WNC RB rankings

Best NCHSAA football players in 2024? WNC RB rankings

Best NCHSAA football players in 2024? WNC RB rankings

From Gavin Langley to Max Guest, the Citizen Times and Times-News ranked the top running backs for the 2024 North Carolina high school football season in WNC.

The Western North Carolina football scene is filled with talented running backs. The run-based offenses that many WNC teams utilize means that some of the best players in the area are running backs, making this list of the best NCHSAA running backs from WNC packed with talent.

From Reynolds’ Max Guest to West Henderson transfer Da’Zion Murray to Brevard’s Braylon Thompson, who is the best running back in WNC?

Here are the Citizen Times and Times-News rankings of the area’s top RBs, from 15th to 1st:

Top North Carolina high school football running backs in WNC for 2024

15. Gavin Langley


Vital parts: 5-11, 190, Mr.

Although quarterback Jed West led the offense in rushing last season, Langley ran for 548 yards with five touchdowns on 102 carries. He’ll likely have to take on a heavier workload as a senior.

14. Ayden Johnson

Smoky Mountain

Vital parts: 5-11, 205, Mr.

Johnson was a productive backup for the Mustangs last season, averaging 6.3 yards on 75 carries. After Isaiah McNeely graduates, Johnson’s carries could double as a senior.

13. Hunter Pittman


Vital parts: 5-10, 185, Jr.

Pittman was consistent in the Titans’ backfield, rushing for 791 yards in nine games, averaging nearly 90 yards per game on 144 carries.

12. Tyvon Patterson


Vital parts: 5-8, 160, Jr.

Last season, Patterson played very well in Reynolds’ backfield, carrying 134 times for 851 yards and 13 touchdowns. With Max Guest returning this season, he’ll take on a hybrid role of running back and wide receiver.

11. Mason Gasper

North Henderson

Vital parts: 5-11, 205, Mr.

As the Knights’ second option in a solid backfield, Gasperson rushed for 714 yards on 107 carries. He scored 14 touchdowns and can be even more productive as the primary option for a young North Henderson team.

10. Braylon Thompson


Vital parts: 5-10, 170, Jr.

Thompson will take over as the Blue Devils’ lead running back after splitting carries last season. Thompson scored 11 touchdowns on 133 carries with 705 rushing yards.

9. Tyrin Credle


Vital parts: 6-0, 184, Mr.

Credle is an explosive runner and is emerging as the Rams’ primary running option. Credle was the team’s fourth option last season and averaged 9.5 yards per carry, rushing the ball 63 times for 600 yards and six touchdowns.

8. Three graves


Vital parts: 5-9, 161, Jr.

Graves will get the bulk of Hayesville’s carries after sharing them with Taylor McClure last season. Graves’ 147 carries and 826 yards as a sophomore led the Yellow Jackets, and his 11 rushing touchdowns tied for the team lead.

7. Josh Ellis

Asheville High School

Vital parts: 5-7, 158, Sis.

The Cougars return their entire starting offensive line, bringing additional experience to Asheville High’s talented backfield. Ellis led Asheville with 11 rushing touchdowns last season and had 82 carries for 681 yards.

6. Lorenzo Sanchez

Polk County

Vital parts: 5-5, 140, Jr.

Sanchez nearly rushed for 1,000 yards as a sophomore despite his small size. He will be the Wolverines’ primary target on offense after racking up 913 yards and eight touchdowns on 145 carries.

5. Kyheem Plummer

Asheville High School

Vital parts: 5-11, 185, Mr.

In the second half of the Cougars’ 1-2 series in the backfield, Plummer rushed for a team-leading 720 yards on 91 carries last season and scored 10 touchdowns.

4. Hezzie Rudisill


Vital parts: 6-0, 173, Mr.

Rudisill was a bright spot on a 4-6 Hendersonville team last season, rushing for 1,079 yards and eight touchdowns on 149 carries.

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3. Cameron Clem


Vital parts: 6-0, 175, So.

Last season, Clem was Murphy’s backup running back and rushed 111 times for 940 yards and eight touchdowns. With Hunter Stalcup graduating, Clem is poised for a breakout campaign in his second year in Murphy’s rushing offense.

2. Da’Zion Murray

West Henderson

Vital parts: 5-9, 200, Mr.

Murray will transfer to West Henderson from Chase, where he rushed for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns on 123 carries as a junior. If his production and workload remain consistent with the Falcons, he could be one of the top running backs in WNC.

1. Maximum number of guests


Vital parts: 5-10, 185, Mr.

Engaged: Appalachian State

Guest returns to the backfield after missing nearly all of 2023 with a right foot injury. He returned in the playoffs to carry the ball nine times for 33 yards. In 2022, as a sophomore, Guest was named first-team All-WNC after racking up 1,764 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns.

Evan Gerike is the high school sports reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times. Email him at [email protected] or follow him on X, formerly Twitter, @EvanGerike. Support this kind of journalism with a subscription to the Citizen Times.