“Better than Walter Payton” may sound crazy for a running back that is still in high school. However, sometimes it is hard to argue with a reporter that has been watching for over 40 years.
Rick Cleveland — a longtime sports reporter for Mississippi Today — bestowed this compliment on Mississippi high school and five-star recruit Cam Akers (5-foot-11, 213 pounds, Clinton, MS), who decommitted from Alabama a few months ago. Though he is a consensus five-star, Cleveland thinks Akers is capable of being more than just a “great running back”.
These eyes saw Walter Payton play at Columbia High School. These eyes saw Marcus Dupree play at Philadelphia. They saw Jerious Norwood play at Brandon, Deuce McAllister at Morton and Jimmy Johns at Brookhaven.
But these eyes have never seen a better Mississippi high school football player than Cam Akers, Clinton’s 17-year-old wunderkind, whom I saw in person for the first time here Thursday night.
Akers, who plays quarterback for his high school, combined for 452 yards and five touchdowns worth of offense in the game that Cleveland is referring to. Akers is expected to play running back at the next level, where his combination of size and speed would likely best be utilized.
While “better than Payton” may sound like an extreme compliment, Cleveland makes it clear: he has watched a lot of Mississippi football, and Akers is the best he has ever seen.
Best Mississippi high school player ever?
These eyes have never seen one better. Cam Akers surely belongs in the first sentence of any such discussion.
Considering the schools chasing Akers — Ohio State, Alabama, Florida State, etc. — there is definitely no doubt that the young athlete has a lot of talent. He will definitely be fun to watch in the college football ranks.
[H/T SEC Country]