Anthony Wiseman gained more yards than any DeMatha player last season. He scored three times on six second-half carries in the Stags' championship victory over Gonzaga. He's also the team's fastest player.
But does that mean he's the number one running back? Not really, he says. Does that bother him? Not if it's good for the team.
Wiseman, a Maryland recruit, is one of four DeMatha senior running backs who have earned Division I attention. It's a luxury few, if any, high school teams enjoy. And it's the primary reason the Stags enter the season as the area's top-ranked team.
"No one is hating on each other," Wiseman said of his relationship with the other running backs, Jeff Allen and Jordan Scott, and fullback Kenny Jefferson. "None of the running backs has an ego. Whenever coach calls on us, we want to get in there and make the best of it. We encourage each other. If one of us sees something one of the other running backs doesn't see, we tell them, 'Hey, you missed the hole,' or, 'You should have cut it back.' "
Allen also has unofficially committed to play for Maryland, and Jefferson with Virginia Tech. And the Stags also have a talented junior running back, Patrick Mealy. But even in a crowded backfield, there is something that makes Wiseman stand out: speed.
The 5-foot-11, 178-pounder is a three-time All-Met sprinter. He was the area's fastest in the 300 meters (34.8 seconds) and second-fastest in the 55 meters (6.36) during the last indoor season. Not bad for a football player who took up track as a freshman to stay in shape during the offseason.
"Track has helped my wind and put me in better shape, made my legs even stronger," said Wiseman, who bulked up from 165 pounds over the summer. "It makes it harder for people to tackle me and helps my breakaway speed and quickness."
Wiseman gained a team-high 852 yards and scored 11 touchdowns last season, leading the Stags to their third conference title in four years. This fall, he hopes to break 1,000 yards for the first time, despite sharing playing time with so many talented players.
"There is some competition between us, and that makes us work harder. That's the best part about it, we push each other. . . . I'm striving to be the best out there on the field. I want to rush for 100 yards a game, get to 1,000 for the season."
-- Tarik El-Bashir