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The area's best running backs, and more from our 2021 football previews

High School Sports Weekly
Good morning,
It’s opening week. It’s not a secret that I’m more into basketball than football. I’ve never had the same crazy passion for high school football that I’ve had my entire life for high school basketball. 
So I can safely say this is the most I have ever looked forward to a high school football game. Friday will be a special day in communities all across the state, a return to some kind of normal. 
I’m a little worried what the attendance and interest level in high school sports will be after they’ve been gone for so long. Will the fans come back? Media coverage has dwindled to a trickle, which hasn’t helped ramp up interest in the upcoming season. 
If you’re reading this you are clearly one of the fans that stuck around. Thanks so much for subscribing to this newsletter and reading the Sun-Times’ high school sports coverage. It’s going to be a great season. 
Michael O'Brien, High School Sports Editor

Top story
Joliet Catholic’s Jordan Anderson runs the ball during practice on August 12, 2021. | Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times
Joliet Catholic’s Jordan Anderson runs the ball during practice on August 12, 2021. | Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times
1. Jordan Anderson, Joliet Catholic
Illinois coach Bret Bielema has made big, powerful backs a centerpiece of his offense over the years. So it’s no surprise that Anderson has committed to the Fighting Illini. The 6-3, 215-pounder is 19th in the state’s senior class and 82nd nationally among running backs according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
2. Maurice Edwards, Warren
Southeastern Conference schools don’t recruit the Chicago area heavily, but Vanderbilt was impressed enough with Edwards to make him a priority. The effort paid off with a commitment from the 6-foot, 198-pounder, who is 16th among the state’s seniors and No. 66 nationally among running backs in’s composite rankings.
3. Aaron Vaughn, Brother Rice
The 5-10, 185-pounder broke onto the scene as a freshman for Providence in 2018 and remains one of the area’s most productive runners. After transferring to Rice for his senior season, Vaughn is looking to be all-conference in the tough CCL/ESCC for the third straight year.
More player rankings:
The top 10 offensive linemen
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Team previews
Brother Rice preview: Jack Lausch leads experienced Crusaders offense
Loyola preview: Fresh faces on defense for No. 4 Ramblers
Lincoln-Way East preview: No. 5 Griffins face new test with 13 non-senior starters
Marist preview: Redhawks to lean on QB Dontrell Jackson Jr., OL Deuce McGuire
Joliet Catholic preview: No. 7 Hilltoppers aim to be kings
More high school sports news
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