New Orleans (La.) Jesuit coach Vic Eumont can’t explain why scouts haven’t taken notice of his star running back sooner, but he’s getting a kick out of the way Chris Markey has forced them to pay attention now.
“He’s gone out and rushed for 600 yards and 12 touchdowns the last two weeks,” Eumont said. “That’s put him at more than 2,300 yards and 40 touchdowns for the season. Eventually, people have to start paying attention.
“We play East St. John and Derron Thomas, who has committed to Miami, this week in the second round of the playoffs, so there’s going to be a lot of eyes on that game. We’re talking about two running backs with about 4,000 yards and 70 touchdowns going head-to-head. That’s going to be pretty fun for everybody except the two defensive coordinators.”
Markey (5-11, 195, 4.55) split time at running back as a junior, gaining an impressive 900 yards in seven games, but managed to stay under the national radar. He picked up a scholarship offer from Colorado during the summer and another from Tulane this fall, but may just now be on the verge of superstar status.
“Others are just now coming in on him and asking for film,” Eumont said. “I’ve been getting a lot of calls the last couple of weeks – Colorado, Tulane, Nebraska, Louisville, Tennessee, just to name a few. I think things are just starting to happen for him. If we can win a couple more playoff games, it's going to help him quite a bit.”
Asked what makes him such an explosive player, Eumont said: “He has great vision, great balance and acceleration. He really knows how to run, how to follow blocks and allow things to develop. We’d love to get the ball to him more in the passing game, too, because he can really catch the ball, but he makes it too easy in the running game. We haven’t had many chances to do that. He’s just a special player.”
One knock by some observers is Markey’s so-called lack of “blazing speed.”
“We’ve never timed him, but he’s probably in the range of 4.5 or 4.55,” Eumont said. “But in a football uniform, these guys who supposedly run 4.4s can’t catch him. Some guys just have it. Chris is one of them.”
Markey’s official season statistics are 279 carries for 2,363 yards (8.46 ypc) and 39 touchdowns. He also has a kickoff return for a touchdown.
Last week, he rushed for 333 yards and six touchdowns in Jesuit's 56-31 first-round playoff win over St. Amant.
Academically, he maintains a 3.2 GPA and has a qualifying score on his tests.
Markey is waiting for the end of the season to schedule his official visits.