Junior to Watch: Rafael Little
School: Anderson (S.C.) T.L. Hanna HS
Position: All-Purpose Back
Size and speed: Little is 5-foot-11, weighs 190 pounds, and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds. He also boasts a 40-inch vertical jump.
Statistics: As a junior, he carried the ball 164 times for 1,240 yards and 20 touchdowns. He also caught 29 passes for 580 yards and eight touchdowns. He added six more scores on kickoff/punt returns and one interception.
Honors: Was named Class 4A all-state at running back and the Anderson Area Touchdown Club Co-Offensive Player of the Year.
Favorite Schools: South Carolina, Kentucky, Auburn, Clemson, Nebraska, Florida State.
Skinny: One of the Palmetto State’s most exciting players has reeled in his first three scholarship offers.
T.L. Hanna’s Rafael Little has drawn offers from Kentucky, South Carolina and Auburn and is being swamped with attention from major programs from across the country.
“Kentucky was the first to offer him, then the other two came within a day or so,” T.L. Hanna coach Scott Parker said. “Things have really heated up since then. Nebraska, Florida State and Clemson are all saying they’re going to offer, and there will be a bunch more before too long.
“Rafael is going to be a special player. He’s extremely explosive. He’s a quiet, shy kid off the field, but when he puts that uniform on, he turns into Superman. He’s always making something happen. He finished with 34 touchdowns last year and had 11 more called back.”
Parker said Little’s versatility is his best attribute.
“He can do it all,” he said. “He brings a lot to the table because he’s so good at catching the ball coming out of the backfield or lining up in the slot. He has really soft hands and runs good routes. He’s a great open-field runner. He has tremendous vision and the ability to see things develop, especially on kickoff and punt returns.”
One of Little’s top performances as a junior came in the Class 4A playoffs against James Island when he demonstrated that versatility by rushing for more than 100 yards and four touchdowns, catching two passes for 80 yards and a score and returning a kickoff 93 yards for another TD. He finished the game with almost 600 all-purpose yards.
Parker said Little isn’t showing any early signs of favorites in the recruiting process.
“I know he’s got a lot of interest in the teams that have offered him,” he said. “He visited Auburn last year for a game. He went up to Kentucky this weekend to see their spring practice. He’s also been to South Carolina and Clemson to watch them this spring.”
Academically, Little is in good standing and is expected to be a full-qualifier, according to Parker.