There aren’t very many high school running backs that I can compare to someone I’ve watched play college football before making their way into the National Football League.
But, every so often, you come across one particular player that makes you wonder if they’ll turn out to be just like the former college player you’re comparing them to.
Such is the case for Highland Park running back Stephen Dieb.
The first time I watched this young man on the field was at Highland Park’s home stadium in Dallas, Texas and it didn’t take long before I realized just how good this running back was. He doesn’t look like much when you’re watching him from the press box and it’s only when the ball is snapped, and it gets put into his hands, that you realize just how good and how dominate he is to any defensive player he comes across.
2014 season stats:
137 carries, 826 yards (6.03 yards per carry), 13 TD’s
28 catches, 361 yards, 1 TD
40 Time: 4.55
It’s easy to write a scouting report based on the stats that you see on paper but for those of you who read enough of what I write, you know I believe you can’t play the game on paper nor do I believe you can evaluate a player based on what you see on a website. You have to watch them play because they’ll show you far more than what their stats will show.
Scouting Report: Dieb is a downhill runner. You’ll see a lot of running backs try to hit the hole and get to the outside to try and outrun the defender. For this Highland Park running back, Dieb not only has the ability to hit the holes opened by the offensive line, and the field vision and footwork to make defenders miss, but has no problem taking a hit and is a physical running back that can run over a defender in his way and most of the time he ends up being the guy doing the hitting instead of the guy being hit. He isn’t called on a lot during games to make catches out of the backfield but has soft hands and becomes a dangerous option as a receiver because of his physicality once the ball is in his hands. The one thing that won’t show up in the box scores at the end of the night is Dieb’s ability to stay in as a pass block and it becomes the one thing that coaches will love about him because that’s the one thing you hear a lot of complaints about on other backs, especially going into college. They want to know that they can catch out of the backfield and have no problem in pass protection. Dieb can do all three.
You don’t need to be a four or five-star running back to be a star at the next level and you also don’t need to be the best in the district according to your stat sheets. Doing the little things like being able to block in pass protection or even being able to catch the ball out of the backfield, makes you more attractive to schools who aren’t just looking for a guy who can carry the football but a guy who can do whatever he’s asked to do.
It’s the one thing that might make big time schools start coming around especially as this season goes along. I, for one, hope he doesn’t get passed over because this young running back has the strength, and field vision, to play at the next level. We’ll have to wait for the season to play out to see if offers start rolling in.
I mentioned he reminded me of someone I’ve watched before in college football and who made his way into the NFL. Who is it? Former Stanford Cardinal running back Toby Gerhart.