"Lookin' at my rollie, it's about that time"... for the New Jersey All-State Football Stock Watch. This week, we feature two players who are living up to the hype and leading the state in production at their respective positions.
UP — Elijah Hughes, Elizabeth RB
He's listed as a running back, but Elijah Hughes is also doing work at wideout this year. Along with his 194 rushing yards and three touchdowns, the Elizabeth senior is leading the state with 14 catches for 339 yards and three scores. Most of that production came in a Sept. 16 win against Hunterdon Central when Hughes caught nine balls for 220 yards and two TDs.
DOWN — Piscataway defense
The hope for Piscataway was that its Sept. 16 loss to South Brunswick was an aberration. But the Chiefs, who entered the season ranked fourth in the state, gave up 28 points for the second straight – this time in a loss to Woodbridge. What's surprising is that the defending North 2, Group 4 champs have no shortage of talent on defense, from Nadir Barnwell, Kyle LaPorte and Tevin Shaw at defensive back and Jonathan Kinslow on the line. But they, along with a special teams unit that surrendered two touchdowns last week, will have to turn things around in a hurry. The silver lining for the Chiefs is that their two losses came against solid squads and with the talent and experience on this team, chances are good that they will rebound.
UP — Ryan Davies, Howell QB
After throwing for 2,864 yards and 36 touchdowns in his first year as starter, most knew that Davies was a legit gunslinger. And not much has changed this season for the senior. Through three games, Davies leads the state in passing, completing 70 of 90 attempts for 907 yards, 12 scores and just one interception. Equally impressive are the five touchdowns he's thrown in each of his last two games, both of which resulted in wins for the 2-1 Rebels.
Brandon Parker covers New Jersey for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.