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Chase High Coach Chris Cogdill threw his arm around Marqies McCombs just before the camera clicked on the increasingly famous star running back.

The most famous resident of Rutherford County may be a soft-spoken 5'10" Chase High junior with a relaxed smile.

Football famous anyway.

Marqies McCombs is "sometimes 10 yards down the field before he has to worry about getting touched." That's according to Chase's head football Coach Chris Cogdill.

"He is a pleasure to coach, because it's tough at third and four to convert and keep the ball away from the other team. He does it a lot and three or four times in recent weeks, we've even converted on fourth and two," Cogdill said with a big grin just before throwing his arm around McCombs for a photo.

Just in case some non football readers got lost in that last paragraph, McCombs is a quick running back who has some of the most astounding stats of any player in the country.

His recent accumulation of 21 touchdowns ranked him fourth in the nation.

He's been doing it as far back as he can remember.

He played for the Forest City Cavaliers when he was five, he said, but remembered that he played for the Rutherfordton Raiders before that.

Has he always been able to follow his blocks and get through the defensive line?

"Yes," he replied with that slight smile.

Coach Cogdill wanted to give credit to those blockers: Hayden Galloway, Luke McGinnis, Mitchell McCraw, Shane Parker, Reagan McCranie, Connor Hensley, Rob Ward, Brennan Kingary, and Jermany Harris.

Both McCombs and Cogdill wanted to make sure those guys got credit.

If he keeps it up, his season may well end over 3,000 yards rushing. Half that would be noteworthy.

His phenomenal stats and attention grabbing play have already had him getting a look from N.C. State (which recently defeated Clemson on the gridiron,) and Appalachian State. He also visited former national champs Clemson.

McCombs also credits backfield Coach Tyrice Brooks, who has taught him to "Read the keys. He says it all the time. Read the keys."

The keys are those blockers. Look where the blocks are opening the holes and run there.

His speed, balance and vision are truly world class.

Does he dream of turning pro?

"I just want to make it to the next level," he said.

His mother is Marquita Brooker and his dad is Charles McCombs.

What do they think of all the ballyhoo?

"They tell me to keep up my grades and keep doing what I'm doing," he said. His current grades are three B's and an A.

His has five brothers and one sister. Are they giving him a hard time for all the attention?

"No, they support me too," he said.

Cogdill also had kind words for senior quarterback Damian Boykins. He and McCombs work well together and have great love for those blockers.

Cogdill said the front line has been "beat up a little bit," this season and that was why it was necessary to recognize so many of those blockers.

Football is a team sport and McCombs is mighty grateful to be playing with a great team, but Cogdill added, "He does make some plays on his own. He is a joy to coach."

And how is McCombs handling all the attention?

"I try not to think about it," he says and adds that winning smile.

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