Friday Night All-Stars: Running Back of the Year Nominees

5NEWS and the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club are launching a brand new high school football awards banquet called “Friday Night All-Stars.” The event will be held on Jan. 18 with Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema as the guest speaker. A special television broadcast of the event can be seen on Ch. 5 Saturday, Jan. 25 at 11:30 a.m.

Here are the nominees for running back of the year:

1. Tyler Cummings- Lincoln

2. Sain Mathew- Har-Ber

3. Deandre Murray- Springdale

Tyler Cummings was the work horse during the best season in Lincoln school history with 2,000 yards rushing and 29 touchdowns. Cummings tore his ACL last year and didn’t play a down as a junior.

“I worked real hard coming off the knee injury,” said Cummings. “I knew going in I was going to play a crucial role in the season. It’s nice to be able to do that as well.”

Cummings led Lincoln to its first two playoff wins in school history. He scored all six touchdowns in the upset win at Malvern in the second round.

Har-Ber senior Sain Mathew also made school history. With 1900 yards in 2013 he holds the record for most yards in a single season, including a 300 yard performance against Heritage.

“You don’t really realize it until it’s all done that you’ve done something important here,” said Mathew. “I’m really glad that I did that. It makes me happy.”

Mathew is not the biggest running back, but he still shredded the defense of every 7A-West team.

Springdale’s Deandre Murray has wowed the entire state with his speed and shiftiness for two years. He was injured for half the season but still ran for 1500 yards. Every week the defense had to game plan just for him.

“It feels great for people to acknowledge my hard work and I don’t like think I’m the best I just try to work hard,” said Murray

Murray holds the conference record for yards in a game with 356. He’s verbally committed to play at the University of Tulsa next year.