featured photo credit – Derrick Mahone, Douglas Sentinel
In Chapel Hill’s big 18-16 victory over Maynard Jackson, no player had a bigger impact than senior running back Michael Padgett. The sturdy running back had over 200 all-purpose yards and all 3 of his teams’ touchdowns in their big homecoming win.
After several tough losses to Maynard-Jackson in recent years, this season’s win was a big hurdle for the program. Chapel Hill is 4-2 on the year now and looks to be a player for playoff contention as they are now entering the heat of their region play schedule.
For Padgett, he is taking the moment in stride and just ready for each opportunity.
“I feel very confident this year it’s been very tense trying to stay healthy, prepared, and ready to execute the game plan but also a lot of fun,” Padgett said about the season so far.
The senior has 780 rushing yards and a total of 6 touchdowns on the year so far. He’s been a dynamic piece to their success, but the senior is still hungry for more.
“My goals for the rest of the season are to double my stats week to week while becoming more explosive in the backfield,” he said.
Over the last year, Padgett has put in the extra hours to hone his craft and feels like he has improved in a number of ways.
“Form, focus, confidence, and mental preparation have helped me improve and allowed the game to literally slow down for me to really execute,” he said.
At 5’10” and 195 lbs., the senior running back has a good frame and shows nice vision picking his way through the line of scrimmage. He reacts quickly to the defense, side-stepping tacklers and then showing a long running stride eating up yardage upfield. In several of his touchdowns Padgett just completely runs away from the pursuit, and Jackson has some good team speed.
On the recruiting front, Padgett is still under the radar but has several visits lined up soon.
“I’m an open book on the shelf right now waiting to be noticed,” he said.
The Week 7 Player of the Week clutch factor was huge in their big win, and Chapel Hill now looks to have the inside track to the playoffs. They will be tested for sure, and no doubt, Padgett will be heavily leaned upon for their success to continue.
In the process, we think the senior’s recruitment is just starting to garner the kind of interest he deserves, so be sure to follow @RecruitGeorgia on Twitter/X to hear the latest on Padgett and players all across the state.